Tuesday, 9 July 2019

AVROM REKHTMAN


AVROM REKHTMAN (1890-February 1, 1972)
            He was a folklorist, born in Proskurov, Podolia.  Until age sixteen he studied Talmud and commentaries, later taking up general subject matter, and he became a Hebrew teacher.  He lived in the land of Israel for two years, and in 1912 he settled in St. Petersburg and turned his attention to the study of Jewish ethnography and folklore.  He was on one of Sh. An-ski’s historical-ethnographic expeditions which over the years 1912-1914 traveled through over sixty-three secluded towns in Ukraine and collected Jewish historical-ethnographic materials.  He escaped from the Russian army and in 1916 arrived in the United States where he later acquired a Yiddish print shop in New York.
            He contributed articles on Jewish folklore and the An-ski expedition to Shmuel-Tsvi Zetser’s Dos vort (The word), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) with a series of children’s stories, and Luekh-akhiasef, among other serials.  He was the news editor of the Orthodox daily newspaper Dos idishe likht (The Jewish light).  He also wrote under the pen names Ish Yemini and Dr. Zamler.  In book form: Yidishe etnografye un folklor (Jewish ethnography and folklore) (Buenos Aires: YIVO, 1958), 352 pp.  This volume was written in a folkloristic language and was an important contribution to Jewish ethnographic and folkloric literature.  He left behind a manuscript of a dictionary concerning Hebrew elements in Yiddish, which he worked on over the course of twenty years.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Moyshe Shenderay, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (July 13, 1958); Sh. Levin, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (April 1, 1959); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Yekhezkl Lifshits


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