Wednesday, 21 August 2019


NOKHUM SHTIF (September 29, 1879-April 7, 1933)
            A philologist, literary historian, and journalist, he was born in Rovno, Volhynia.  He was well known by the pen name: Bal-Dimyen (Visionary).  Until his bar mitzvah, he studied was a variety of itinerant schoolteachers.  In 1894 he entered the third class in senior high school, but continued reading Hebrew, organizing a group called “Safa berura” (Chosen language), and studying Talmud (for scholarly ends).  After the first Zionist congress in Basel (1897), he became a Zionist.  In 1899 he studied for a year at the Kiev polytechnical institute.  He was a cofounder in 1902 of the radical Zionist student group, “Molodoy Izrail” (Young Israel).  Together with A. Ben-Adir and V. Fabrikant, in 1903 he organized the founding conference of “Vozrozhdenie” (Renaissance).  Shtif “actually [provided] the first extended justification for the ideology that later became characteristic of the Zionist socialists.” (Yivo-bleter [Pages from YIVO] 5 [1935], p. 197)  After the Kishinev pogrom, he was among the leaders of self-defense in Kiev.  His first published piece appeared in 1904, and over the years, 1905-1908, he was active the Sejmist party in Kiev, Vilna, Vitebsk, and Simforopol (after a year in Switzerland whence he fled from arrest).  In this time period, he penned literary critical articles for Evreiskaia zhizn’ (Jewish life) in St. Petersburg and ideological-political articles for the party publications: Di folks-shtime (The people’s voice) and Di shtime (The voice).  In his literary pieces, he stressed the influence of the environment on a writer’s works, the social character of literature, and the aesthetic moment in a work.  From this point of view, he sought to revise the estimation of Sholem Asch, Morris Rozenfeld, Avrom Reyzen, and others.
            Over the years 1910-1914, he lived in Rovno.  He graduated from the Jaroslavl Law School in 1913 and received his doctoral degree for a dissertation on criminal rights according to the Torah of Moses and the Talmud.  At the same time, he took up serious research into Yiddish.  His first published work in this field appeared in Pinkes (Records) in Vilna (1912/1913).  From the middle of 1914 he was living in Vilna where he worked as manager of the Kletskin publishing house and served as editor of Di vokh (The week).  These years, 1910-1914, he published a series of articles in the Yiddish and Russian Jewish press, in which he formulated his ideas about a Jewish land and about the concept of “goles” (H. galut) or diaspora.  He spent the years 1915-1918 in St. Petersburg, working for the relief organization “Yekopo” (Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”), and editing its journal Pomoshch’ (Relief).  He was active in “Khevre mefitse haskole” (Society for the promotion of Enlightenment) and assisted in introducing Yiddish as a language of instruction in Jewish schools.  At a conference for the Society in 1916, a major discussion about this issue took place between Shtif and Ḥaim Naḥman Bialik.
            After the February Revolution (1917), Shtif became one of the founders of the Folks-partey (People’s party), and together with Yisroel Efroykin, he edited its organ Yidishes folksblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and brought out a pamphlet on the social and political ideas of the party.  He was appointed to the Petrograd Jewish community council and participated in the meeting of the Jewish community council in Moscow (1918).  That year he moved to Kiev and worked for Yekopo.  Following the Bolshevik occupation of Kiev in October 1920, Shtif left Russia and reached Kovno in 1921 where he worked as a lecturer in a Jewish teachers’ course of study, and in early 1922 he settled in Berlin.  There he devoted himself primarily to researching the Yiddish language and literature.
            Shtif was the principal initiator of the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) in Vilna.  In his pamphlet, Di organizatsye fun der yidisher visnshaft (The organization of Yiddish scholarship) (Vilna, 1925), he formulated the principles of Yiddish scholarly activities.  He was invited in 1926 to administer the Yiddish department of the Ukrainian Academy of Science in Kiev.  There he developed a broad scholarship agenda.  He was editor of Di yidishe shprakh (The Yiddish language) (1926-1930), of the department’s Byuleten (Bulletin) (February 1929), and of Afn shprakhfront (On the language front) (1931-1933).  He was attacked in the Soviet Union for his “petit-bourgeois Yiddishist attitude” and was compelled to publish an article entitled “Mayne felers” (My mistakes), in which he wrote: “Since I have become aware of my mistakes, I have sought to correct them, but I have not been able to steadily persist.” (Proletarishe fon [Proletarian banner] in Kiev [April 23, 1932])  He had not demonstrated any “corrections,” and then a year later he was found dead at his writing desk.  Aside from the aforementioned periodicals, he wrote journalistic, literary critical articles and linguistic research pieces in: Dos yudishe folk (The Jewish people) in Vilna (1908), Di yudishe velt (The Jewish world) in Vilna (1914), Di royte velt (The red world) in Kharkov, Teater-bukh (Theater book) in Kiev (1927), Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) and Landoy-bukh (Landau book) from YIVO; Yidishe shtime (Jewish voice) and Nayes (News) in Kovno; Tsukunft (Future), Dos naye leben (The new life), and Morgn-tsaytung (Morning newspaper) in New York; and a in a series of publications in Berlin; among other serials.  He wrote 339 works in the fields of linguistics, literary history, literary criticism, and journalism.  He died in Kiev.
His longer works include: “Teritoryalizm, emigratsye un di yudishe virklekhkeyt” (Territorialism, emigration, and Jewish reality), Di shtime (Vilna) 2 (1908), pp. 141-60; “Di fon” (The banner), in Y. l. perets, zamlung tsu zayn 7tn yortsayt (Y. L. Perets, anthology for the seventh anniversary of his death) (Minsk: Kultur-lige, 1922), pp. 13-25; “Der nekhtn (tsvantsik yor ash)” (Yesterday, twenty years of [Sholem] Asch), Milgroym (Pomegranate) (Berlin) 2 (1922), pp. 23-28; a bibliographic survey of Yiddish literature in Russia, 1917-1921, in Tsukunft (1923); fragments of a philological work, in Tsukunft 2, 9 (1924); “Literatur-historishe legendes” (Literary historical legends), in Di royte velt 7-8. 10 (1926); “A geshribene yidishe biblyotek in a yidish hoyz in venetsye in mitn dem zekhtsentn yorhundert” (A written Yiddish library in a Jewish house in Venice in the middle of the sixteenth century), in Tsaytshrift (Periodical) (Minsk) 1 (1926), pp. 141-50, 2-3 (1926), pp. 525-44; “Naye materyaln tsu elye haleyvis hamavdl-lid” (New materials on Eliyahu Halevy’s Hamavdil song), in Shriftn (Writings) (Kiev) 1 (1928), pp. 148-79; “Y. m. lifshits der leksikograf” (Y. M. Lifshits the lexicographer), in Di yidishe shprakh (Kiev) 4-5 (1928), pp. 3-23; “Di sotsyale diferentsyatsye in yidish, di hebreishe elementn in der shprakh” (The social differentiation in Yiddish, the Hebrew elements in the language), in Di yidishe shprakh 4-5 (1929), pp. 1-22; and the like.
Books and pamphlets include: Mayse fun dem frumen rabi khanine, tray ibergegeben durkh bal-dimyen (Tale of the devout Rabbi Ḥananiah, faithfully conveyed by Bal-Dimyen) (Moscow: Kletskin, 1917), 20 pp.; Iden un idish oder ver zaynen “idishishten” un vos vilen zey? (Jews and Yiddish or who are Yiddishists and what do they want?) (Kiev: Onhoyb, 1919), 103 pp., second printing (Warsaw, 1920); Humanizm in der elterer yidisher literatur, a kapitl literatur geshikhte (Humanism in older Yiddish literature, a chapter in literary history) (Kiev: Kultur-life, 1920), 64 pp. (on the title page, “Bal-Dimyen”), second printing (Berlin, 1922); Yidish un yidishe kultur (Yiddish and Jewish culture) (Kovno: Likht, 1922), 24 pp.; An entfer di kegner fun yidish (A reply to the opponents of Yiddish) (Czernowitz, 1922); Pogromen in ukraine (Pogroms in Ukraine) (Berlin: Vostok, 1923), 111 pp., in 1922 a Russian edition was published; Di eltere yidishe literatur, literarishe khrestomatye mit an araynfir un derklerungen tsu yedn shrayber (The old Yiddish literature, a literary reader with an introduction and explanation for each writer) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1929), 284 pp.; Yidishe stilistik, ershte serye (Yiddish stylistics, first series) (Moscow: Central Publ., Ukrainian Academy of Science, 1930), 172 pp.
His translations include: Z. Brunin, Privat-handl un gebroykh-kooperatsye (Private business and cooperatives of use) (Kiev, 1919); Moritz Güdemann, Idishe kultur-geshikhte in mitlalter, idn in daytshland dos xiv un xv yorhundert (Jewish cultural history in the Middle Ages, Jews in Germany in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries [original: Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der Juden in Deutschland während des XIV. und XV. Jahrhunderts]) (Berlin: Klal farlag, 1922), 250 pp.; Aron Isak, Avtobyografye (Autobiography) (Berlin: Klal farlag, 1922), 117 pp.; Shimon Dubnow, Di nayste geshikhte fun yidishn folk (The more recent history of the Jewish people), vol. 1 (Berlin, 1923), vols. 2-3 (Warsaw, 1926), second edition (1928); Friedrich Engels, Di antviklung funem sotsyalizm fun utopye tsu visnshaft (The development of socialism from utopia to science [original: Die Entwicklung des Sozialismus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft]).  Other pen names used: Metshtatel, N. Rovenski, N. Yonin, and A Biblyograf.
Shtif “acquired his reputation,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen, “as one of our finest and most thorough Yiddish researchers….  In all of his works, original and translated, he wrote to keep alive Jewishness in style, protecting it from all foreign forms.”

Sources: Sh. Genrikh, in Kultur un bildung (Moscow) 2-3 (1920); Moyshe Zilberfarb, in Royter pinkes (Warsaw) (1921), pp. 113-30; Yitskhok Shiper, in Bikher-velt (Warsaw) (1922), p. 44, and 6 (1923); H. Zak, in Nayes (Kovno) 29 (31) (1923); Dov-Ber Slutski, in Di yidishe shprakh (Kiev) 3-4 (1927); Slutski, in Afn shprakhfront (Kiev) 2 (1935), pp. 69-89; Maks Erik, in Di yidishe shprakh 5-6 (1927); Erik, in Shtern (Minsk) 1 (1930), pp. 84-89; Moyshe Khayimski, in Emes (Moscow) (June 29, 1929); Dovid Matsi, in Ratnbildurng (Kiev) 2 (1930); Nekhemye Pereferkovits, in Frimorgn (Riga) (May 20, 1930); Pereferkovits, in Lodzher togblat (Lodz) (July 11, 1930); Max Weinreich, in Tsukunft (New York) 3, 12 (1931), 6 (1933); F. Hurvits, Ruvn Lerner, and Moyshe Maydanski, in Afn shprakhfront 4 (1932), pp. 43-50; Ayzik Zaretski, in Afn shprakhfront 4 (1932), pp. 48-52; A. Gitlin, in Ratnbildung (Kiev) 3-4 (1932); Yudl Anikovitsh, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 5 (1933), pp. 226-46, a bibliography; Yisroel-Ber Beylin, in Signal (New York) 3 (1933); Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 33, 34 (1933), autobiography; Moyshe Shalit, in Literarishe bleter 26, 27, 31, 32 (1933), 14-16 (1934); Shloyme Suskovitsh, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) 177-78 (1933); Moyshe Kamenshteyn and Nokhum Oyslender, in Shtern (Kharkov) (April 9, 1933); Kalmen Marmor, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (April 11, 1933); Zev-Volf Latski-Bertoldi, in Frimorgn (April 13, 1933); Ben-Tsien Goldberg, in Tog (New York) April 13, 1933); A. Mukdoni, in Morgn zhurnal (New York) (April 14, 1933); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (April 23, 1933); Niger, Yidishe shrayber fun tsvantsikstn yorhundert (Yiddish writers of the twentieth century) (New York, 1958), pp. 173-74; Nakhmen Mayzil, in Haynt (Warsaw) (April 28, 1933); Urye Katsenelenbogen, in Folksblat (Kovno) (May 5, 1933); Menakhem Kadishevitsh, in Shtern (June 9, 1933); Ben-Tsien Kats, in Idishe shtime (Kovno) (June 26, 1933); Nokhum Oyslender, in Shtern (July 15, 1933); D. Nusinov, in Afn shprakhfront 2 (1935), pp. 91-96; Yivo-bleter 5 (1935), bibliography; Yudel Mark, in Davke (Buenos Aires) 3 (1952), pp. 93-101; Ber Borokhov, Shprakh-forshung un literatur-geshikhte (Language research and literary history) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1966), pp. 401-6, 418; Michael Astour, Geshikhte fun der frayland-lige un funem teritoryalistishn gedank (History of the Freeland League and of the territorialist idea) (New York, 1967), see index; Khayim Loytsker, in Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 12 (1969); Nisn Rozental (A. Ben-Dov), Yidish lebn in ratnfarband (Jewish life in the Soviet Union) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1971), pp. 251-62; Ester Rozental-Shnayderman, Af vegn un umveg, zikhroynes, geshenishn, perzenlekhkeytn (Along ways and byways, memoirs, events, personalities) (Tel Aviv, 1978), see index.
Leyzer Podryatshik

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 384-85.]


AVROM SHTILMAN (SZTYLMAN) (b. February 5, 1903)
            He was born in Novo-Ushitsa (Novo-Ushytsya), Podolia, descended from a Hassidic family.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva, and he went on to graduate from a Russian high school in Kishinev.  In 1925 he moved to Montreal, where in 1931 he completed his medical degree.  He began writing poetry that year for Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal.  He published a regular medical column there as well until 1965.  In a jubilee volume of the newspaper, he published research on the state of the health of Jews in Montreal over a period of fifty years (1907-1957), and inter alia on Jewish doctors there.  In book form: Layb un lebn, geshprekhn fun a doktor iber layblekh-noente inyonim (The body and life, conversations with a doctor on personal matters), popular medical articles (Warsaw, 1932), 298 pp.  He also published for four volumes of stories in English.

Sources: Y. Y. Sigal, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 27, 1927); Tsemekh Shabad, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 52 (1932); Yisroel Rabinovitsh, in Keneder odler (December 28, 1959).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            The author of poetry and stories, he was born in Melits (Mielec), Galicia.  He was a scholar and follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He was a leader in the Warsaw Ghetto of a school for orphans which was in fact an illegal educational institution, in which they taught Torah and Judaism.  He was one of the group of Orthodox poets in Poland.  He was a regular contributor to Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper) and Ortodoksishe yugend bleter (Orthodox youth pages) in Warsaw.  He was for a time co-editor of Darkenu (Our path) in Warsaw.  He also wrote feuilletons.  His writings include: Mentshn fun’m dor (People of the generation), stories and poetry (Lodz: Beys Yankev, 1936/1937), 116 pp.; Besht simfonye (Symphony for the Baal Shem Tov) (Warsaw).  His work also appeared in Moyshe Prager, Di antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (The anthology of religious poetry and stories) (New York, 1955).  His pen name: Elitsur Hasofer.  He died in a concentration camp near Dębica.

Source: Moyshe Prager, Di antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (The anthology of religious poetry and stories) (New York, 1955).
Berl Cohen


MORITZ STEINSCHNEIDER (March 30, 1816-January 24, 1907)
            He was the greatest of Hebrew bibliographers.  His Jewish given name was Moshe.  Although his attitude toward “zhargon” [Yiddish] was one of enmity and contempt, nonetheless his bibliographic work with Yiddish literature was such that a Yiddish bibliographer or philologist cannot do without it.  He described 385 published Yiddish books before 1740 (in Serapeum [1848-1849]).  Fifteen years later he provided a description of sixty-four manuscripts in Yiddish (Serapeum 1-12 [1866]); and he wrote about the Mayse-bukh (Story book), about the old Germanicized Yiddish translations of the Pentateuch and Yiddish translations of Tanakh generally; and a series of articles on Yiddish religious texts, thirty-one publications of Purim plays, and the like.  He died in Berlin.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1972).
Berl Cohen

Tuesday, 20 August 2019


            He was the author of Di geshikhte fun a falsher teorye (The history of a false theory), concerning Trotskyism (Buenos Aires: Akualitet, 1937), 62 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 525.


            He was a journalist and playwright, born in Bialystok.  He studied with itinerant primary schoolteachers in Rajgród, later in yeshivas in Bialystok, Slonim, and Lide (Lida).  He was active in Labor Zionism, and due to his party work he fled in 1907 to Holland and from there to New York, where he published several items in Kundes (Prankster).  In 1911 he returned to Bialystok, and together with others he published the first Yiddish weekly newspaper in the city, Hayntike tsayt (Contemporary times).  He later contributed feuilletons, monologues, and articles on current events to Byalistoker togblat (Bialystok daily newspaper).  He edited a Tseire Tsiyon (Young Zionist) weekly, Frayhayt (Freedom) which came out for two month, and Byalistoker folksblat (Bialystok people’s newspaper) which came out for six months.  In late 1924 he was a co-publisher of Di byalistoker shtime (The voice of Bialystok); in early 1925 he contributed to Byalistoker kuryer (Bialystok courier) (112 issues), and in 1926 published the daily newspaper Der idisher kuryer (The Jewish courier).  He later became a regular contributor to Dos naye lebn (The new life) and in it wrote articles, notices, and feature pieces, also using the pen names: G. Gaystfraynd, Unklus, Mefisto, A. Z. Dor, and Akhikim, among others.  A longer work by Shteynsapir was entitled “Der vide fun gevezenem misyoner leybele tikotski” (The confession of the former missionary Leybele Tikotski), which ran for six weeks in 1926 in Haynt (Today) and Tog (Day).  He also wrote several plays and one-act comedies.  He edited Byalistoker frimorgn (Bialystok morning) (February 1933-December 1, 1935) and the weekly Lodzer lebn (Lodz life) (nine issues in 1934).  He died in Bialystok.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Khayim Finkelshteyn, Haynt, a tsaytung bay yidn, 1908-1939 (Haynt [Today], a newspaper for Jews, 1908-1939) (Tel Aviv, 1978), pp. 209-10; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


LEYZER SHTEYNMAN (ELIEZER STEINMAN) (Shevat [= February] 1892-August 7, 1970)
            He was a Hebrew and Yiddish author, novelist, essayist, and anthologist of Hassidism, born in Obodevke (Obodivka), Podolia.  He was a rabbi’s son, and at age seventeen he received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1912 he moved to Warsaw.  He lived in Odessa, Moscow, and from 1920 again in Warsaw.  He was virtually the only Hebrew writer in Russia who in 1919 accepted Communism with joy and even published a leaflet entitled Hakomunist haiviri (The Jewish Communist).  From 1924 he was living in Tel Aviv.  He then turned all of his writing capacities to Hebrew.  He published some forty books in Hebrew.  He did not, though, write little in Yiddish.  He placed his first Yiddish story in Fraynd (Friend) 36 (1912).  He went on to write stories, sketches, and essays in: Gut-morgen (Good morning) in Odessa, Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]) in Warsaw (1910-1911), Nisn (Nisan) in Warsaw (1911/1912), Tsaytigs (Mature) in Odessa (1912), Fayerlekh (Solemn) in Warsaw (1912/1913), the anthology Yugend-kraft (Youthful vigor) (Warsaw, 1912/1913), and Untervegs (Pathways) in Odessa (1917), among others.  He wrote a preface for Mayselekh far kinder (Stories for children) (Odessa, 1919) and an article in the collection Tsum ondenk fun y. l. perets, tsu zayn finf-yorikn yortsayt (To the memory of Y. L. Perets, on the fifth anniversary of his death) (Odessa, 1920).  From 1920 he was a regular contributor to Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  His ties to Yiddish remained in place until 1924, although a little time thereafter he spent writing correspondence pieces for Moment, and in his last years he wrote for Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) and Almanakh (Almanac) (Tel Aviv, 1967); he even published a book in Yiddish.  His work appeared in Mordekhai alamish, Mikan umikarov, antologya shel sipure yidish beerets yisrael (From near and from far away, anthology of stories in Yiddish in Israel) (Meravya, 1966).  His books in Yiddish include: Tsu mensh un folk (To man and people) (Warsaw: Drokhim, 1921/1922), 156 pp.; Ukraine veynt, novelen (Ukraine weeps, stories) (Warsaw: Alt-yung, 1923), 172 pp.; Intim mit der velt (Intimate with the world) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 328 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958); Abe Gordin, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 36 (1960); Moyshe Gros-Tsimerman, in Di goldene keyt 50 (1964); Yekhiel Hofer, Mit yenem un mit zikh, literarishe eseyen (With another and with oneself, literary essays), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1964), pp. 264-78; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (December 7, 1965); Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 14, 1967); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (April 17, 1967); Dov Sadan, Avne miftan, masot al sofre yidish (Milestones, essays on Yiddish writers), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), pp. 164, 351; Yediot genazim (Tel Aviv) 72 (Tishre [= October] 1970); Avraham Shaanan, Milon hasifrut haadasha haivrit vehakelalit (Dictionary of modern Hebrew and general literature) (Tel Aviv, 1959).
Berl Cohen


            He was born in Warsaw.  He attended religious elementary schools and yeshivas.  In 1924 he emigrated to Paris.  He was the author of Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Paris, 1963), 292 pp.  He died in Paris.
Berl Cohen


PNKHES SHTEYNVAKS (July 17, 1908-May 11, 1977)
            He was a journalist and the author of stories, born in Sokolov-Podolsk (Sokołów Podlaski), Poland.  He attended the Warsaw Tachkemoni and graduated from a pharmacy course of study in Warsaw in 1929.  He was a leader in the Zionist labor movement.  From 1941 he was living in the United States.  He began writing articles for Volkovisker lebn (Wołkowysk life).  He later wrote for the daily newspaper in Grodno Moment (Moment), Warsaw’s Dos vort (The word)—later Dos nayer vort (The new word)—and after WWII for a number of Yiddish newspapers in the North America, South America, and Europe.  He also wrote stories about Jewish life in Poland.  His works include: Yidn tsum gedenken (Jews to remember) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1955), 340 pp.; Siluetn fun a dor (Silhouettes of a generation) (New York and Buenos Aires: Shoresh, 1958), 315 pp.; Yidishe mames tsum gedenken (Jewish mothers to remember) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1959), 202 pp.; Tsienistn (Zionists) (Buenos Aires: Kiem, 1961), 279 pp.; Demuyot venofim yehudim (Jewish profiles and landscapes) (Tel Aviv: Eked, 1981), 366 pp.—a selection of his writings, translated into Hebrew by M. alamish.  He died in New York.

Sources: Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 6, 1958); Yankev Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (July 26, 1958); Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (December 12, 1959); Yankev Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence), vol. 2 (Buenos Aires, 1960), p. 101; Salomon Kahan, Literarishe un zhurnalistishe fartseykhenungen (Literary and journalistic notes) (Mexico City, 1961), pp. 157-62.
Sh. Apter

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 524.]


TSIRL SHTEYNGART (b. March 11, 1916)
            She was born in Bialystok and graduated from a Polish state school as well as Ginzburg’s commercial school in Bialystok.  She was active from her youth in the Bund.  In 1933 she emigrated to Paris, and she was involved in the French resistance movement against the Nazis.  In 1951 she made her way to Montreal where she worked as a teacher in Jewish schools.  In 1962 she settled in New York.  She began writing for Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris.  She also contributed to: Unzer tsayt (Our times) and Veker (Alarm) in New York.  From 1967 she was writing for Forverts (Forward) in New York, where she wrote about social and political problems.  She also published there a series of travel reportage pieces.  Her pen names include: Tsirl, Nina Blum, Sore Berkovitsh, Ts. Berkovitsh, Khane Lasman, and Ts. B.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 524.


MOYSHE SHTEYNGART (May 10, 1912-1995)
            He was a poet, born in Sokolov-Podolsk (Sokołów Podlaski), Poland.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1927 he emigrated to the United States.  He studied in English-language public school, middle school, and several semesters at New York University.  In 1933 he debuted in print in the literary journal Tsuzamen (Together) in New York.  He went on to contribute poems to: Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsukunft (Future), Epokhe (Epoch), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Inzikh (Introspective), Getseltn (Tents), and Zayn (To be)—in New York; and Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia.  His work also appeared in: Moyshe Shtarkman’s Hamshekh antologye (Hamshekh anthology) (New York: Hamshekh, 1945); and Avraham Tsvi Halevy, Mehashira haidit baamerika (From the Yiddish poetry in America) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1967).  His writings include: Aleyn (Alone), poetry (Toronto: Tint un feder, 1950), 76 pp.; In droysn fun der velt (Outside the world) (New York: Brider Shulzinger, 1978), 144 pp.  In 1978 he received a literary prize from the Book Council of the Jewish National Welfare Board in New York.
            “Moyshe Shteyngart’s poems,” noted Nokhem-Borekh Minkov, “are rich in imagery and mood.  They are tame, clear, well considered, and profoundly feeling.”
            “Shteyngart…belongs mostly,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh, “to the [unintelligible] sort of poet.  However, we are drawn to eight of [his] blank poems….  [His book] is actually called Aleyn, and the tone of the poems is being alone and being lonely, but when one comes to the world with a book of poems [entitled] Aleyn, it’s a sign that one wants to come out being ‘alone’.”

Sources: Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 12, 1951); Nokhum-Borekh Minkov, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (August 1, 1952); Yirmye Hesheles, in Vayter (New York) (March 1957); Y. Kohn, Baym rand fun onhoyb (At the edge of the beginning) (New York, 1960), pp. 130-33; A. Pat, Likht un shtern (Light and star) (New York, 1967), pp. 108-13.
Berl Cohen


SHMUEL SHTEYNBERG (September 4, 1844-April 5, 1911)
            He was born in Brisk (Brest), the son of a lawyer.  His Russified given names were Ksaverii Grigorevich.  His initial education was in a religious elementary school, and he went on to graduate from high school in Grodno.  In 1867 he completed the course of study at the medical surgery academy in St. Petersburg.  He quickly advanced as a military doctor, but in 1892 he had to resign because of his refusal to convert.  In 1899 he joined the Zionist Organization and frequently attended Zionist congresses.  For many years he practiced as a lawyer in Brest.  He excelled in his love of Yiddish and authored several booklets: Bilder fun der groyser sreyfe in brisk (Images from the great fire in Brest) (Brest, ca. 1895), a monologue from an elderly Jewish woman in Brest against charitable societies and community leaders; a drama, Khaveles mazl (Little Eve’s luck) (Brest: Rozental, ca. 1895); another drama, Hinda idelson (Hinda Idelson) (Cracow, 1904), 67 pp. (possibly also: Warsaw, 1905), from “contemporary Jewish life in Romania”; and a booklet concerning epidemic illnesses which appeared around this time.  He wrote more in Russian, mainly for Voskhod (Arise).  He died in St. Petersburg.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


SHLOYME SHTEYNBERG (1891-July 1, 1938)
            He was a playwright, born in Shveksne (Sveksna), Lithuania.  His Anglicized first name was Sam.  He attended his father’s religious elementary school and later the Shkudvil (Skaudvilė) yeshiva.  In 1903 he moved with his family to Philadelphia.  He was a theatrical prompter and actor.  He wrote numerous dramas, comedies, and operettas which were not published, but all of them were staged, for example: Der misteyk in lebn (The mistake in life) (1917); Freydn un laydn (Joys and suffering) (1917); Soydes fun libe (Secrets of love), Farloyrene yugnt (Lost youth), A khaver in lebn (A friend in life), Di tsvey khaverim (The two friends), Got fun libe (God of love)—1918; Vos yede meydl darf visn (What every girl should know) (1919); Zayn bruders vayb (His brother’s wife), Vi meydlekh libn (How girls love), Dos farheyrate leben, drama in 4 akten (The married life, a drama in four acts)—1920; Blinde froyen (Blind wives) (1921); Der erlekher veg (The virtuous way), Benkende hertser (Homesick hearts), Fargesene mames (Forgotten others)—1922; Gekoyfte kinder (Purchased children), Khayke in zibetn himl (Khayke in seventh heaven), Hulye kabtsn (The wild pauper), Ales far a mame (Everything for a mother), In nomen fun got (In the name of God)—1923; Dos rebns kheyshek (The rabbi’s desire) (1924) with Y. Rozenberg; A leson in libe (A lesson in love), Far zayn kind (For his child), A froy fun der velt (A woman of the world)—1926; Khosn-kale mazl-tov (Congratulations to the bride and groom), A khazndl af shabes (A cantor on the Sabbath) with Arn Nager, Ir mames khasene kleyd (Her mother’s wedding dress) with Maks Gebil—1927; Zayn ershte froy (His first wife), Brodvey bay nakht (Broadway at night)—1928; Dos vaybele (The little wife) (1929); A vaybele vi mayn mame (A little wife like my mother) (1930); Der kleyner bandit (The little bandit) (1934); A vayb af baytog (A wife in the daytime) (1935); Minke fun brodvey (Minke from Broadway) (1936); Dos galitsyaner rebele (The little Galician rebbe) with Louis Freyman, Di velt iz meshuge (The world is crazy), Di freylekhe zingerin (The happy singer [female])—1937.  Other plays left in manuscript: Ven a man liebt, melodrama in fier akten (When a man loves, a melodrama in four acts); Praktishe froyen oder der narisher man (Practical women or a foolish man); Geliebte, vayb un mame, moral-drama in fier akten (Beloved, wife and mother, a moral drama in four acts); Tsores un mener, muzikalishe komedye in 3 akten (Troubles and husbands, a musical comedy in three acts); Di gerekhtigkeyt, drama in 4 akten (Justice, a drama in four acts); Rokhls kinder, melodrama in 3 akten (Rachel’s children, a melodrama in three acts), with William Segal; Dankbarkeyt, familyen-drama in 4 akten (Gratitude, a family drama in four acts); Natur-liebe, komedye-drama in 3 akten (Love of nature, a comedic drama in three acts); Papirene kinder, 3 akten (Paper children, three acts) with William Segal.  He died in New York.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963); Perlmuter archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 524.]

Monday, 19 August 2019


            She was an author of stories, born in Lipkan (Lipcani), Bessarabia.  She received a secular Jewish education.  She made her way to Brazil after 1918.  She wrote stories and articles for Shpigl (Mirror) in Buenos Aires, Der veg (The way) in Montevideo, Di tsayt (The times), and Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew) in Rio de Janeiro.  In book form: Af brazilyanishn bodn (On Brazilian terrain) (Rio de Janeiro: Monte Skopus, 1957), 160 pp.

Sources: Zamlungen (New York) 13 (1957); Yitskhok-Zelik Rayzman, Yidishe sheferishkayt in lender fun portugalishn loshn, portugal un brazil (Jewish creativity in lands of the Portuguese language, Portugal and Brazil) (Tsfat: Muzeon leomanut hadefus, 1975), pp. 309-11.
Berl Cohen


            He was a poet, born in the Jewish colony of Berezovke (Berezovka), Odessa region, Ukraine.  He graduated from the local Jewish school and later the teachers’ institute in Odessa, and he then returned to Berezovka where he worked as a teacher, secretary of the local committee of Komyug (Young Communist League), and director of the middle school.  While still a pupil, he published poems, stories, and notes.  In the literary studio run initially by the poet and playwright Ayzik Huberman and later by the critic and prose author Irme Druker, he was considered one of the more gifted.  In March 1942 he left for the front in the war.  He fell on the battlefield that June.  His works include a poetry cycle “Ernst af di pleytses” (Seriousness on the shoulders), in the anthology Lire (Lyre) (Moscow, 1985).

Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 383-84.


NOYEKH SHTEYNBERG (NOAH STEINBERG) (October 18, 1889-October 23, 1957)
            He was a literary critic and poet, born in Shene (Sienna), Poland.  He came from a poor family with twenty children.  He attended religious elementary school until age nine but learned little.  In 1904 he made his way to London and worked in the women’s clothing business.  He was greatly influenced by anarchism and by Leo Tolstoy’s ethical ideas.  In 1907 he departed for the United States, studied foreign languages, attended several schools, and studied with private tutors.  He lived in Toronto, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and Los Angeles.  He debuted in print in 1911 with poems in Toronto’s Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal).  He went on to publish several series of articles, entitled “Natsyonalizm un kultur” (Nationalism and culture), in Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Cleveland (1912), “Kultur un tsivilizatsye” (Culture and civilization) in Idishe zhurnal (1913), and “Natsyonalizm un kosmopolitizm” (Nationalism and cosmopolitanism) in the weekly newspaper Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people) (1913).  His first piece of criticism appeared in Kalmen Marmor’s Idishe arbayter velt (Jewish workers’ world) (1915).  Over the years 1917-1918, he wrote critiques of books and theater for Idisher kempfer (Jewish fighter).  He contributed to a variety of American Yiddish periodicals, such as: Tsayt (Time), Fortshrit (progress), Feder (Pen) which he edited for a certain period of time, Der fraynd (The friend), Di idishe arbayter shtime (The voice of Jewish laborers), Tsvaygen (Branches), Oyfgang (Arise), Der veg (The way), Naye velt (New world), Proletarishe shtime (Proletarian voice), Proletarisher gedank (Proletarian idea), Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), Ineynem (Altogether), Frayhayt (Freedom), Masn (Masses), Shikago (Chicago), and Oyfsnay (Afresh).  He co-edited Der onheyb (The beginning) in 1920 and edited the monthly Vegen (Ways) in 1922 and the collection Idish amerike (Jewish America) (New York, 1929), 320 pp.
            His own works include: Yung-amerike (Young America), concerning the ten most important young writers—Dovid Ignatov, Zishe Landau, A. Raboy, Mani Leyb, Yoysef Rolnik, Yoysef Opatoshu, Moyshe Nadir, Ruvn Ayzland, Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, and H. Leivick (New York: Leben, 1917), 256 pp., later edition (1930); Af di vegen fun vint (On the pathways of the wind), poems (New York: Leben, 1920), 32 pp.; Fun a libe (Of a love), poetry (New York: Leben, 1920), 36 pp.; Kritik (Criticism), a book of dialogues on criticism, women, writers, and critics (New York: Leben, 1926), 176 pp.; A bukh fun moyshe nadir (A volume of Moyshe Nadir) (New York: Leben, 1926), 158 pp.; Tsu loyterkeyt, lirishe proze (To sheer purity, lyrical prose) (Chicago, 1931), 109 pp.; Farlangt a mentsh (“Man wanted, lyrical prose”) (New York: Lebn, 1952), 224 pp.  Shteynberg also wrote the drama Likht (Light), which appeared in Dos idishe folk (New York) in 1913.  Zalmen Reyzen also mentions a book by Shteynberg entitled Moyshe-leyb halpern (Moyshe-Leyb Halpern) (1923).  Shteynberg himself does not cite this in his own bibliography of 1931, and it is also not to be found in any other source.  His work does appear in Nakhmen Mayzil’s Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955).  He died in Los Angeles.
            Shteynberg believed that “the task of the critic,” in the words of Zalmen Reyzen, “is to help express the genuine human personality, that the fullest form in criticism is to give an entire portrait of an artist….  He sought to introduce pure human intimacy into Yiddish criticism.”
            “With his first step,” noted Borekh Rivkin, “Shteynberg overtook all of our critics of that era, whose only virtue was a little labor….  You find with him his own twists and turns,…a sudden notion, a burst of lightning.”
            “Shteynberg’s manner of composing portraits,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh, “is in world literature, as old as it is itself, but in Yiddish literature it is essentially absolutely new in 1917.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Benyomen Grobard, A fertlyorhundert, esey vegn der yidisher literatur in amerike (A quarter century, essay on Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1935), p. 17; Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 18, 1957); Alter Eselin, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (November 29, 1957); Shimen-Dovid Zinger, Dikhter un prozaiker, eseyen vegn shrayber un bikher (Poets and prose writers, essays on writers and books) (New York: Educational Dept. of Workmen’s Circle, 1959); Avrom-Ber Tabatshnik, Dikhter un dikhtung (Poets and poetry) (New York, 1965), pp. 473-78; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Dr. Eugene Ornstein


MORTKHE SHTEYNBERG (b. January 1, 1914)
            He was born in Berestetshke (Berestechko), Volhynia.  He attended religious elementary school and later a Tarbut school.  In 1946 he returned to Poland from the Soviet Union and in 1957 left for Israel.  In 1929 he debuted in print with a story in the weekly newspaper Voliner shtime (Voice of Volhynia) in Rovno.  He contributed to: Voliner lebn (Volhynia life), Voliner prese (Volhynia press) in Loytsk (Lutsk), Dubner lebn (Dubno life), Kovler shtime (Voice of Kovel), and Undzer veg (Our way) in Lemberg; Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw (1935); Kiev’s Shtern (Star) (9140); Dos naye lebn (The new life) (1948).  In Israel: Eygns (One’s own), Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), Undzer shrift (Our writing), Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel), and the almanac Hefa (Haifa); among others.  In 1936 he edited the journal Unzer ekho (Our echo).  He authored stories, poetry, reportage pieces, and literary articles.  His books include: Bloye horizontn, dertseylung, minyatur, reportazh (Blue horizons, story, miniature, reportage) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1983), 174 pp.; Shpiglen, eseyen (Mirrors, essays) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1984), 191 pp.  His pen names: A Voliner, Markus, Berl Zinger, and Benesh.
Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 524.]


YISROEL SHTEYNBERG (March 3, 1894-November 8, 1970)
            He was born in Vonsove (Wąsowo), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and yeshiva, later graduating state pedagogical course of study in Lomzhe.  He worked as a teacher in Ostrov-Mazovyetsk (Ostrów-Mazowiecka).  He spent WWII in the Soviet Union.  After the war he was in Vrotslav (Wrocław) and from 1950 in Israel.  His books include: Kinder-lider un retenishn (Children’s poems and puzzles) (Wrocław: Nidershlezye, 1948), 19 pp.; Hebreizmen in der yidisher shprakh (Hebraisms in the Yiddish language), with A. Roykhverger (Wrocław: Nidershlezye, 1949), 334 pp.; Mimayan haḥokhma shel am yisrael / Khokhme fun yidishn kval, pitgamim, maamre ḥazal veimrot / aforizmen, maymore khazal un glaykhverṭer (Wisdom from Jewish sources, aphorisms, sayings of the sages, and witticisms) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1962), 405 pp.; Psukim un taytshn (Verses and explanations) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1969), 303 pp.  In Hebrew: Penine ḥokhma (Pearls of wisdom) (Tel Aviv, 1966), 467 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: David Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 14 (Tel Aviv, 1965); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 16, 1962); Yanos Turkov, in Folksblat (Tel Aviv) (March 14, 1973).
Ruvn Goldberg


            A political and philosophical journalist and essayist, he was born in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia, the brother of Arn Shteynberg.  He descended from a wealthy, well-pedigreed family.  His mother was the older sister of Bal-Makhshoves.  He received a fervently religious upbringing which left behind deep traces on the future revolutionary leader and writer and continued even at the time when he was a People’s Commissar in the Soviet Union.  In 1906 he graduated from high school in Pernov (Pärnu), Estonia.  He studied at Moscow University, later at the University of Heidelberg, whence in 1910 he received his doctor of laws degree.  He was arrested several times for his activities with the Socialist Revolutionaries (from 1906).  In December 1917, as representative of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, he served as People’s Commissar for Justice in Lenin’s coalition government (until February 1918).  In 1923 he was living in Berlin, and over the years 1933-1939 in London.  From 1935 he was on the world executive committee of the Freeland League and among its top leaders.  In Australia he led work on behalf of Jewish colonization of the Kimberley region.  From 1943 he was living in New York.
            His literary activities began in Russian in scholarly legal and general periodicals.  He contributed as well to German socialist newspapers.  He began literary work in Yiddish as a contributor to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York.  He published individual articles in: Tog (Day) and Fortshrit (Progress) in New York; Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok; Der shpigl (The mirror) and Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires; Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Haynt (Today), Naye shtime (New voice), and Dos naye vort (The new word) in Warsaw; Folksblat (People newspaper) in Kovno; Unzer tog (Our day) in Vilna; Di yidishe post (The Jewish mail) in Johannesburg; Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news) in Melbourne; Frayland (Freeland) in Jassy (Iași) and Paris; and Foroys (Onward) in Mexico City; among others.  He published: “Yidishe kolonizatsye” (Jewish colonization), in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn” 1; “Mayn bobe khaye-sore” (My grandmother Khaye-Sore), in Lite (Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951); and “Di shverd un di flam” (The sword and the flame), in Dovid edelshtadt gedenk-bukh (Dovid Edelshtadt remembrance volume), ed. B. Y. Byalostotski (New York: Dovid Edelshtadt Committee, 1953).  He edited: Fraye shriftn far yidishn sotsyalistishn gedank (Free writing for Jewish socialist thought), 18 vols. (Warsaw); Dos fraye vort (the free word) (London, 1933-1935); and Afn shvel (On the threshold) (from 1942).
            His writings in Yiddish: Der moralisher ponem fun der revolutsye (The moral face of the revolution), translated from the Russian by Shmuel Fridman (Berlin: Naye gezelshaft, 1925), 351 pp.; Maksimalizm in der yidisher velt (Maximalism in the Jewish world) (Berlin: N. Horwitz, 1925), 66 pp.; Der veg fun payn, dramatishe stsenes fun der rusisher revolutsye (The painful way, dramatic scenes from the Russian revolution [original: Dornenweg], trans. Shiye Rapoport (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1928), 121 pp.; Fun februar biz oktober 1917 (From February to October 1917), translated from the Russian by Shiye Rapoport (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1928), 392 pp.; Zikhroynes fun a folks-komisar (Memoirs of a people’s commissar) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1931), 228 pp.; 30 yor sotsyalistishe ideen in rusland (Thirty years of socialist ideas in Russia) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1935), 34 pp.; Marya spiridanova, ir lebn un kamf (Maria Spiridonova, her life and struggle), trans. Shiye Rapoport (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1936), 3 vols., second edition (1937); Gelebt un gekholemt in oystralye (Lived and dreamt in Australia) (Melbourne, 1943), 403 pp., second edition (New York, 1945); Ofene reyd tsu oysṭralishe yidn, baylage tsum bukh “Gelebt un gekholemt in oysṭralye” (Straightforward talk to Australian Jews, supplement to the book “Lived and dreamt in Australia”) (Sydney, 1943), 39 pp.; A land far yidn in oystralye (A land for Jews in Australia) (New York: Frayland-lige, 1944), 16 pp., republished in Tsukunft; Nider mit der milkhome (Down with the war!) (New York: Frayland-lige, 1947), 15 pp.; Mi eyn fus in amerike, perzonen, gesheenishn un ideen (With one foot in America, people, events, and ideas) (Mexico City: Jewish Cultural Center, 1951), 293 pp.; In kamf far mentsh un yid (In the struggle for man and Jew) (Buenos Aires, 1952), 439 pp.  He also published books, some of them translated, in Russian, German, and English.  As a journalist and thinker, Shteynberg strove to justify a new school of Jewish socialism with an ethical ideal of human solidarity and social justice.  He died in New York.
            “In essence,” wrote Khayim-Shloyme Kazdan, “Yitskhok-Nakhmen Shteynberg was of an artistic nature….  In his writing there was a rhythm, a temperament, and…a poetic quality….  For works of fine literature, he felt free to express his feeling and ideas.  There was more air to perpetuate images and people from the era of the revolution,…to perpetuate his own sorrow and pain from violated ideas and people.  His main weapon in journalism was his ardent sense of justice and humanism: not only individual, moral justice but also historical and cultural-national [justice].  He controlled this direct sensibility with the strength of his logical analysis, of his cultural-scientific and Jewish-national experience….  His Yiddish was pure and simple.  A juicy Litvak Yiddish, a bit Germanicized, with a Hassidic aristocratic coloration, and always on the level of the modern Yiddish literary word.  One could often hear this in his writing—the speaker, the tribune.  This was his own innovative style—the style of a blessed journalist and essayist.”
            “He always caressed a wonderful dream of politics,” noted Ezriel Naks, “that need not sully nor dishonor morality, because he knew that, without morality, politics is not politics, and a person is not a person.”
            “Shteynberg,” in the words of Shiye Rapoport, “was an editor and a writer of the highest ideological and literary purity,…one of the few editors among us who elevated the profession of an editor to the level of art….  His journal [Fraye shriftn] gave Y. N. Shteynberg the opportunity to enrich Yiddish journalistic literature.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (April 17, 1926); Shiye Rapoport, Tsvishn yo! un neyn! kritik un esey (Between yes! and no!, critic and essay) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1937), pp. 97-129; Meylekh Ravitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) 1 (1945); A. Suskovitsh, in Davke (Buenos Aires) 30 (1957); Yitskhok nakhmen shteynberg gedenk-bukh, der mentsh, zayn vort, zayn oyftu, 1888-1957 (Yitskhok-Nakhmen Shteynberg remembrance volume, the man, his word, his accomplishment, 1888-1957) (New York, 1961), with a bibliography, and the citations above from Kazdan, Naks, and Rapoport may be found here; Rabbi Binyamin, Keneset ḥakhamim (Congregation of the wise) (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 252-54; Leyzer Pines, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 41 (1961); Grigori Aronson, Rusish-yidishe inteligents (Russian-Jewish intellectuals) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1962), pp. 188-217; Michael Astour, Geshikhte fun der frayland-lige un funem teritoryalistishn gedank (History of the Freeland League and of the territorialist idea) (New York, 1967), pp. 42-43; Shoyl Gutman, Traditsye un banayung, eseyen (Traditional and renewal, essays) (New York: Matones, 1967); Berl Locker, Mikitov ad yerushalaim (From Kuty to Jerusalem) (Jerusalem, 1970), pp. 97-99; Mortkhe Shekhter, in Afn shvel (New York) 227 (1977).
Leyzer Podryatshik