Thursday, 8 August 2019


            He was a historian, born in Plonsk, Poland.  In 1930 he graduated from the Tachkemoni rabbinical seminary in Warsaw, and in 1934 he received his doctoral degree from the University of Berlin.  He was active in the Polish “Tseire mizrakhi” (Mizrachi youth).  He spent the years 1935-1948 in the land of Israel, later in Baltimore and Chicago.  He was a professor of rabbinical literature and Jewish history.  He spent his later years in Los Angeles.  He wrote articles and historical studies in Hebrew, German, English, and Yiddish.  He debuted in print in Yiddish in 1926 in the Mizrachi monthly Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Warsaw, and he was a regular contributor to it as well as to Dos yudishe leben (The Jewish life) and Yudishe shtime (Jewish voice) in Warsaw.  He also wrote for: Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Tsukunft (Future), Dos yudishe folk (The Jewish people), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), and Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) (Toronto).  He also wrote a great deal in English and especially in Hebrew, and he published books in those languages.  He specialized mainly in researching the history of the Jews in Italy, and in Yiddish he produced several pamphlets, including: Biblyografisher fihrer far yudishen un algemeynem visen (Bibliographic guide for Jewish and general knowledge) (Warsaw: Toyre veavode, 1934/1935), 72 pp.; Daten un khronik tsu der geshikhte fun toyre veavode bavegung in poyln (Dates and a chronology in the history of the “Torah and Service” movement in Poland) (Warsaw, 1935), 88 pp.; and translator of S. B. Feldman, Der tsienizm, di agude un der mizrakhi (Zionism, Aguda, and Mizrachi) (Warsaw, 1930), 51 pp.  Among his Hebrew-language books: Ḥaye hayehudim beitalya bitekufat harenesans (The lives of Jews in Italy in the era of the Renaissance) (New York: Ogen, 1955), 359 pp.; Bitsevat hadorot, miyeme habenayim lizemanim ḥadashim (Caught in the generations, from medieval to modern times) (New York: Ogen, 1960), 402 pp.  He died in Chicago.

Sources: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); A. Mukdoni, in Tsukunft (New York) 12 (1955); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 27, 1965); Khayim-Menakhem Rotblat, Fun undzer kval (From our source), essays (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1967), pp. 222-24; Yankev Miklishanski, Toldot hasifrut haivrit baamerika (History of Hebrew literature in America) (New York, 1967), pp. 334-36; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

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