Tuesday, 20 August 2019

YISROEL-GDALYE SHTEYNSAPIR


YISROEL-GDALYE SHTEYNSAPIR (June 1890-1937)
            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


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