YANKEV IZRAELSON (1856-1924)
Born in Mitave (Mitava), Kurland (Courland). He studied in a religious school, in a secular high school in Libave (Liepāja), and at St. Petersburg University. He was a well-known Orientalist, a teacher of history, and an expert in Judeo-Arabic history and literature. He was also a scientific expert during the Beilis Trial. His work Religyeze ekspertize (Religious expertise) concerning the blood libel accusation against Jews remains in manuscript. A portion of his literary inheritance was given to YIVO in Vilna. He was a contributor to Historishe shriftn (Historical writings), vol. 1 (Vilna). He also contributed to a series of French, German, and Hebrew scholarly publications; and to the Rusish-yidishe entsiklopedye (Russian Jewish encyclopedia) and to Voskhod (Rising). He translated into Russian the works of Josephus Flavius. In Yiddish, he wrote a biography of “Nosn-Note Hanover: Zayn lebn un literarishe tetikeyt,” Historishe shriftn, vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1929), pp. 1–26, republished in the book Gezerot takh (The massacres of 1648) (Vilna: YIVO, 1938). He died in Libave.
Sources: Rusish-yidishe entsiklopedye, vol. 9; Algemayne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 2; F. Markan, obituary in Yevreyskaya letopis’ (Jewish chronicle), vol. 4 (1926).
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