Wednesday 27 August 2014


KHAVE (CHAWA) EFROSI (b. September 6, 1870)
Although she wrote no Yiddish on her own, her works concerning Jewish history were translated into Yiddish and took an honored place in Jewish pedagogical literature.  Born in Kishinev, Bessarabia, she graduated from a Russian high school and later studied history in Frankfurt.  Over the years 1913-1915, she wrote in Russian a textbook for Jewish history (in two parts); in 1918 both parts were translated into Yiddish and published by B. A. Kletskin Farlag first in Kiev and later in Vilna as a textbook for Jewish schools: Di geshikhte fun yidishn folk, lernbukh (The history of the Jewish people, textbook), “Teyl 1, di biblishe tkufe” (Part 1, the biblical epoch), 180 pp.; “Teyl 2, di tsayt fun beys sheyni” (Part 2, the era of the Second Temple), 207 pp.  In their time, her textbooks were significant accomplishments for Jewish schools.  Part 1 offered a social and economic analysis of the biblical epoch; Part 2 was generally the first specimen of a history textbook for the era it deals with in the Yiddish language.  She later wrote a third part for the textbook—“Mitlalter, di yidn in golus” (Middle ages, the Jews in dispersion), 189 pp.  All three parts were republished in 1926 by the “Star Hebrew Book Co.” in New York.  In 1931 this same publishing house issued the third part under the title Yidishe geshikhte far shul un hoyz (Jewish history for school and home).  In 1938 her volume Di geshikhte fun yidn in mizrekh-eyrope (The history of the Jews in Eastern Europe) appeared in Warsaw under the editorship of N. Mirer.  She also published articles in periodicals—among them, Di naye shul (The new school) in Vilna in 1922: “Di forshungs-metodn fun der biblisher geshikhte” (Research methods for biblical history).  In the late 1920s and early 1930s, she was living in Riga, Latvia, where she would from time to time teach history in secular Jewish schools.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzin, Leksikon, vol. 1 (1926), pp. 155-56; G. Pats, in Di naye shul (Vilna) (1921).

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