Friday, 19 December 2014
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Thursday, 11 December 2014
He was an educator and author of textbooks for Jewish schools in the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s. He was one of the most qualified and popular scholars of natural science in Soviet Ukraine. After the formation of the Jewish Autonomous Region, he contributed to the terminological commission that was charged with coming up with names for the uniform botanical terms in Yiddish. Soon, however, most lexicographers were purged, and their work on terminology was discontinued.
He was the author of a botany textbook entitled Dos geviks un zayne nutsn (The plant and its uses) (Kiev, 1929), 193 pp. with illustrations. His other work included: Arbetbukh af naturvisnshaft (Workbook for natural science) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1926), 2 parts, with G. Grinberg and others; Arbetbukh af naturvisnshaft un geografye (Workbook for natural science and geography) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1930), 264 pp., with G. Grinberg.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 74; and 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), p. 43.]
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
PINYE BURGANSKI (BURGANSKII) (b. 1903)
One of the most popular authors of Soviet Yiddish textbooks which appeared in numerous editions, he was a distinguished teacher, a founder of schools, and a lecturer in Ukraine. In the latter half of the 1920s and first half of the 1930s, he was one of the leading figures in Ukraine in the field of Jewish school curricula. For a certain amount of time, he was an inspector in the Jewish section of the Ukrainian People’s Commissariat of Education (Folkombild), one of the editors of the pedagogical journal of Ratnbildung (Soviet education), a bimonthly periodical out of Kharkov (1928-1937) and organ of the Folkombild in Ukraine. He was a member of the editorial collective of the children’s magazine Oktyaberl (Little October) in Kiev (1930-1939), and of the periodical textbook for the third and fourth groups of the workers’ school “Yunge shlogler” (Young shock troops) in Kharkov (1931-1932), and of other pedagogical publications. He published numerous articles in the Yiddish press. His name disappeared with other purged Jewish cultural leaders, and from 1937 nothing of him was reported. His only son, Mark, an officer during WWII, died at Stalingrad. The letter from the son at the front to his parents, who were evacuated to Alma Ata, was subsequently published in Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow.
Among his books: Far antireligyezer dertsiung (Toward anti-religious education) (Kharkov, 1928), 28 pp.; Oys religye (Out with religion), an anthology (compiled together with Avrom Vevyorke) (Moscow, 1929); Ershte trit (First step) (Kharkov, 1930), 124 pp.; Mir boyen (We’re building) (Kharkov, 1931); Tsum politekhnizm (Toward polytechnism) (Kharkov, 1931), 34 pp.; Sotsyalistisher gevet in der politekhnisher shul (Socialist bet on the polytechnical school) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 36 pp.; Oktyaberlekh (Little Octobers), a book to teach the alphabet for first-graders (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 168 pp.; Zay greyt, alefbeyz far der onfang-shul (Get ready, alphabet book for primary school) (Kharkov, 1932) and in 1936 the fourth, improved printing appeared; Leynbukh farn ershtn klas fun der onfang-shul (Reader for first grade of primary school) (Kiev-Kharkov, 1933), 108 pp. and in 1937 the fifth, improved edition appeared; Leyenbukh farn ershtn lernyor (Textbook for the first school year) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1933; subsequent editions, 1933-1936);
Sources: A. Hodes, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (July 4, 1946); E. Spivak, in Shtern 190 (Kharkov, 1933); S. Zhezmer, in Shtern 5 (1933); R. Fish, Shtern 267 (1933); Ratnbildung 5 (Kharkov, 1933).
[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. 42-43.]
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
YOYSEF BURG (May 30, 1912-August 10, 2009)
He was a prose author, born in the town of Vizshnits (Vyzhnytsya), Bukovina, Ukraine. He studied in a public elementary school. Over the years 1935-1938, he pursued Germanic studies at the University of Vienna. He debuted in literature in 1934 with a novella entitled “Afn splav” (On the train of wood), in which he described Jewish foresters on the banks of the Czeremosz River. He worked as a teacher in Czernowitz and wrote stories in which he sang of the Carpathian Mountains, their heroic and mighty people, and the magnificent nature there. His lyrical prose was imbued with the romantic, original in language and style, and giving expression to images to be remembered. During WWII, he evacuated deep into Russia, in the Ural Mountains from 1941 to 1958. Later, he returned to Czernowitz and resumed teaching and publishing stories and essays in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow, Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star), and in foreign newspapers and journals. In addition, he wrote stories, novellas, and sketches for Tshernovitser bleter (Czernowitz pages), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, Shoybn (Glass panes) in Bucharest, Di vokh (The week), Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw, and Naye prese (New press) in Paris. His writings have been translated into Russian, German, Ukrainian, English, Hungarian, Italian, and Hebrew. He acquired the title of a cultural leader in Ukraine and was awarded the Segal Prize (Israel, 1992) and the Shnaydman Prize (Sweden, 1997). There is a street named for him in the city of his birth, Vyzhnytsya. “Yoysef Burg is a wonderful describer,” wrote Lili Berger. “His prose occupies high artistic heights. At times it is poetry in prose form.”
Among his writings: Afn tsheremosh (On the Czeremosz [River]) (Bucharest, 1939), 67 pp.; Sam (Poison) (Czernowitz, 1940), 64 pp.; Dos lebn geyt vayter, dertseylungen, noveln, skitsn (Life goes on further: stories, novellas, sketches) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1980), 289 pp.; Der iberuf fun tsaytn (The roll-call of the times) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1983), 64 pp.; A farshpetikter ekho (A late echo), stories (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1990), 347 pp.; Tsvey veltn (Two worlds) (Tsvey veltn –Odessa: Mame-loshn, 1997), 140 pp. Also: Unter eyn dakh, yoysef burg yoyvl-bukh (Under one roof, Yoysef Burg jubilee volume), ed. Leponid Finkel’ (Czernowitz, 1992), 173 pp.
Most drawn from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 73-74; and 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), p. 42.
Monday, 8 December 2014
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
NOKHEM BUKHBINDER (NAUM BUCHBINDER) (1895-1940)
Historian and writer on current events, he was born in Odessa. He was raised in an orphanage and later worked on the agricultural farm at the orphanage. He later worked in a dispensary, in the Odessa city hall, and for a bookbinder in Odessa and Kharkov. He was an auditing student in St. Petersburg and later graduated there from the Herzen Pedagogical Institute and the Institute for Higher Jewish Studies. He debuted in print in the Russian press in 1910, publishing stories and articles. Over the years 1913-1915, he worked as secretary for a Russian newspaper in Simferopol. After the October Revolution, he was one of the first to work for the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs, as an administrator in the division of culture and education. He contributed to editing the first Soviet Yiddish anthologies, dedicated to issues of education and culture. From 1918 he was a member of the editorial board of the first Yiddish-language Bolshevik newspapers in Moscow, Di vorheyt (Reality) and Der emes (The truth), and he went on to edit a string of other Yiddish and Russian newspapers, weeklies, magazines, and anthologies, such as: Di fraye shtime (The free voice), organ of the St. Petersburg Committee for Jewish Affairs (initial issues in 1918, edited with Zerakh Grinberg and Sholem Rapoport); Kultur-fragen (Culture issues), an anthology (St. Petersburg, 1918, edited with Zerakh Grinberg and Shimen Dimantshteyn); Yevreyskaya tribuna (Jewish tribune), Di fray velt (The free world), and Vokhnbleter (Weeklies) (Minsk, 1919, edited with Zerakh Grinberg); Di komunistishe shtime (The Communist voice), a daily newspaper (Minsk, 1919); and Di velt (The world), a magazine (Petersburg, 1920). He later devoted his attention primarily to the history of the Jewish labor movement, concerning which he also published treatises in such history journals as: Yevreyskaya starina (The Jewish past), Proletarskaya revolutsiya (Proletarian revolution), and Krasnaya letopis’ (Red annals), among others. He initiated for scholarly use a significant complex of materials concerning the history of the Jewish labor movement that he disclosed from the archives of the Tsarist Ministry of Internal Affairs. In Leningrad in 1925, he published his Istoriya yevreyskogo rabochego dvizheniya v Rossii po neizdannym arkhivnym (History of the Jewish labor movement in Russia, according to unpublished archives), encompassing the period from the 1870s through 1917—translated into Yiddish by Dovid Roykhel (Vilna, 1931), 440 pp., as: Di geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in rusland, loyt nit-gedrukte arkhiṿ-materyaln. He assembled a biographical dictionary of Jewish revolutionaries in Russia. He was harshly criticized in the 1920s for his “incorrect position regarding Lenin’s stance on the Jewish question.” He was a contributor in the early 1930s to the Leningrad division of Institute of Party History and the council of trade unions. In the late 1930s, he was a teacher in the Karelia-Finnish Pedagogical Institute (Petrozavodsk). His subsequent fate remains unknown.
He wrote a booklet about Lev Osipovich Levanda—L. O. Levanda po neizdannym arkhivnym materialam (L. O. Levanda according to unpublished archival materials (Petrograd, 1918)—and a series of brochures, such as: Di ratn-makht un di natsyonale fragn (The Soviet regime and the national question) (1918); Di oktyabr-revolutsye un di yidishe arbeter-masn (The October Revolution and the Jewish laboring masses) (St. Petersburg: Commissariat for Jewish Affairs, 1918), 8 pp., second printing (1919), 14 pp.; and A yor proletarishe diktatur un di oyfgabn fun di yidishe komunistn (A year of the proletarian dictatorship and the tasks for Jewish Communists) (1919); among others.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; S-T, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1944); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Der veker (April 10, 1926).
[Addition information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 72; and 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), p. 41.]
Monday, 1 December 2014
YOYSEF (YOSL) BUKHBINDER (1908-1993)
He was a poet, born in Chernigov (Chernihiv), Ukraine, into a poor family. His father worked as a wheelwright. After graduating from a seven-year school (at age sixteen), he left his hometown and came to Zhitomir (Zhytomyr) to work in a shoe factory. He later studied at the Odessa Jewish Pedagogical Technikum, graduating in 1929, and then becoming a teacher in one of the Jewish schools in Kamenets-Podolsky (Kam"yanets'-Podil's'kyy). He was drafted in 1930 into the army where he served until 1934. From 1936 he worked as a literary translator for the Kiev newspaper Der shtern (The star). During WWII he living in Bashkiria (Bashkortoshan), and later returned to Kiev. He debuted in print in 1927 in the serial Di royte velt (The red world) in Kharkov with a cycle of poems entitled “In vald far a yeger” (A hunter in the forest). Two years later, when he published the poem “Ataman bozhenko” (Ataman Bozhenko), the editor of Di royte velt, Shakhne Epshteyn, wrote that “a distinctive poet has emerged in Soviet Yiddish poetry.” His lyrical poetry was tied to the contemporary world, to the principal manifestations of Jewish life in Ukraine, to the construction process in the shtetl, and to the difficult problems of an arduous reality. He was arrested in 1951 and accused of Jewish nationalism and Zionism, and sentenced to ten years in prison and labor camps. He returned home in 1956 and continued his creative work. The Ukrainian poet Maksym Rylsky published in 1946 Bukhbinder’s great cycle of poems in Ukrainian translation—among them the poem “Bay dem topol” (By the poplar). In the 1960s through 1980s, he published his poetry in the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) and in foreign Yiddish publications, with principally lyrical-philosophical and ethnic motifs. He died in Kiev.
In addition to Maksym Rylsky, his poems were also translated into Ukrainian by Volodymyr Sosyura and Mark Zisman. Among his books: Lirishe motivn (Lyrical motifs) (Kiev, 1940), 117 pp.; Komandir sizov (Commander Syzov) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1936), 76 pp.; Mit likhtike oygn, lider (With bright eyes, poems) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 160 pp.; Noente vaytn (Proximate distant) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1983), 134 pp. Also, a poetry cycle of his appeared in the journal Horizontn (Horizons) (Moscow, 1965).
Sources: Abrom Avtshuk, Etyudn un materialn tsu der geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur bavegung in FSRR (Studies and material for the history of the Yiddish literature movement in the Soviet Union) (Kharkov, 1934), p. 263; Eynikeyt (Moscow) (April 1, 1947); Biblyografisher arkhiv fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Bibliographic archive of Soviet Yiddish literature), YIVO (New York).
[Addition information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 71; and 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. 40-41.]
 According to Horizontn, fun der haynttsaytiker sovetisher yidisher dikhtung (Horizons, from contemporary Soviet Yiddish poetry) (Moscow, 1965), his birth date should be 1909.