Thursday 26 February 2015


     He was born in Odessa.  During the Crimean War, he started up a correspondence at age twenty with figures in the Vilna Jewish Enlightenment movement concerning the publication of a Hebrew newspaper for Jews in Russia.  He also turned to L. Philippson, the editor of the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums (General encyclopedia of Judaism).  He published the entire correspondence subsequently in the anthology Ale hadas (On the myrtle) in four volumes (Odessa, 1865).  As the owner of a publishing house in Odessa, in May 1871 he assumed publication of Kol mevaser (The herald).  Following a conflict with the editor of this journal, Moyshe-Leyb Lilienblum, he took over the editorship of this weekly.  He published there a number of articles, also using the pseudonym MEB”N.  A short time later, the journal went under.  In addition to a series of works that he wrote in Hebrew, he translated into Yiddish Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Judas Maccabaeus as Gibures yehuda makabi, oder nes khanike, khanike shpil, a drame in finf akten (The hero Judah Maccabee or the miracle of Hanukkah, a Hanukkah play, a drama in five acts).  He translated it from a Russian translation (Odessa, 1882).  He also adapted into Yiddish “Layesharim tehila” (In praise of uprightness) by Moshe-Ḥayim Luzzatto (Odessa, 1867), 72 pp., and Gerush shpanya (Expulsion from Spain), a novel by L. Philippson (Warsaw, 1888).  He also published Fremd-verter-bukh (Dictionary of foreign words): “to explain and to translate alien words that are used in the German and Russian languages, and also in the contemporary Yiddish (Zhargon) tongue….  A necessary handbook for all classes of people, and for those who mainly use the old Yiddish mother tongue” (from the first volume, Odessa, 1887, 33 pp.).  In 1884 he published a pamphlet in Yiddish entitled Bas-kol (Heavenly voice), in which he called on the public to manifest a greater interest in community questions.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; A. A. Robak, “Hundert yor yidishe literatur” (A century of Yiddish literature), in Yoyvl-bukh fun keneder odler (Jubilee volume for Keneder odler) (Montreal, 1932); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon, vol. 1.

Wednesday 25 February 2015


He hailed from Kreshev, Poland.  He was known by the names: Shloyme badkhn (Shloyme the clown), Shloyme ben Moyshe shoyshpiler (Shloyme, son of Moyshe the actor), and various spellings of “Belui.”  He was a pioneer in Yiddish theater in Warsaw.  He was the author of the play Mozes oder dos bafrayung der izraelitn oys egiptn (Moses or the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt), seven acts divided into scenes, published after his death by his brother Hirsh-Gedalye Belui in 1867, 71 pp., at the press of R. Yitskhok Rather.

Sources: Dr. Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of the Jews in Warsaw), vols. 2 and 3 (New York, 1948-1953), see index; Shatski, “Yidisher teater in Varshe in der ershter helft 19tn yorhundert” (Yiddish theater in Warsaw in the first half of the nineteenth century), Yivo-bleter 14 (1939); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun der yidishn teater (New York, 1931), vol. 1.


He was the brother of Shloyme Belui.  In the second half of the nineteenth century, he lived in Warsaw.  He was the author of popular booklets which appeared between 1857 and 1867—among them: Fun shtern oder komet (From star or comet) (Warsaw, 1857), 32 pp.  He was a popular figure of the Jewish Enlightenment, a showman, a theatrical entrepreneur, and a pioneer of Yiddish theater in Warsaw.  He attempted in 1868 to establish a Yiddish theater—“Izraelitishes”—in Warsaw.  He published Mekhires yoysef-shpil in gramen, mit muzik un likht-efekt (The selling of Joseph, a play in rhyme with music and light effects); Di yidn in midber (The Jews in the desert); Yankev mit zayne zin, fir aktn mit gezang (Jacob and his sons, four acts with song); Dos shreklekhe fayer in zakrotshim (The terrifying fire in Zakroczym) (Warsaw, 1858); Bashraybung fun mis yuley pastrani fun der meksikanisher viste (Description of Miss Julie Pastrani of the Mexican vista) (Warsaw, 1859).  He also wrote reportage pieces on Warsaw Jewish life, translated works from Polish, and published popular novels in chapbooks.

Sources: Dr. Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of the Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York, 1953); Shatski, “Yidisher teater in Varshe in der ershter helft 19tn yorhundert” (Yiddish theater in Warsaw in the first half of the nineteenth century), Yivo-bleter 14 (1939); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun der yidishn teater (New York, 1931), vol. 1; N. Oyslender, in Mendele un zayn tsayt (Mendele and his times) (Moscow, 1940), pp. 197-220.


A. FREYDL BELOV (b. February 21, 1899)

She was born in Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine.  Her father, Yoysef Belov, was a musician and composer.  She received both a Jewish education and musical training.  She emigrated to the United States in 1908 and lived in New York and Philadelphia.  She became a music teacher.  Her first publication was a story, “Der gutter man” (The good man), which appeared on July 4, 1918, in Di yidishe velt (The Jewish world), edited by M. Kats, in Philadelphia.  Later she published poems and stories in the same newspaper.  Her work also appeared in Fraynd (Friend) in Pittsburgh, Tageblat (Daily newspaper), Tog (Day), Nyu Yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly news), Amerikaner (American), and others newspapers.  She wrote under the pen name of “Bas-sholem veaave” (daughter of peace and love).


He was born in Dmitrovke (Dmitrivka), southern Ukraine.  He attended religious elementary school and later public high school up to the fifth class.  In 1915 he emigrated to Argentina.  In 1923 his first piece, a story, was published in Di prese (The press), in Buenos Aires.  He also contributed to Di yidishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small), and Der shpigl (The mirror)—all in Buenos Aires.  “L. Belogorodski,” wrote Sh. Rozhanski, “had much to say about old people, shop employees whom no one notices.”

Sources: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 101-6; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 175; Y. Botoshanski, Mame-yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 214.



He was a Soviet Jewish linguist, educator, and author of textbooks for Jewish schools and who also wrote about literature.  He lived in Minsk and was an associate of the Jewish section of the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences. His work includes: with Ayzik Zaretski, Y. Grinberg, and Khayim Loytsker, Shprakh, arbet-bukh farn 2nt lernyor (Language, workbook for the second year of school) (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1928), 104 pp.; with Zaretski and others, Shprakh, arbet-bukh farn 3nt lernyor (Language, workbook for the third year of school) (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1929; Moscow, 1930), 119 pp.; with Maks Erik and Yankev Rubin, Antireligyezer literarisher leyenbukh (Anti-religious literary reader), together (Moscow, 1930), 415 pp.; with Leyb Tsart, Arbetbukh af literatur far di ershte kursn fun arbfak un ovnt-shuln fun hekhern tip (Workbook in literature for the first courses of workers’ faculty and evening schools of the higher sort), part 1 (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk, 1930), 408 pp.; “Yidish-gramatishe arbet farn sovetishn period” (Grammatical work on Yiddish before the Soviet period), Tsum XV-tn yortog oktyaber revolyutsye, literarish-lingvistisher zamlbukh (Toward the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution, literary-linguistic anthology), ed. Vaysrusishe visnshaft-akademye, idsektor (Byelorussian Academy of Sciences, Jew Section) (Minsk, 1932), pp. 76-112.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 96; 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. 48.


MEYER BEZOVIK (MEIR BEZOWIK) (1898-January 1980)
He was born in Zheludok (Žaludkas), a town between Vilna and Grodno.  He worked as a teacher in the local Jewish public school.  He was first published in 1924 in Undzer kleyn veltl (Our little world).  In 1927 he moved to Argentina.  He began publishing stories and essays in Di prese (The press).  He also contributed to Grodner opklangen (Grodno echoes).  Among his books: In plonter fun lebn, dertseylungen (In the muddle of life, stories) (Buenos Aires, 1954), 213 pp.; Af krume vegn, dertseylungen (Along winding roads, stories) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 157 pp,

Sources: “A grupe lerers fun shtot zheludok” (A group of teachers from the city of Zheludok), Grodner opklangen 5-6 (Buenos Aires) (November 1951); Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (July-August 1954).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 95.]


KHAYIM BEZ (HYMAN BASS) (November 27, 1904-September 14, 1983)
Born in Vilna, his father Avrom Bezprozvani was an opera singer who began as a choirboy in the Vilna city synagogue and later (under the name Dzhanski) traveled with a Russian opera company throughout Russia.  His son, Khayim Bezprozvani, was raised for the first eight years of his life (because of his father travels) by his grandparents, and later by his parents in Vilna.  He attended religious primary school and later a Russian elementary school; subsequently, he attended a “Mefitse haskalah” (Society for the promotion of enlightenment [among the Jews of Russia]) school for boys, and after that he studied at the Vilna Jewish pedagogical seminary of the Central Education Committee (TSBK).  In 1922 he emigrated with his family to the United States, and settled in New York where he continued his studies with the Jewish teachers’ courses at the Workmen’s Circle.  In 1924 he became a teacher in Workmen’s Circle schools.  Over the years 1925-1926, he participated in a seminar for research into Jewish history under the direction of Dr. Yankev Shatski.  From 1926 he was working as a history teacher in a Workmen’s Circle Middle School in New York.  From 1936 he was a teacher of the methods used in the Workmen’s Circle teachers’ course in New York.  From 1948 he was teaching the methods course in the Jewish teachers’ seminar and people’s university in New York.  Between 1924 and 1950, he worked in a variety of Jewish summer colonies.  Over the years 1945-1948, he taught Jewish history and Yiddish language for “social workers” whom the Joint sent to Europe.  In 1948 he became the secretary of the world center for the Yiddish school at the World Jewish Culture Congress, and in 1953 he was made executive secretary of same.  In 1955 he represented the Culture Congress at the Commission to Investigate the Condition of Jewish Schools in New York.  At the YIVO conferences of 1941, 1942, 1945, and 1949, he read reports on topics of school pedagogy.
His first efforts to write transpired while he was still in Vilna, in the school journals of TSBK: Grininke beymelekh (Little green saplings) and Khaver (Comrade).  On January 1, 1926, he published in the magazine Kultur (Culture) (Chicago) a research piece entitled “Di mishpokhe bay yidn fartsaytns” (The family among Jews of old).  Among his published books: Urshprung fun peysekh (The origins of Passover) (New York, 1926), 126 pp. (edited by Dr. Y. Shatski); Arbets-bukh far idisher geshikhte, fun di vanderungen in midber biz di idn vern fartribn keyn bovl (Workbook for Jewish history, from the wanderings in the desert until the Jews were exiled into Babylonia) (New York, 1931), 96 pp.; Unzer vort, literarish-gezelshaftlekhe khrestomatye (Our word, a literary-societal reader), with Z. Yefroykin (New York, 1932), 408 pp., second edition (New York, 1935), 424 pp.; Idn amol, arbets-bukh un leyen bukh far idisher geshikhte, fun goles bovl biz nokh bar kokhbes oyfshtand (Jews once upon a time, a workbook and reader for Jewish history, from the Babylonia exile until after Bar Kokhba’s uprising) (New York, 1933), 1933, 192 pp.; Idn amol un haynt: lern- un arbet-bukh far idishe geshikhte (Jews once upon a time and now, textbook and workbook for Jewish history) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1937), 288 pp., second edition (Warsaw, 1938), third abridged edition for Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) schools in Poland; Mayn shprakhbukh, arbet un leyen-bukh far yidish (My language text, workbook and reader for Yiddish), with Z. Yefroykin (New York, 1938), 192 pp., second edition (1945), part two (New York, 1942), 256 pp., second edition (1946); Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word), with Z. Yefroykin (New York, 1947), 320 pp.; Shprakh un dertsiung, metodik un program fun yidish-limed in der elementar-shul (Language and education, a method and program for Yiddish instruction in elementary school) (New York, 1950), 400 pp., awarded a prize from the Abel Shaban Foundation of the World Jewish Culture Congress in 1954; Program fun yidisher geshikhte, far di y. l. perets-shuln fun arbeter-ring (Program in Jewish history, for the Y. L. Peretz schools of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1952), 164 pp.; Dos lebedike ṿort, leyenbukh far dem dritn lernyor (The living word, reader for the third year of study), with Z. Yefroykin (New York, 1954), 256 pp.; Undzer dor muz antsheydn, eseyen, referatn, batrakhtungen Our generation must decide, essays, papers, examinations) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1963), 354 pp.; Shrayber un verk (Writings and [their] work) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 662 pp.; Af di veg fun der yidisher literatur (On the road of Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1980), 598 pp.  He edited Dertsiungs-entsiklopedye (Encyclopedia of education) (New York, 1957-1969), 3 vols.  He contributed to the following journals: Shul un dertsiung (School and education), Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Tsukunft (Future), and Yivo-bleter (Leaves from YIVO), all in New York; Pinkes (Records) in Chicago in 1948 with an essay entitled “Di sotsyale vortslen fun dem yidishn lerer” (The social roots of the Jewish teacher).  He edited the quarterly journal Bleter far yidisher dertsiung (Pages for Jewish education) and Buletin (Bulletin) from the world center for the Yiddish school of the World Jewish Culture Congress.

Sources: P. Viernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 17, 1932); B. Roberts (Grobard), in Tog (New York) (April 29, 1932); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (March 19, 1933); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 27, 1933); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Undzer shul (New York) (February 1937); L. Lehrer, in Undzer shul (1933); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Undzer shul (October 1934); N. B. Minkov, in Kultur un dertsiung (December 1939); Sh. Mendelson, in Kultur un dertsiung (January 1943); T. Bernshteyn, in Kultur un dertsiung (February 1947 and December 1950); L. Bayan, in Bleter far yidisher dertsiung (April-July 1953); Z. Yefroykin, in Kultur un dertsiung (1956).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 95.]

Tuesday 24 February 2015


He came from Hungary.  He studied in yeshivas in Pressburg (Bratislava).  He emigrated to the United States after WWII.  He published Ortodoksye af falshe vegn, ver iz shuldik in der hefkeyres in dem idishen religyezn lebn in amerike? (Orthodoxy on the wrong path, who is guilty of neglect of religious Jewish life in America?) (New York, n.d.), 40 pp.

Monday 23 February 2015


BEN-SHOLEM (b. 1890)
This was the pseudonym of Shimen Shneyder.  He was born in Smorgon (Smarhon’), Vilna region, into a Hassidic family.  He attended religious primary school, had private tutors, and also studied at a Russian public school.  From 1909 he was living in the United States.  He lived for a while in New York, later moving to Chicago where he worked as a laborer in a rubber factory.  His first publications were poetry in Di velt (The world) in Chicago in 1918.  Later he contributed to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Dos vort (The word), and Di vegetarishe velt (The vegetarian world), among other serials.  He collaborated on the literary editions of the Chicago workers’ group: In nebl (In the haze) of 1919, Rezonans (Resonance), Yugend (Youth), and Af katoves (In jest).  Under the influence of the Introspectivists, he published poems and free verse in the anthologies: Yung-shikago (Young Chicago) of 1922, Ineynem (Together) of 1925, and Midvest-mayrev (Midwest-west) of 1933, among others.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Bal-Makhshoves, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 3, 1924); Lea Mishkin, in Pinkes shikago (Records of Chicago) (1951), pp. 4-5; Midvest-mayrev (Chicago, 1933), pp. 19-33.


S. BEN-TSIYON (December 7, 1870-June 2, 1932)
     The adopted name of Simkhe-Alter Gutman (Simḥa-Alter Gutmann), he was born in Teleneshty (Teleneşti), Bessarabia [present-day Moldova].  He attended religious elementary school, and at age seventeen he married and became a shopkeeper.  In 1899 he became a teacher in a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) in Odessa.  He was one of the first in Russia to start using the method of teaching Hebrew in Hebrew.  In 1905 he was living in Palestine, working as a teacher in Jaffa.  He was one of the founders of Tel Aviv and a member of its communal organization; for a time he was a representative on the city council.  He was an active leader of various Zionist agencies, first and foremost being the Academy of the Hebrew Language.  In 1922 he went to Germany as a representative of the publishing house of Devir.  He returned to Israel in 1924.  He first published in Y. L. Peretz’s Yudishe bibyotek (Yiddish library), vol. 2, with a story.  He later published in Yud (Jew), among others, a longer historical story entitled “Yehudis” (Judith).  Under the influence of the Odessa group known as “Ḥoveve sfat ever” (Lovers of the Hebrew language), he switched to writing in Hebrew and went on to publish stories, poems, and articles in Hatsfira (The siren), Hamelits (The advocate), Luaḥ aḥiasef, and Hashiloa (The shiloah), among other periodicals.  He served on the editorial board of a series of Hebrew anthologies and journals, such as: Moledet (Homeland) and Hashomer (The guardian); and of Yiddish publications: Palestiner hashomer (Palestinian Hashomer) (New York, 1925).  He translated into Hebrew Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell and a volume of poetry by Heinrich Heine.  He authored short books for children, such as Nes-tsiyona (Zionist miracle) and Gedera (Corral), as well as a longer work concerning the city of Tel Aviv and a pamphlet in Yiddish: Di biluim (The Biluim [Russian Jews who immigrated to Palestine from 1882]), published by “Vaad hapoel fun der histadrut” (Zionist General Council of Histadrut) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 90 pp.  He published also under the names: S. Tsiyonzon and Simkhe-Alter Gutman.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Y. Klausner, Historiya shel hasifrut haivrit haḥadasha (History of modern Hebrew literature), vols. 3 and 6 (see index); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971), vol. 3, pp. 1357-58; Y. Fikhman, Regnboygn (Rainbow) (Buenos Aires, 1953), p. 38; Y. Shteynberg, Reshimot (Writings) (Tel Aviv, 1928), pp. 194-96; Ben-Avigdor, in Zimrat haarets netivot (Song of the ways of the land), pp. 327-28; N. Mayzil, Y. l. perets un zayn dor shrayber (Y. L. Peretz and his generation of writers) (New York, 1951).


BENEDIKT BEN-ZION (1839-ca. 1915)
He was born in Hornostapol (Gornostapol), Kiev region, Ukraine.  All that we know of his youth is that he spent several years in Romania, that he subsequently moved to Germany, and that he converted to Christianity in Berlin in 1863.  He later studied medicine and received his medical degree (1867) from Würtzburg University.  He then left for England where he linked up with the British “Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews.”  In 1874 the Society sent him as a missionary to Romania and from there in 1876 to Odessa where he spent ten years.  He left Odessa in 1886, lived for a year in Constantinople, and in 1887 emigrated to the United States where he lived out the remaining years of his life.  From 1888, one hears no more of his missionary activities.  He was the author of Oraḥ tsedaka (Path of justice) (Odessa, 1876), 88 pp., which he wrote under the pen name “Ben-Tsvi”: a Hebrew-language work in the style of Ben Sira.  He translated from English into Hebrew Kol kore el bet yisrael beerets tsefuna (Call to the house of Israel in the land to the north) (London, 1868), and from English to Yiddish he translated Joseph Holt Ingraham’s work, The Prince of the House of David, under the title Tiferes yisroel (The splendor of Israel), 3 vols. (Odessa, 1883-1886).  He also translated into Yiddish the drama by Silvio Pellico entitled Ester d’Engaddi (Esther of En Gedi), which was staged in the Yiddish theater in New York under the title Ester fun en gedi oder der falsher koyen godl (Esther from Ed Gedi or the false High Priest), according to B. Gorin in 1881.
Gorin also lists subsequent theatrical pieces by Ben-Zion that were performed on the New York stage.  In 1882: A familyen drama oder di falshe kdushn (A drama of families or the fake betrothal); Der groyser sod (The great secret); Der tsvek (The end cause), an adaptation of Molière’s Tartuffe (in the published edition, it falsely attributes authorship to Moyshe Zilberman); Dos eyferzikhtike porfolk (The jealous couple), translated from German (again with authorship attributed to M. Zilberman); Di umtsufridene gliklekhe un di khalitse (The disgruntled happy one and the khalitse [woman released from levirate marriage]).  In 1889, Der griner shuster oder der sailor in gefar (The new immigrant shoemaker or the sailer in danger).  In 1884 his translation of Zhidovke was staged (according to Leon Blank).  Aside from the aforementioned theatrical pieces, there is in the New York Public Library subsequently published works by Ben-Zion: Shoel hamelekh (King Saul), a drama in five acts, 60 pp. (Alexandria, Egypt, 1898); A farumgliktes auto-da-fé oder rivke di 18-yorike makhsheyfe (A ruined auto-da-fe or Rebecca the eighteen-year-old witch), a drama in five acts and twelves scenes (an adaptation of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe) (Odessa, 1882), 88 pp.; Flote burshen (Flotte Bursche [by Franz von Suppé]), an operetta in two acts , translated by Ben-Zion (incorrectly attributed to Zilberman) (Odessa, 1883); Lumpatsius vagabundus (Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus [The evil spirit of Lumpazivagabundus, by Johann Nestroy], a comedy in three acts, translated by Ben-Zion [misattributed to Mozes Zilberman] (Odessa, 1883), 65 pp.; Di umgliklikhe ehe (The unhappy husband [Die unglückliche Heurath, by Friedrich Ludwig Schöder] (New York), 98 pp.; Tsen madkhen und keyn man (Ten women and no men [Zehn Mädchen und kein Mann, by Franz von Suppé]), an operetta in two acts (Odessa [St. Petersburg?], 1883), 36 pp.  In the library of YIVO in New York, one may find his Ester hamalke oder homens mapole (Queen Esther or Haman’s defeat) which was “a biblical historical drama in four acts and ten scenes, with songs and dancing,” adapted by Ben-Zion “in Odessa.”  According to Zalmen Reyzen, Ben-Zion’s translation of Annie Webb-Peploe’s Naomi oder di letste deg fun yerusholaim (Naomi, or the Last Days of Jerusalem) was published in Berlin in 1905.  He died in the United States (according to the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia) around 1915.
In connection with Ben-Zion’s theatrical activities, in his Odessa period it is worth mentioning the suspicion that it was he who betrayed Goldfaden’s theater to the Tsarist authorities in Russia.  For details on this matter, see the letter from N. Pruzhanski in the weekly Voskhod (Sunrise) 8 (1905); and L. O. Tretsen, in Voskhod 12 (1905).

Sources: Jewish Encyclopedia (New York), vol. 3 (including a bibliography); B. Gorin, Di geshikhte fun yidishn teater (History of the Yiddish theater) (New York, 1918), vol. 2, p. 233; Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, pp. 326-27 (with bibliography); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon (New York, 1931), vol. 1, p. 187 (with bibliography); Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1940), p. 190 (with bibliography); Arkhiv fun der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archives from the history of the Yiddish theater and drama) (Vilna, 1930), vol. 1, p. 503; Johann F. A. de le Roi, Geschichte der evangelischen Judenmission (History of the evangelic mission to the Jews) (Leipzig, 1899), vol. 3, pp. 270-71; A. S. Freydus, Liste fun drames mit a shaykhes tsu yidn in der n”y poblic laibreri (List of dramas with a connection to Jews in the New York Public Library), in the YIVO library.


YITSKHOK BEN-TSVI (ITZHAK, YITZHAK BEN-ZVI) (November 24 or December 6, 1884-April 23, 1963)
     The adopted name of Y. Shimshelevitsh, he was a representative to the first and second Knesset.  He was the president of the state of Israel from December 29 [or December 16], 1952 [until his death].  He was born in Poltava, Russia, son of Tsvi (Zvi) Shimshelevitsh, a writer and early Zionist.  He studied in religious primary school as well as “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school), graduated from high school in Poltava, and then studied at the Universities of Kiev and Constantinople.  He was by training a Hebrew teacher.  In 1904-1905 he paid a visit to Palestine.  He took part in founding the Poale-Tsiyon Party organizations in Ukraine, Switzerland, and Germany.  He also contributed to founding the Jewish self-defense organization in Russia (1906), and for this “transgression” he was forced to escape that same year abroad.  Ben-Tsvi’s father and his whole family was at this point placed under arrest and deported to Siberia until 1922.  Ben-Tsvi was the author of a memorandum (together with Sh. Kaplansky) proposing that Poale-Tsiyon join the Socialist International.  In 1907 he made aliya to Israel.  He was for many years a delegate to Zionist and socialist congresses as well as to Zionist and party conferences.  From 1908 he was living in Jerusalem.  He was one of the founders of Hashomer [the first Jewish self-defense organization in Palestine] and the Haganah.  From 1910 to 1914, he was in Constantinople together with David Ben-Gurion, where he was studying law.  With the eruption of WWI, he returned to Palestine and from there he was subsequently expelled (with Ben-Gurion) through Turkey to Egypt.  From 1916 he was in the United States where he was active on behalf of Poale-Tsiyon and teaching Hebrew in Jewish schools.  He was one of the founders of the Hachalutz movement and the Jewish Legion in America.  From 1918 he was serving in the Legion and in 1919 he returned to Palestine.  He was one of the founders, 1919-1920, of the Unity of Labour Party, Knesset Yisrael [the organized Jewish community in Palestine under the Mandate], Asefat Hanivḥarim (Assembly of Representatives), and Histadrut.  Over the years 1920-1921, he was a member of Herbert Samuel’s Council of State, from which he later resigned.  He was a member, 1924-1927, of the Jerusalem City Council, Vaad Haleumi (Zionist National Council), and the latter’s subsequent chair.  He was the leader as well of a number of community and Zionist institutions in the Settlement.
     Ben-Tsvi was the author of historical monographs and books, and ideologue of labor-Zionism, a member and chair of higher pedagogical and scholarly institutions, and one of the most important researchers of Jewish history.  For his book Nidḥe yisrael (The exiled of Israel), he received the Bialik Prize in 1953.  He began writing in Yiddish in 1906 and published (under the Party names of Avner and Ovadiah) articles in Der proletarisher gedank (The proletarian idea) and Forverts (Forward) in Poltava.  He published in: Idishe arbeter (Jewish worker) in Cracow; Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Der idisher kongres (The Jewish congress), and Varhayt (Truth) in New York; and he edited the Poale-Tsiyon journal Onfang (Beginning)—three issues appeared in 1907, published illegally in Jaffa (the place of publication was provided in the issues: Alexandria, Egypt).  In pamphlet form in Yiddish: Der palestina-arbayter-fond (The Palestinian workers fund) (New York, 1915), 24 pp. and (New York, 1916), 32 pp., and republished in Buenos Aires, 17 pp.; Erets-yisroel als land far yidisher kolonizatsye (The land of Israel as a land for Jewish colonization) (New York, 1916), 46 pp.  Among his books: Erets-yisroel in fargangenheyt un gegenvart: geografye, geshikhte, rekhtlekhe ferheltnise, bafelkerung, landvirtshaft, handl un industri (The land of Israel past and present: geography, history, legal circumstances, population, agriculture, business, and industry), with three maps of the country and eighty pictures of Israel (with D. Ben-Gurion) (New York, 1918), 477 pp.; Yerusholaim, vos iz yerusholaim farn idishn folk? (Jerusalem, what is Jerusalem for the Jewish people?) (Jerusalem, 1936); Yizker, tsum ondenken fun di gefalene vekhter un arbeyter in erets yisroel (Remembrance, to the memory of the fallen guards and workers in the land of Israel) (New York, 1916/1917), together with D. Ben-Gurion, A. Khasin, and Y. Zerubavel.  The following works by Ben-Tsvi were translated into Yiddish from Hebrew: Di arabishe bavegung in erets-yisroel (The Arab movement in Palestine) (New York, 1921), 40 pp.; Gezamlte shrift (Selected works), vol. 1 (New York, 1937), translated by L. Rubinshteyn; Poemes (Poems) (Paris-New York, 1969), 190 pp.; and chapters from his book Nidḥe yisrael, translated by M. Osherovitsh, published by Forverts.  He also published tracts and articles in Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hatoren (The mast), and Haadama (The earth), among other serials.  His most important works remain Nidḥe yisrael and Erets-yisrael veyishuva biyeme hashilton haotomani (Palestine and the Jewish settlement in the days of the Ottoman authority) (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1955).  Ben-Tsvi’s wife was the well-known Israeli labor activist, Rachel Yanait.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947), vol. 1, see index; Who’s Who in Israel (Tel Aviv, 1952); Geshikhte fun der tsienistisher arbeter-bavegung in tsofn amerike (History of the Zionist labor movement in South America) (New York, 1955), see indices to vol. 1 and vol. 2; articles in the Yiddish press on his election to the presidency of the state of Israel and in connection with his seventieth birthday.
Yekhezkil Keytelman

Sunday 22 February 2015


A. BEN-TSVI (b. 1888)
Pen name of Avrom Sheynuk, he was born in Mikhalishek, Vilna region, to parents who were followers of the Jewish Enlightenment movement.  His father was a student of Avrom Lebenzon.  He received a radical nationalist education.  From 1905 he was living in the United States.  He graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  He was employed in various trades while living in New York.  He began publishing with poems and stories in Fraye arbeter shtime (Voice of free labor) in 1906.  From that time forward, he published in a variety of newspapers, as well as in Tsukunft (Future) and Frayhayt (Freedom).

Source: N. Mayzil, ed. and comp., Amerike in yidishn vort, antologye (America in the Yiddish word, an anthology) (New York, 1955), p. 455.



He was a Zionist activist who hailed from Lithuania.  He authored Geshikhte fun tsienizm, fun d”r hertsl biz nokh der balfur-deklaratsye (History of Zionism, from Dr. Herzl until after the Balfour Declaration) (Kovno: Hasefer, 1935), 93 pp.


MOSHE-ELIEZER BEN-ANAT (October 15, 1902-July 7, 1953)
     The adopted name of Moyshe Breynhelder, he was born in Brisk (Brześć), Lithuania.  His father, Yehude, came from a scholar-businessman family.  His mother, Tsipora, was the daughter of the Brisk rabbi, R. Naftali Goldfarb.  He attended religious elementary school, as well as a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school), a public high school, and for two years he studied law at Warsaw University.  He was a supporter of Poale-Tsiyon, one of the founders of Hachalutz (Pioneer) movement, and a member of the Warsaw Student Association.  He was a regular contributor to Polyeser shtime (Voice of Polese) in Brisk.  He wrote for such Zionist socialist organs as Bafrayung (Liberation), Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), and Yidishe yugnt (Jewish youth).  He made aliya to Israel in 1925.  He was active in a variety of organizations involving the labor movement in Palestine, and he contributed the Hebrew press.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971).


KHAYIM-MORTKHE BEN-AMI (MORDEKHAI BEN-AMMI) (August 3, 1854-March 11, 1932)
     He was born Khayim-Mortkhe Rabinovitsh in the town of Virkuvke, Podolia, into a Hassidic family that descended from R. Yekhiel-Mikhl of Zlotshev and from R. Nakhman Braslaver.  At age four he was left an orphan when his father died, and he was raised in an orphanage and moved from place to place.  At age ten he arrived at a Talmud-Torah (an elementary school for poorer children) in Odessa, and at age fifteen he entered high school.  He later studied medicine and philology.  In 1881 he published in Razsviet (Dawn) [in Russian] an article concerned with special textbooks for Russian-Jewish schools.  That same year, he organized together with other students a Jewish self-defense group, was a co-founder of “Am Olam” (Eternal people) [a group aiming at establishing agricultural colonies in the United States] in Odessa (1881-1882), traveled on assignment for the group to Vienna and Brody, lived in Paris (1882-1885) and from there wrote correspondence pieces for Voskhod (Sunrise), and became a “lover of Zion” (ḥovev tsiyon, an early Zionist movement) in 1886.  Over the years 1890-1905, he was a member of the Odessa Ḥovev tsiyon committee; 1902-1923, he lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and from 1923 he was in Palestine.  Ben-Ami published stories and essays in Russian Jewish periodicals and for a time worked with others, while living overseas, on the radical organ of M. P. Dargomanov, Vol’noe slovo (Free word), while declining other cooperative working arrangements because of the stance of the editorial board of Vol’noe slovo toward the pogroms in Russia.  In the late 1880s he started writing in Yiddish.  He published a series of sketches entitled “Di kinder-yorn” (Childhood years) which appeared in Sholem Aleykhem’s Yudishe biblyotek (Yiddish library) in 1888; and later he wrote for Yud (Jew), Fraynd (Friend), Tsukunft (Future), in Pinkes (Record) under the editorship of Shmuel Niger (Vilna, 1913), and memoirs concerning Mendele (in Hebrew as well) under the title “Reb mendele shebal pe” (Mr. Mendele orally) for the journal Hatekufa (The epoch) in 1924.  Among his books (in Hebrew): Kovets sipurim (Collections of stories) (1914); Sipurim lenaare yisrael (Stories for the youth of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1933); Anshe dorenu (People of our time) (1932).  Books (in Yiddish): Rozhinkes mit mandlen (Raisins with almonds) (New York, 1904), 24 pp.; Ershte nakht fun khanike (The first night of Hanukkah) (Odessa, 1893), 40 pp.; Fayvl der groyser un fayvl der kleyner (Big Fayvl and little Fayvl) (New York, 1918), 25 pp.  His pseudonyms included Reysh-geluse (Exilarch).  He died and was buried in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1944), p. 523; Sh. L. Tsitrun, Leksikon tsiyoni (Zionist handbook) (Warsaw, 1924), pp. 616-17; Shmuel Niger, Dertseylers un romanistn (Storytellers and novelists) (New York, 1946), pp. 108-11; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 2; Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn (History of the Jewish labor movement in the United States) (New York, YIVO, 1943), vol. 1; M. Ribalov, in Tsukunft (May 1932); Reuben Brainin, in Tog (New York) (February 13, 1932); Ben-Tsien Kats, in Morgn-zhurnal (March 4, 1932); Rabbi M. Berlin, in Morgn-zhurnal (April 29, 1932).


AKIVA BEN-EZRA (April 1, 1897-June 2, 1987)

     The adoptive name of Akiva Kostrometski, he was born in Horodets (Haradziec), near Kobryń, Poland.  He attended religious primary school and yeshivas, as well as studied with a private tutor.  From his early youth, he was active in the Zionist movement.  Before he was an actual member of the Poale-Tsiyon Party, he spent a period of time in the Brest jailhouse.  From 1914 he was living in New York.  He began publishing in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in 1919.  He wrote monographs, reviews, and treatises concerning the Hebrew language, Hassidism, Hebrew grammar, and Tanakh in: Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Daily morning journal), Amerikaner (American), Undzer folk (Our people), Yidish vokhnblat (Jewish weekly newspaper), Tsukunft (Future), and Hadoar (The mail), among others.  He edited the volume, Horodets (Haradziec) (New York, 1947), 238 pp.  He co-edited a biweekly, Hebrew-language magazine entitled Hadoar lenoar (The mail for youth).  He was also the author of Hebrew textbooks, the majority of which concerned Jewish holidays.  He was living in Brooklyn, New York, before immigrated to Israel in 1971.


MIKHEL (MICHAEL) BEN-MOSHE (January 8, 1911-January 29, 1983)
He was born in Linkev (Linkuva), near Shavel (Šiauliai), Zamet, Lithuania, son of Moyshe-Yehude Greysman, the original family surname.  In 1915 the family evacuated with other Jews to Kherson.  He studied in a Russian-Jewish public school and began high school.  Then, in 1921 they returned to Linkev where he studied in a Hebrew high school in Shavel.  He began writing in 1927 on community matters in the Hebrew journal Resisim (Fragments) in Shavel, Lithuania.  In 1931 he emigrated to Johannesburg.  His first published work was Yiddish poetry that appeared in Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word), the supplement to the English-Yiddish newspaper Yeshurun (Jerusalem).  He published poetry in Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), Dapim (Pages), and English Jewish publications.  Among his books: Opris, lider (Sharp incline, poems) (Johannesburg, 1952), 124 pp.; In likht fun ovnt (In the light of evening) (Tel Aviv: Brikn, 1971), 117 pp.  He also edited Hebrew-language periodicals, such as: Besad (With heaven’s help) and Dapim (Pages).  Among his pseudonyms: Sair, Amoday, Sagi-Nehor, M. B., M. B. M. and A. M.  From 1947 he worked as a lecturer on Jewish history at the Johannesburg Hebrew Teachers Seminary.  He received his doctoral degree in 1974 for research on Yiddish and Hebrew literature in South Africa.  From 1978 he was living in Israel.  He was a member of the editorial board of Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper) and from 1949-1950 of Dorem-afrike (South Africa).  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Yankev Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (July 10, 1953); Y. M. Sherman, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) (July 1954), p. 142.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 94-95.]

Friday 20 February 2015



He came from Poland and was until 1939 living in Warsaw.  He was the author of Di geshikhte fun der familye rotshild (History of the Rothschild family) (Lodz, 1932), 32 pp.



Born in Poland, he lived through WWII in German concentration camps.  After liberation, he emigrated to the United States where he published: In yomer-tal in land fun vilde broyne bestyes (In lamentation in the land of wild brown beasts) (New York: Shimoni, 1948), 48 pp.  It is written in primitive verse in the tone of a lament following the Jewish Holocaust.


YITSḤAK-AYZIK BEN-YAAKOV (ISAAC BENJACOB) (January 10, 1801-July 2, 1863)
He was born in Ramgola (Ramygola), Lithuania, and grew up and studied in Vilna where his parents settled.  He was educated in the traditional fashion, but not with stringent Orthodoxy, and as a result he early on acquainted himself with the ways of the Jewish Enlightenment and thoroughly learned German.  A fervent bibliophile, he early began to collect old religious texts and manuscripts.  For a number of years, he worked as a bookseller in Riga, and later he lived for several years in Leipzig where he had a publishing house that brought into print rare manuscripts.  He returned to Vilna, and there with Avraham Lebenzon he published (1849-1853) the Tanakh with a German translation and with Mendelssohn’s Biur (Hebrew commentary).  His Mikraei kodesh (Holy convocations) served for followers of the Jewish Establishment through the latter half of the nineteenth century as a self-study means for learning the German language.  He was also the author of a number of poetical and half-literary works concerning Hebrew.  His chef d’oeuvre was Otsar hasefarim (Treasury of books), a bibliographic lexicon comprised of 17,000 religious texts and handwritten manuscripts in Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Ladino, and Judeo-Persian, published or written in the Jewish alphabet.  During his lifetime, he was able (in 1853) only to publish a portion of his bibliographic work—Shem hagedolim (The name of the great ones).  It was his son, Yaakov Ben-Yaakov, who in 1880 in Vilna published Otsar hasefarim which served several generations of Jewish researchers in literature as the surest bibliographic source.  Aside from his writing and publishing activities, he was active as well in social work in the Vilna community; principally, he was interested in problems facing modern Jewish schools.  His Judeo-German memorandum of 1856 concerning the rabbinical institute of Vilna retains considerable cultural historical value—it was published in Fun noentn over (From the recent past) 1 (Vilna, 1937).  His son left in manuscript form a full, expanded, and improved edition of his father’s bibliography.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Shaol Ginzburg, in Tsukunft (October 1932); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Algemayne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1944); M. Shur, in Yivo-bleter 8 (Vilna, 1935).


     He came from Vilna.  He authored Rusish-hebreish-zhargon verter-bukh (Russian-Hebrew-“Yiddish” dictionary) (Vilna: Leyzer Tikotshinski and partner, 1908), 1019 pp., with a fourteen-page “A kurtse gramatike der rusisher shprakh” (A short grammar of the Russian language).



Adopted name of Yisroel Benyamins whose family hailed from Odessa, Russia.  From 1903 on, he was living in the United States.  He wrote poetry in a rough form and language and published them under the title Di idishe natsyon (The Jewish nation) (New York, 1907), 77 pp.


YOSEF BENYAMINI (February 1879-February 22, 1933)
     He was known as well by the name Ben-Manoaḥ.  He was born in Derbent, Kavkaz, Russia, son of the rabbi from the Derbent community, R. Riman-Tov Manoaḥ.  He received a traditional education.  In 1906 he made aliya to Israel.  He worked in Rishon Lezion, later becoming involved with business in Jerusalem.  In 1914 he joined Poale-Tsiyon.  That same year he emigrated to the United States and lived in Cleveland.  He was among the first to enlist in the Jewish Legion and then returned to Palestine, where he remained through the war.  He published articles in Forverts (Forward) in New York and in Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv.  He was murdered by Bedouins in the Jezreel Valley.

Source: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971), vol. 3.


Y. BEN-YEMINI (1859-November 26, 1930)
     This was the pseudonym of Yankev-Binyomin Katsenelson (father of the poet Yitskhok [Itzhak] Katsenelson, the martyr).  He was born in Kapulye (Kopyl), Minsk district, and later moved with his parents to Bobryusk (Babruysk).  He studied in the yeshivas of Volozhin and Kovno, and he received rabbinical ordination.  After marrying, he settled in Karelitsh (Korelice).  He studied for a time to become the “official” [state-recognized] rabbi, but he did not graduate.  He then left for Warsaw and became a contributor to the Hebrew-language encyclopedia Haeshkol (The encyclopedia).  Due to a conflict with N. Sokolov, he left the editorial board.  From 1900 until his death he ran a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) in Zgierzh (Zgierz), near Lodz.  Among his writings: Ḥazon ben-yemini (Ben-Yemini’s vision) (Warsaw, 1913), 45 pp.; Yehuda hamakabi veyonatan (Judah Maccabee and Jonathan) (Warsaw).  In Yiddish: Gedalye deriga (Gedalia from Riga) (Lodz, 1912), 32 pp.  He also wrote poetry for Der yidisher zhurnalist (The Jewish journalist) (Lodz, 1919) and for Lodzher tageblat (Lodz daily news).  He died in Lodz.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; D. Katsenelson-Nokhumov, Yitskhok katsenelson (Buenos Aires, 1948).

Thursday 19 February 2015


H. BINYAMIN (b. 1928)
This was a pen name used by Benjamin Hruszowski [Harshav], who was born in Russia.  With the repatriation of Polish Jews from Soviet Russia in 1946, he arrived in Poland.  For a time he lived on a Dror kibbutz, and later he came with an illegal aliya through Czechoslovakia to Germany.  In 1948 he made aliya to Israel.  He began publishing in the Yiddish press of the survivors in Germany: Af der vokh (The weekly), Der morgn (The morning), and Bafrayung (Liberation), among others.  In Israel he published in Nayvelt (New world), Goldene keyt (Golden chain), and elsewhere.  He was a member of the Yung-yisroel (Young Israel) group.  Among his books: Shtoybn (Dust), poems published in the Dror Center in Germany (Munich, 1948), 61 pp.  He also wrote a longer study in English: “On Free Rhythms in Modern Yiddish Poetry,” in The Field of Yiddish, vol. 1 (New York, 1954), pp. 219-66.  He was an assistant professor for Hebrew and Yiddish at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

[N.b. Harshav is a major scholar of Yiddish language and literature, professor emeritus from Yale University, and the author of many important studies in these fields—JAF.]

Source: M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (September 19, 1949).


RABBI BINYAMIN (May 23, 1880-December 15, 1957)
     Pseudonym of Yehoshua (Shiye) Radler-Feldman, he was born in Zborov (Zboriv), eastern Galicia.  His father Israel descended from a rabbinic family.  He attended public high school and graduated from a senior agricultural school in Berlin.  He began his literary activities with articles about Hebrew literature, which he published in various German-Jewish newspapers.  He contributed to the Hameorer (The awakening) in London and was its co-founder (together with Y. Kh. Brener).  In 1907 he made aliya to Israel and became a laborer in Petach Tikva.  He later worked in the vicinity of Tel Aviv, as well as in Jerusalem.  He was a member of the first Vaad Haleumi (Zionist National Council), an active Mizrachi member, and later participated in the “Brit Shalom” movement [concerned with Jewish-Palestinian peace].  He started publishing in the Hebrew-language Hakeshet (The rainbow) in 1906, Luaḥ ḥermon (Calendar of Ḥermon), and Luaḥ aḥiasef (Calendar of Aḥiasef), and he was the founder of the newspaper Hatsofe (The spectator) and the monthly serial Hahad (The echo).  He also published in Hapoel hatsair (The young worker), Maabarot (Transit camps), and Hatekufa (The epoch).  Among his books: Al hagevulin (At the border) (Jerusalem, 1922); Otsar haarets (Treasure of the land) (Jerusalem, 1926); Partsufim (Faces) (Tel Aviv); and a number of pamphlets.  He also published articles in: Tshernovitser yidishe vokhnshrift (Czernowitz Jewish monthly) (edited by Leybl Tubitsh); Lemberger tageblat (Lemberg daily news); Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people); and Tageblat (Daily newspaper) in New York.  His books in Yiddish include: Idishe folks-fondn, der keren hakayemet un der keren-hayesod (The Jewish people’s funds: The Jewish National Fund and the United Israel Appeal) (Jerusalem, 1926), 57 pp.  His Otsar haarets appeared in Yiddish translation as Oytser haarets, as well as a pamphlet Di teymanim (The Yemenites).  Among his pen names: Moyshele der blinder, Yehoshua Hatalmi, and Y. H. Gandini, among others.  He was living in Israel where he edited the magazine Haner (The candle), organ of “Iḥud” (Unity), the political party of Brit Shalom.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1950), vol. 4, pp. 1711-12.



He was born in Slonim, Poland [now, Belarus], son of the cantor Yosef Pasovski.  He was active in the Zionist socialist youth organization, a member of the editorial board of Shedletser vokhnblat (Siedlce weekly news), and a contributor to Bafrayungs arbeter shtime (Voice of liberated laborers) and Undzer frayhayt (Our freedom).  From 1933 he was living in Palestine, one of the former commanders of Haganah in Jerusalem, a former official in the Ministry of Security, and an employee of the businessmen’s association of Tel Aviv.  He worked in the Hebrew press.


ZALMAN BEN-TOVIM (February 13, 1876-February 3, 1957)
     He was born in Bialystok.  His father, Yitskhok-Ayzik, was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement and an early Zionist; in the early 1880s he changed his surname Bendet to Ben-Tovim, and in a booklet he wrote, entitled Etsat shalom (Advice for peace), he signed his name Even Tovim.  Serving as R. Shmuel Mohilever’s secretary, the elder Ben-Tovim in 1890 accompanied him on a trip to Palestine and settled there.  In 1891 he brought his family to Palestine as well.  In the same year, Zalmen Ben-Tovim began to write for Ḥabatselet (Lily) and to send in correspondence pieces to Hatsfira (The siren) and Hamelits (The advocate).  Later he contributed to Ben-Yehuda’s newspapers, to Avraham-Moshe Luntz’s Lua (Calendar), and to Haḥerut (The liberation), Hamoriya ([Mount] Moriah), Doar hayom (Today’s mail), Haaretz (The land), Luaḥ yerushalaim (Jerusalem calendar), and other newspapers and magazines, signing his name with the pseudonyms: Hatsofe (The spectator), Abi-Zvi, Z. Ben-Yitzḥak, and Ish-Yehudi.  For many years he was the Jerusalem correspondent for Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York, and he published in Amerikaner (American) original articles and translated from Arabic folklore.  From early on, he worked as a teacher in schools in Jaffa, Ekron, and Jerusalem.  He was also active in the community and took part in the founding of Ḥevrat yishuv eretz yisrael hakedosha (Society for the settlement of the sacred Land of Israel), the Aḥava Association, and the Mizrachi organization in Jerusalem.  Among his books: Hakadish lifne kol-nidre (The kaddish prayer before Kol Nidre), a translation from German of Sh. Cohen’s stories; Hanegef (The plague), translated from the Russian; and two booklets concerning the history of old-age homes and Shaare-Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.  He died in Jerusalem.

Source: D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 2, p. 614.