Monday 2 February 2015


YOSL BIRSHTEYN (YOSSEL BIRSTEIN) (September 24, 1920-December 28, 2003)
Born in Biała Podlaska, Poland, he attended religious primary school and Polish public school.  He began writing in 1937, and in 1939 emigrated to Australia.  His first publication was a poem in the weekly newspaper, Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news) in 1939.  He published poetry in Oystralishe yidishe post (Australian Jewish post), Oyfboy (Construction), Yidishe yugnt (Jewish youth), Tsukunft (Future), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), and in Hebrew publications as well.  Among his books: Unter fremde himlen, lider (Under alien skies, poems) (Melbourne, 1949), 80 pp.  He was living in Kibbutz Gvat in Israel.

[N.b. When this biography was written, Birshteyn was still young, but in the years since, he published numerous volumes of poetry and received wide accolades.  JAF]

Sources: H. Bergner, in Oystralishe yidishe nayes (September 9, 1949); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (March 3, 1950); Melech Ravitch, in Oystralishe yidishe nayes (September 9, 1949).


  1. Dear Josh,

    The picture that appears on my computer is not that of Yosl Birstein. It a picture of the late Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali.


    Philip Hollander

  2. Whoops. Corrected (and somebody should change this prominent error on the web). Many, many thanks!