Wednesday 11 February 2015


YOYSEF-YITSKHOK (AYZIK) BLOYSHTEYN (BLUSHTEYN) (February 15, 1860-November 12, 1934)
He was born in Kalvarija, Lithuania.  He studied in various yeshivas.  In 1879 he emigrated to the United States.  In 1890 he completed his studies to become a doctor of medicine.  In 1883 he founded the first “Ḥoveve Tsiyon” (Lovers of Zion) association in America.  In 1889 he was the editor of Shulamis (Shulamith), the first Yiddish-language Lovers of Zion publication in America (New York, 1889, which lasted but one year), and vice-president of the Zionist Organization in New York.  Over the years 1903-1907, he was a delegate to the Zionist Congresses.  He published articles in Shikager kuryer (Chicago courier) and other publications.  He wrote poetry and lengthier pieces mostly in Hebrew periodicals, such as: Hamagid (The preacher), Haivri (The Jew), and Hapisga (The summit).  Among his books: Shirim vemeshalim (Songs and fables) (Tel Aviv, 1930).  He also translated Yiddish poetry into Hebrew, which appeared in his book, Shirim vemeshalim (Poems and tales) (Tel Aviv, 1931).  He also left a volume of memoirs that his son owns.  One pen name that he used was: Yu”av.  He died in Brooklyn.

Sources: Perets Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (October 18, 1931 and November 4, 1934); The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1939-1943), vol. 2, p. 415; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967), vol. 1; Jacob Zausmer, Beikve hador (On the heels of the generation) (New York, 1957), pp. 90ff.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 540.]

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