Monday 30 March 2015


SHIMEN-GERSHON BERNSHTEYN (SIMON BERNSTEIN) (August 8, 1882-December 19, 1962)
He was born in Yakobshtadt (Ekabpils), Courland.  In 1900 he moved to Berlin, and he studied at university there as well as at the liberal [reform] rabbinical seminary.  In 1906 he received his doctorate of philosophy in Bern.  From his student days, he was active as a speaker and a writer in the Zionist movement.  During WWI, he served as secretary of the evacuated Zionist bureau in Copenhagen; and after the war he was with the Zionist organization in London.  In 1922 he arrived in the United States.  He published in: Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Tsukunft (Future), Di naye varhayt (The new truth), and Tog (Day)—in New York; and contributed to Hebrew periodicals in America and to Zionist periodicals in Russian, German, English, and Danish.  Among his books, he translated into Yiddish and added his own introduction to Theodor Herzl’s Der yudenshtat (The Jewish state; original: Der Judenstaat) (New York, 1927), 96 pp.  His Hebrew works include: Beḥazon hadorot (In the vision of the generations) [New York, 1928], 223 pp.; Shomre haḥomot (Watchmen of the walls) [Tel Aviv, 1937], 192 pp.; Divan lerabi yehuda-arye mimodena (Poems of R. Yehuda-Arye of Modena) [Philadelphia, 1932], 258 pp.; Divan lerabi imanuel ben david franses (Poems of R. Imanuel ben David Francis) [Tel Aviv, 1932], 304 pp.; Mishire yisrael beitaliya (Poems of Israel in Italy) [Jerusalem, 1938], 183 pp.; Paytanim ufiutim ḥadashim mehatekufa habitsantinit (New poets and poetry from the Byzantine era); Divan shelomo ben meshulam (Poems of Solomon ben Meshullam) [New York, 1942], and others.  He edited: Yidishe folks-shtime (Voice of the Jewish people), organ of the Scandinavian Zionist Association, Copenhagen; 1922-1953, Dos yidishe folk, organ of the Zionist Organization in America; in Hebrew, the journal Hatoren (The mast), the jubilee volume Collection of Essays on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Birthday of Abraham Goldberg [in Hebrew and English: New York, 1934], and Sefer hashana leyehude amerika (Yearbook for American Jews) (together with Menaḥem Ribalov).  He used the follow pseudonyms: Shegev, Elgavish (meteor), and Refaelov.  His important research work in Yiddish concerning Spinoza was published in the Forverts (Forward).

Source: M. Ivenski, in Tsukunft (1928); H. L. Gordon, in Morgn-zhurnal (July 5, 1936 and August 6, 1939); P. Ḥurgin, in Hadoar (1929); Kitve pinḥas turberg (The writings of Philip Turberg) (New York, 1952), pp. 153-58; Sh. Feygin, in Tsukunft (1935); A. Koralnik, in Tog (June 18, 1932); M. Ribalov, in Hadoar (Kislev, 1940); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (November 8, 1938).

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