Friday 20 March 2015


By 1873 he had a well established factory for mirrors, frames, and various leather goods in Warsaw.  He was the publisher (the actual editor as well, according to Y. Shatski) in 1889 of Varshaver yudisher kalendar (Warsaw Jewish calendar).  Encouraged by the success that Goldfaden’s Shulamis had on the Yiddish stage in those years, and by the enthusiastic response to it in the Warsaw Polish press, Bernas translated it into Polish.  The Izraelita (Israelite) strongly commended the translation.  He also published Goldfaden’s poetry.  In 1891 he published Der yudisher handels-kalendar (The Jewish business calendar)—“a historical-literary-scientific book”—which he, presumably, edited by himself and in which he published an original or translated work: “Hypnotism and Magnetism.”  In the same year he edited and published Gustav Makman’s Di geheymnise fon yener velt (The mysteries of the other world) (Warsaw: N. A. Yakobi, 1891), 132 pp.  He later moved to Paris where he owned a publishing house.  In 1895 he was the editor and publisher of the weekly journal Hatikvah (The hope) which appeared in Paris with interruptions until 1897.  Bernas translated and published in Yiddish the speeches given at the third Zionist congress in Basel by Dr. Herzl, Max Nordau, and Dr. Gaster (Paris, 1899), 46 pp.  In 1925 his publishing house brought out Volf Shpayzer’s Der yud in frankraykh (The Jew in France)—“the newest method for teaching oneself French” (Paris, 144 pp.), and it is an educated guess that Bernas was himself the author of this work.

Sources: Ben-Tamar (Y. L. Peretz), “Der yidisher handels-kalendar,” in Yidishe biblyotek (Yiddish library), vol. 2 (Warsaw, 1891); Dr. Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York: YIVO, 1953); Shatski, Hundert yor goldfaden (A century of Goldfaden) (New York: YIVO, 1940); Ben-Avigdor, “Misefer zikhronoti” (From a volume of my memoirs), Hatsfira (Warsaw) 2 (1917); Z. Sheykovski, “150 yor yidishe prese in frankraykh” (150 years of the Yiddish press in France), in Yidn in frankraykh (Jews in France), vol.1 (New York: YIVO, 1942)

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