Sunday 26 July 2015


YISROEL-LEYB GORELIK (July 24, 1873-May 8, 1956)
            He was born in Balinkovitsh, Minsk region, Byelorussia, into a rabbinic scholarly family.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshivas, and with private tutors.  Already in his youth, he was active in the Zionist movement.  Later, he was a Hebrew teacher and founder of a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) in the town of Mozir (Mazyr).  In 1905 he moved to Drazhne, Podolia, and he was one of the founders of the Histadrut hamorim (Teachers’ union) in Russia, as well as editor of its organ, Kol hamore (Voice of the teacher) (Vilna, 1906-1908).  Late in 1913 he moved to Argentina and became a teacher there in a YIKO (Jewish cultural organization) school.  In 1917 he settled in Buenos Aires.  His first publications appeared in Hatsfira (The siren) and Hamelits (The advocate), articles opposing Ahad-Haam’s views and in support of active political Zionism.  In 1913 he published a series of articles in Hazman (The time) in Vilna, concerned with Jewish colonization in Argentina.  He published a weekly editorial under the title “Fun unzer kleyn veltl” (From our little world) in Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, and he contributed to Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) (Buenos Aires, 1917-1920), Dos folk (The people) (Buenos Aires, 1925), Habima haivrit (The Jewish stage), Heḥaluts (The pioneer), and Darom (South), among others.  He edited the Zionist dailies: Di idishe velt and Dos folk, Habima haivrit (1921), Heḥaluts (1922-1923), Atidenu (Our future) (1926), and Ogen (Anchor) (1933), among others in Buenos Aires.  Among his books: Baarets nod (In a land of exile) (Buenos Aires, 1943), 285 pp., a collection of his Hebrew-language articles and editorials.  In his last years, Gorelik withdrew from community work.  He also published under the name “Ben Ḥurin.”  He died in Buenos Aires.

Sources: D. Goldman, Di yidn in argentine (Jews in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1914); Y. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort un teater in argentine (The published Yiddish word and theater in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941); Y. Botoshanski, Mama-yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949); Jubilee volume for M. Shenderay (Buenos Aires: Di yidishe tsaytung, 1950); Y. L. Gruzman, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (December 1953); M. Elkin, in Der shpigl (January-February 1954); Di prese (Buenos Aires) (May 9, 1956); Di yidishe tsaytung (May 9, 1956).

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