Wednesday 12 August 2015


SHIMEN GINZBURG (December 6, 1890-January 12, 1944)
            He was born in Lipnik, Volhynia, the son of Arye-Hillel, an early Zionist and the initial founder of “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school).  He was the brother of the writers Yekutiel and Peysekh Ginzburg.  He moved to Odessa in 1909 and served there as the private secretary for Mendele Moykher-Sforim.  From 1912 he was living in the United States.  He studied at the teachers’ seminary at Columbia University and in Dropsie College from which he received his doctorate for a dissertation entitled “The Life and Work of M. H. Luzzato” (which also appeared in book form).  He was a founder of Tarbut, a college for Hebrew teachers in New York, the director of educational institution “Tiferet hagra” (The grandeur of the Gaon of Vilna) and of the “Maḥzike Talmud Torah.”  He was one of the cofounders of Histadrut haivrit (The Hebrew organization) in America.  In 1933 he settled in Israel.  He served as literary editor of Doar hayom (Today’s mail).  In 1939 he returned to the United States and founded the “Keren hatarbut” (Culture fund).  Ginzburg began writing in Yiddish and his first poem was published in the anthology Fayerlekh (Solemnly), edited by Dovid Eynhorn.  In 1913-1914 he was the editor of the revived Hatoren (The mast), and in 1919 he edited the collection Luaḥ aḥiever.  He also published Hebrew-language poetry in: Miklat (Refuge), Moledet (Homeland), Hatekufa (The epoch), Maabrot (Ferries), and Haadama (The earth), among others.  He translated from Hebrew into Yiddish Bialik’s poem “Vos biztu” (Why are you…), which appears in Bialik’s Poezye (Poetry) (Warsaw, 1913), the story “Marinka” (from Bialik’s Meaḥore hagader [Behind the fence] of 1910), and from English into Hebrew the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hood, Lord Byron, and others.  He was the author of the following books in Hebrew: Shirim ufoemot (Songs and poems) (1930), 2 vols.; the biblical poem Ahavat hoshea (The love of Hosea) (New York, 1946); and Bemasekhet hasifrut, masot ureshamim (In the web of literature, essays and notes) (New York, 1944), 375 pp.  The last two appeared after his death in New York.

Sources: E. R. Malachi, in Sefer hayovel shel hadoar (Jubilee volume for Hadoar [The mail]) (New York, 1952), 392 pp.; Menachem Ribalow, Antologiya shel hashira haivrit baamerika (Anthology of the Hebrew poem in America) (New York, 1938), pp. 149-72; Ribalow, Kitavim umegilot (Writings and books) (New York, 1942), see index; Y. Likhtnboym, Miteḥum al teḥum (From boundary to boundary) (Tel Aviv, 1943); D. Perski, in Hadoar (New York) (Tevet 21, 1944); Hadoar lenoar (Tevet 24, 1944); Kh. Toran and M. Robinzon, Sifrutenu hayafe (Our beautiful literature), vol. 2 (Jerusalem, 1954), pp. 209-19; Y. K. Miklishanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn H” (New York, 1957), pp. 150-51; obituaries in the Hebrew and Yiddish press; Who’s Who in American Jewry (1928).

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