Friday 11 September 2015


NAFTOLE GERBOVSKI (b. June 15, 1890)
            He was born in Raczki, near Suwalki.  He studied in religious primary schools and yeshivas.  During the Polish occupation, he was in Minsk becoming a Zionist leader.  After the defeat of the Bolsheviks, in 1921, he left for Vilna where he was, until WWII, active in the Jewish National Fund.  In 1940 he assembled material for the Jewish World Congress concerning the German violence against Jews.  In the same year, he and his family made aliya to Israel.  He had begun his literary activities in 1910.  He published in Minsk in the holiday leaflet Zumer un vinter (Summer and winter), and the literary collections Friling-klangen (Sounds of spring) and Stralen (Rays [of light])—all in 1913; in Minsker shpigl (Minsk mirror), a Zionist daily newspaper which began appearing September 3, 1914; and Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word), a literary-political community newspaper which began appearing April 27, 1917.  He also contributed to Minsker lebn (Minsk life), a political-literary community weekly newspaper (edited by M. Rakovtshik) which first appeared October 2, 1913.  In these publications, he wrote editorials, feature pieces, and serialized fiction.  During the Polish occupation while he was in Minsk, he contributed articles to: Farn folk (For the people), organ of the Zionist organization in Byelorussia (edited by Kh. D. Hurvits), first issue appearing September 1919; and he published in the one-time satirical work Der tayvl (The devil).  In 1921, after arriving in Vilna, he wrote for Undzer fraynd (Our friend), and for a time he edited this newspaper; for Haynt (Today) in Warsaw; and for Tsayt (Time) in Vilna.  Among his pseudonyms: Profesor Shprits, Kavesberg, Elye Shlukhe, Rivesman, and Sudarski.  He was living in Israel.

Sources: D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 18, 2517; A. Kirzhnits, Di yidishe prese in der gevezener rusisher imperye, 1823-1916 (The Yiddish press in the former Russian empire, 1823-1916) (Moscow, 1930), see index; Kirzhnits, Di yidishe prese in vaysrusland, 1917-1927 (The Yiddish press in Byelorussia, 1917-1927) (Minsk, 1929), see index.

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