Friday 16 October 2015


KHAYIM GRENT (CHAYYIM GRANT) (September 9, 1901-December 12, 1952)
            The adopted name of Khayim Bzhostovyetski, he was the older brother of Z. Brushi.  He was born in Stavisk, Lomzhe region, Poland.  He received a traditional Jewish education.  He studied with his father and in the Lomzhe yeshiva.  For secular subject matter, he attended a Russian school and worked on his own.  While quite young, he began writing articles, stories, and poems.  In 1909 he moved to Lomzhe, where he would become a Hebrew teacher and be drawn to the Young Zionist movement.  He was also active in the Pioneers.  Following the announcement of the Balfour Declaration, he several comrades edited a Hebrew-language monthly journal entitled Egle tal (Dew drops) in which he wrote under the pseudonym Albus.  In 1922 he emigrated to the United States.  He worked as a Hebrew and Yiddish teacher, as well as one of the founders and a member of the executive of “Agudat hamorim haivrim” (Association of Hebrew teachers) (1939-1950).  He contributed to the New York Hebrew press, publishing works in: Darkenu (Our way), Haḥinukh haivri (Hebrew education), Shevile haḥinukh (Ways of education), and Hadoar (The mail).  Over the years 1937-1938, he was co-editor of Kol hamore (Voice of the teacher).  At the same time, he wrote Ketivon (Spelling book), a methodology for teaching Hebrew spelling (New York, 1937), 82 pp.  At the same time, he was an ardent fighter for Yiddish.  On August 19, 1942, he published an article in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) entitled “Hebreishe dertsiers darfn endern di batsiung tsu yidish” (Hebrew educators must change their attitude toward Yiddish), in which he called for introducing Yiddish as a subject of study into Hebrew schools, yeshivas, and Talmud-Torahs.  The article gave rise to sharp repercussions.
            His first Yiddish writings—three poems—were published on April 20, 1923 in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor).  From that time forward, he published (also using the pen names: Kamoni, Stavisker, and Ruben Shtarnfeld) poems, articles, interviews with writers and community leaders, literary critical treatises, essays on educational issues, stories for children, and translations from ancient and modern Hebrew in: Dzhoyrzi shtime (Voice of [New] Jersey) (1928-1931); Baginen (Dawn) in New York (1927-1928); Eygns (One’s own) in Bayonne, New Jersey (1935-1941); and Der amerikaner (The American), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), Forverts (Forward), Tog (Day), and Morgn-zhurnal, among others—all in New York.  In 1930 he contributed a cycle of poems to the anthology Ineynem (Altogether) (Jersey City-Bayonne), 130 pp.  Over the years 1937-1941, he published miniature feature pieces in Undzer tsvayg (Our branch), writing from Y. L. Peretz Branch 83 of the Jewish National Workers’ Alliance.  He translated into Yiddish the Hebrew poems of Bialik, Tchernichowsky, Fikhman, Schneur, and others.  Together with Kalmen Vaytman, he compiled the Yiddish readers: Fun yidishn lebn (Of Jewish life) (New York, 1932), 206 pp.; and Di ershte trit (The first step) (New York, 1934), 126 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: P. Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 30, 1934); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (January 13, 1935); A. Burtniker, in Hadoar (New York) (March 6, 1953); Z. Brushi, in Shevile haḥinukh (New York) (May 1953).

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