Saturday 31 October 2015


MORTKHE DANTSIS (1885-August 14, 1952)
            He was born in Mezhichev, Podolia, and he studied in a Talmud-Torah and in the teachers’ course of study at the “Khevre mefitse haskole” (Society for the promotion of enlightenment [among the Jews of Russia]) in Odessa.  In 1905 he emigrated to the United States.  In the last years of his life he was a leading member of the American Zionist Revisionists.  He began publishing in Galician Yiddish newspapers.  He later published poems, stories, and articles in: Forverts (Forward), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsayt-gayst (Spirit of the times), Tsukunft (Future), Dos naye lebn (The new life), Der kibetser (The joker), and Kundes (Prankster).  He co-edited: Yidishe bine (Yiddish stage), Der firer (The leader), Varhayt (Truth), Idish togblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Haynt (Today), and Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people) in New York.  He was editor of: Teater velt (Theater world), illustrated monthly, published by R. Perelmuter and Co. (New York, 1908); Dzhoyrzi moskito (Jersey mosquito); and Idishe shtime (Jewish voice) which appeared from April 15, 1915 to August 6, 1915.  He also edited, with Y. Haykin, Naye yontef bleter (New holiday leaves) (New York) which commenced publication on November 13, 1936.  He was in addition editor of Bafrayung (Liberation), a weekly newspaper of the National Jewish Council for a Free Israel, which commenced publication on July 18, 1947 and went through 1949.  He also edited Tog (Day) in New York.  He died in New York.  Among his books: In shtrom fun revolutsyon, psikhologisher etyud (In the current of revolution, psychological study) (New York, 1907), 51 pp.; Heymland (Homeland) (New York, 1936), 271 pp.; Eygn likht (One’s own light), a travel description and memoir, published after his death, with a foreword by Aharon Kap (New York, 1954), 375 pp.  He demonstrated writerly ability in many fields, even poetry.  In the final years of his life, he wrote in Tog a weekly article, “Lekoved shabes” (In honor of the Sabbath), which excelled with its beautiful scholarly Yiddish style and with Hassidic stories and fables.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. Kh. Zhitlovski, in Tog (New York) (April 11, 1931); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (September 29, 1931); Sh. Z. Tsukerman, in Tog (December 12, 1932); S. Kahan, Meksikaner viderklangen (Mexican echoes) (Mexico, 1951); Dr. Sh. Margoshes, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 11, 1954); A, Glants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (December 19, 1954); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (December 25, 1954); N. Sumer, in Oyfsney (New York) 18 (1957); Sh. Rozhanski, in Di idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (August 19, 1952).

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