SHMUEL AYZENSHTADT (March 20, 1886-October 30, 1970)
He was born in Borisov, Byelorussia. He studied in religious elementary school, later receiving a secular education. Over the years 1906-1910, he studied law and philosophy in Berne, where he received his doctorate for a dissertation on “The History of Jewish Rights of Trial until the End of the [Era of the] Talmud.” For a certain period of time, he also devoted his attention to Yiddish philology, and at the Czernowitz Conference (1908) he gave a paper on Yiddish orthography. He was as well one of the founders of Tseire-Tsiyon (Youth Zionism) in Russia. In 1915 he settled in Moscow, where he ran the Yiddish-Hebrew division of the Rumiantsov Library (later changed to “Lenin Library”). From 1925 he was living in Israel, where he served as director of the central bureau of “Vaad halashon haivrit” (Hebrew language council) (1926-1953). In later years he became active in the Israeli Communist Party. From 1906 he published research work in books, primarily concerning matters of Hebrew and general rights—in Hebrew, German, and Russian—and he edited Hebrew periodicals. In 1911 he published the monthly Shaḥarit (Morning) (in Russia, and 1913 in Warsaw where he settled for two years; this publication later became the main organ of Tseire-Tsiyon). His books in Yiddish include: Di neviim, zeyer tsayt un zeyere gezelshaftlekhe ideen (The prophets, their times and their social ideas) (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1925), VII, 167 pp. (new edition: Tel Aviv: Eynikeyt, 1964), 312 pp.; Pyonerishe geshtaltn (Pioneer images) (Tel Aviv: Oyfkum, 1970), 407 pp. He also translated: Yesoydes fun der eltster yudisher kultur-geshikhte (Foundations of ancient Jewish cultural history) by Max Soloweitschik (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1923), second edition (1926), 2 vols. He also edited Erd un frayhayt (Land and freedom), organ of Tseire-Tsiyon (Moscow, 1919), and wrote a number of articles for Fraynd (Friend) in St. Petersburg (1907), Literarishe monatshrift (Literary monthly writing) in Vilna (IV, 1908); Tsukunft (Future) in New York (1911), and Lebn un visnshaft (Life and science) in New York (1912). He died in Tel Aviv. He also wrote under the pen names: Sh. Barzilai, Sh. Ben-Yosef, Sh. Ḥeruti, and Sh. Naḥmoni.
Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967), vol. 1; Sh. Moshkovits, in Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Melbourne) (December 11, 1970); Y. Zandberg, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (December 31, 1970); Zandberg, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 72 (1971).