GERSHON YABROV (1896-1941?)
He was a literary scholar, current events author, and teacher, born in a town near Minsk, Byelorussia. For many years, from the 1920s through the early 1930s, he worked in the central educational institutions in Minsk, later as a teacher and cofounder of Jewish schools and technical institutes in Minsk and in other cities in Byelorussia and Ukraine, one of the most prominent method-based figures in the field of Yiddish language and literature. Over the years 1928-1933, he was a lecturer in the pedagogical technical school in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), later returning to Minsk where he lived until the German invasion of Russia in June 1941. Over the course of many years he published articles on literary, linguistic, and pedagogical themes. He was the author of textbooks and readers which were used in Jewish schools and technical institutes in Soviet Russia. He published the first textbooks of Yiddish grammar and literature for the Jewish schools. He published articles on pedagogical and literary topics in: Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature) in Kiev; and Oktyabr (October) and Shtern (Star) in Minsk. He was a regular contributor to Tsaytshrift (Periodical) in Minsk where, among other items, he published: “Tsu der evalutsye fun izi khariks poezye” (On the evolution of Izi Kharik’s poetry). His fate after 1941 remains unknown.
In book form: Praktishe gramatik (Practical grammar), vol. 1 (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1925), 74 pp., second enlarged edition (1926), 90 pp., third edition (1927), 81 pp., fourth edition (1928), 102 pp.; Literarishe khrestomatye, mit eynike elementn fun literatur-teorye (Literary reader, with a number of elements of literary theory), two parts (Minsk: State Publ., 1926 and 1927), 276 pp. and 388 pp., respectively, second enlarged edition (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1928), 397 pp., third edition (1929); Di yidishe literatur in frages, oyfgabes un temes, a hilfsbukh far di eltere grupn fun tsveytn kontsenter, far lerer, studentn fun pedtekhnikums un far shuln fun hekhern tip (Yiddish literature in questions, editions, and themes: A auxiliary volume for older groups in the second stage of education, for teachers, students of pedagogical technical schools and for schools of the high sort), two parts (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1928 and 1929), 44 pp. and 44 pp., with L. Goldin, respectively; Literatur un shul (Literature and school), an method-based auxiliary volume for teachers (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk, 1930); Lernbukh af literatur, farn 3tn lernyor (Textbook for literatur, for the third school year), with L. Goldin (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932), 98 pp., with illustration; In ongrif, lernbukh fun daytsh far der 6ter grupe fun der politekhnisher shul (On the attack, textbook for German for the sixth group in the politechnical school), with N. Goldenberg, two parts (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932 and 1933), 99 pp. and 80 pp., respectively; Y. l. perets far der shul, eynike metodishe onvayzungen un deklerungen (Y. L. Perets for the school, some methodical instructions and explanations), with an introduction, short biography, and characterization of Perets and his work (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers of the Council of People’s Commissars, 1941), 42 pp.
Sources: A. Zaretski, in Shtern (Minsk) 5 (1926); Zaretski, in Di royte velt (Kharkov) 1-2 (1926); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband in 1932-1933 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1932-1933) (Kharkov, 1933), see index; Y. Anilovski and M. Yafe, Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy), vol. 1 (Vilna, YIVO, 1933), pp. 471-72, 481; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 28.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 172.]