Wednesday 30 November 2016


YANKEV YOSELEVITSH (1859-October 18, 1921)
            He was born in a village in Minsk district, Byelorussia.  He studied in religious primary school and in a yeshiva in Minsk.  He became acquainted with a group of socialist-minded intellectuals, abandoned the yeshiva, took up studying the locksmith trade and secular subjects, and later moved to Warsaw where he met Polish socialists, but after the pogroms against Jews in 1881, he plunged into the “Lovers of Zion” movement, moved to Odessa, and there joined Aḥad-Haam’s league “Bnei Moshe” (Children of Moses).  In the early 1890s, he emigrated to North America and from there to Argentina.  He was one of the pioneers there of the Zionist movement and a leader in a variety of associations and philanthropic institutions in Buenos Aires.  His writing activities began in 1898 in Buenos Aires in the weekly newspaper, Der idisher fonograf (The Jewish phonograph), the first published Yiddish newspaper in Argentina, for which he wrote journalistic and fictional items.  He was later editor of the monthly (and later biweekly) Di yudishe hofnung (The Jewish hope), which appeared in Buenos Aires between 1908 and 1913.  Using the name “Yankev ben Yoysef,” in 1902 he published the pamphlet Af vos darf tsien gelt? (What does Zion need money for?).  Over the years 1904-1905, he edited the monthly Tsienistishe propaganda (Zionist propaganda).  In 1916 his pamphlet In tifen opgrund (In a deep abyss), 35 pp., appeared in print.  He also contributed to: Der ferteydiker (The defender), a weekly newspaper published in Carlos Casares (later in Buenos Aires) (1912-1913).  He published letters from Argentina in St. Petersburg’s Fraynd (Friend) and later Haolam (The world).  He died in Buenos Aires.  On the tenth anniversary of his death, Di idishe velt (The Jewish world), organ of the Zionist Federation in Argentina, brought a special “Yoselevitsh issue.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, with a bibliography; Roza M. Rozovski, Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Buenos Aires, 1947), p. 340; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 264; Y. Botoshanski, in Argentine (Argentina), an anthology (Buenos Aires, 1938); P. Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Buenos Aires, 1946), p. 200; M. Regalski, “40 yor di idishe tsaytung” (Forty years of Di yidishe tsaytung), in Yorbukh (Annual) (Buenos Aires, 1954/1955); Antoglogye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944); P. Vald, in Argentiner yivo-shriftn (Buenos Aires) 6 (1955).
Zaynvl Diamant

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