Thursday 24 November 2016


YISROEL YOZEFSON (1818-May 3, 1864)
            He was born in Politsheni (Politeni?), Bessarabia.  Under the influence of The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela, around 1844 he undertook a voyage through Asia and later across North Africa, and, using the name “Benjamin the Second,” he became well known for his travel narratives which he initially jotted down in Yiddish and Hebrew; he later allowed them to be translated and published in French under the title Cinq années de voyage en Orient, 1846-1851 (Paris: Lévy, 1856); he gave as the author’s name: Israel Joseph Benjamin.  In German the title read: Acht Jahre in Asien und Afrika, von 1846 bis 1855 (Hannover, 1858).[1]  The latter appeared in English as Eight Years in Asia and Africa from 1846 to 1855 (Hannover, 1859).  It was published in Hebrew by David Gordon with the title Mase yisrael (Israel’s travels) (Lyck, 1859).  He described his trip across North America in a German-language volume: Drei Jahre in Amerika, 1859-1862 (Hannover, 1863), 154 columns, including a map.  He died in London while preparing for a research trip across China and Abyssinia.  In 1956 the Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia reissued his two-volume work entitled Three Years in America, translated from German by Charles Reznikoff.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Kh. D. Fridberg, in Bet eked sefarim, vol. 1
Zaynvl Diamant

[1] Translator’s note. The French and German titles do not match, though they clearly overlap. (JAF)

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