Sunday 4 December 2016


MORTKHE YOFE (February 1, 1893-September 1941)
            He was born in Vilna.  Over the years 1910-1914, he studied in the Vilna Teachers’ Institute.  At the time of the outbreak of WWI, he was a teacher in a Russian Jewish school in Pereyaslavl, Poltava district.  He was a pedagogical instructor, 1918-1919, in Jewish schools in Homel (Hamel, Gomel) and the Homel region.  He later returned to Vilna, where over the course of twenty-six years he was a teacher and administrator of secular Jewish schools.  He was director, 1930-1934, of the Central Educational Committee.  He led the psychological-pedagogical section of YIVO from 1930 and, together with Y. Anilovitsh, published in Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy) 1 (Vilna: YIVO, 1933), cols. 465-528, a bibliography of Yiddish textbooks (1900-1930).  He also published works for such publications of Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) as: Shulvegn (School ways), a monthly (Vilna-Warsaw); Far undzer shul (For our school), one-off publication of the Central Educational Committee (Vilna); and Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees), a biweekly illustrated children’s magazine (Vilna).  He was a Bundist, and from 1939 he was selected to serve on the Vilna city council on the Bundist list.  He was later confined in the Vilna ghetto, and in September 1941 he was, together with his wife and children, deported by the Germans and murdered at Ponar.

Sources: Sh. Katsherginski, in Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 238; Yivo-biblyografye, 1925-1941 (YIVO bibliography, 1925-1941) (New York, 1943); Lerer-yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1952-1954), pp. 188-90.
Zaynvl Diamant

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