YEFIM (KHAYIM) YESHURIN (EPHIM H. JESHURIN) (July 9, 1885-October 25, 1967)
He was born in Vilna. He studied in a Russian Jewish state school, later graduating from a secular high school. Until he left Vilna in 1906, he worked as an assistant pharmacist. At the same time, he was active in the Bund. He lived in Paris, 1906-1907, and from there moved to the United States where he settled in New York. For a time he worked in a pharmacy, later serving as director of the Naturalization Aid League. Over the years 1921-1959, he was the treasurer for the Forverts (Forward) in New York. From his first years in New York, he was active in the Jewish labor movement, mainly with the Workmen’s Circle in which he served in various posts. He served as president of the organization in the years 1920-1921 and 1946-1950. He also served as vice-president of the Jewish Labor Committee, and he was a member of the director’s council of YIVO, of the executive of the World Jewish Culture Congress, and for many years of the Forward Association. He was a delegate of the American Socialist Party to the International Socialist Congress in Vienna (1931). He was a cofounder of Vilna Relief which helped support Jewish economic and cultural institutions in Vilna—he was dubbed the “ambassador of Jewish Vilna in America.” He was also active in the workers’ ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades) committee on “Archives for the history of the Jewish labor movement of the Bund, named for Franz Kursky.” He began his writing activities with articles in Der fraynd (The friend) in New York (1918), and from that time forward he published articles on the socialist movement in America, secular Jewish schools, Yiddish literature, as well as memoirs in: the anthology, Der vilner, a zamelbukh gevidmet der shtot vilne (The wo/man from Vilna, a collection dedicated to the city of Vilna) (New York, 1929), 144 pp., of which he was also editor; the anthology, Vilne (Vilna) (New York, 1935), 1012 pp., of which he was editor and in which he published a series of writings about Vilna; Forverts—among other items, portions of Ab. Cahan’s bibliography, a Hillel Rogoff bibliography, an Osip Dimov bibliography, “Yidishe shrayber in 50 yor ‘forverts’” (Yiddish writers in fifty years of the Forverts) with birth and death dates; Tsukunft (Future)—among other things, a bibliography of books and plays reviewed in fifty years of Tsukunft; Di feder (The pen); Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter); Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO); Yorbukh fun yidishn bikher-rat (Yearbook of the Jewish book council); Ilustrirte yontef-bleter (Illustrated holiday sheets); and Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), including among other items bibliographies for Rudolf Rocker and Yankev Gordin; Pinkes zamoshtsh (Records of Zamość) (Buenos Aires, 1957), including bibliographies for A. Tsederboym, Filip Gelibter, Shloyme Etinger, and partially for Y. L. Perets; the anthology, Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa) (New York, 1950), a bibliography of Avrom Vevyorke; Sloyme mendelson, zayn lebn un shafn (Shloyme Mendelson, his life and work) (New York, 1949), pp. 471-83, Mendelson’s bibliography; Menakhem Boreysho, Durkh doyres (Through generations) (New York, 1950), pp. 265-67, Boreysho’s bibliography; Beynish mikhalevitsh gedenk-bukh (Memorial volume for Beynish Mikhalevitsh) (Buenos Aires, 1951), pp. 292-302, Mikhalevitsh’s bibliography; Franz Kursky, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952), pp. 407-23, Kursky’s bibliography; Y. Sh. Herts, Hirsh lekert (Hirsh Lekerts), pp. 118-35, Lekert’s bibliography; Y. Kisin, Lid un esey (Poem and essay) (New York, 1953), pp. 314-17, Kisin’s bibliography; Khayim Krul, Ksovim (Writings) (New York, 1954), pp. 185-86, Krul’s bibliography; Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Memorial volume for Szmerke Kaczerginski) (Buenos Aires, 1955), pp. 573-85, Kaczerginski’s bibliography; Leyzer Volf, Lider (Poems) (New York, 1955), pp. 197-202, Volf’s bibliography; Naftali Gross, Lider (New York, 1958), pp. 458-88, Gross’s bibliography; Yoysef Hillel Levi, Gezamlte shriftn (London, 1958), vol. 2, pp. 345-50, Levi’s bibliography; H. D. Nomberg, Di oysgeklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 236-52, Nomberg’s bibliography; Levi Goldberg, Di peyres af mayn boym (The fruit on my tree) (New York, 1959), pp. 143-49, Goldberg’s bibliography; Tsilye (Celia) Drapkin, In heysn vint (In a warm wind) (New York, 1959), pp. 271-73, Drapkin’s bibliography; Sh. Miler, Skeptishe makhshoves (Skeptical thoughts) (Los Angeles, 1959), pp. 333-34, Miler’s bibliography; Sh. Frug, Di oysgeklibene shriftn (Buenos Aires, 1960), pp. 199-212, Frug’s bibliography; Malka Lee, In likht fun doyres (In the light of generations) (Tel Aviv, 1961), pp. 199-211, Lee’s bibliography; Itsik Manger, Noente geshtaltn (Recent images) (New York, 1961), pp. 521-52, Manger’s bibliography. Separate reprints were made from other bibliographies that Yeshurin compiled: Av. kahan biblyografye (Ab. Cahan bibliography) (New York, 1941), 64 pp.; Dovid edelshtat biblyografye (Dovid Edelshtat bibliography) (New York, 1953), 24 pp.; B. rivkin biblyografye (B. Rivkin bibliography) (New York, 1953), 32 pp.; D״r herman frank biblyografye (Dr. Herman Frank bibliography) (New York, 1954), 32 pp.; Moyshe-leyb halpern biblyografye (Moyshe-Leyb Halpern bibliography) (New York, 1954), 24 pp.; Meylekh ravitsh biblyografye (Meylekh Ravitsh bibliography) (Montreal, 1954), 42 pp.; Mani leyb biblyografye (Mani Leyb bibliography) (New York, 1955), 24 pp.; Shmuel niger biblyografye (Shmuel Niger bibliography) (New York, 1956), 12 pp. (New York, 1958), 16 pp.; Sh. yanovski biblyografye (Sh. Yanovski bibliography) (New York, 1957), 22 pp.; Shloyme etinger biblyografye (Shloyme Etinger bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1957), 12 pp.; Y. l. perets biblyografye (Y. L. Perets bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1957), 8 pp.; Aleksander tsederboym biblyografye (Alexander Tsederboym bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 8 pp. B. y. byalostotski biblyografye (B. Y. Byalostotski bibliography) (New York, 1958), 28 pp.; Mark varshavski biblyografye (Mark Varshavski bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 8 pp.; Mendele moykher-sforim biblyografye (Mendele Moykher-Sforim bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 40 pp.; Hilel rogof biblyografye (Hillel Rogoff bibliography) (New York, 1958), 32 pp.; D״r yankev shatski biblyografye (Dr. Yankev Shatski bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 12 pp.; N. b. minkov biblyografye (N. B. Minkov bibliography) (New York, 1959), 36 pp.; Moyshe broderzon biblyografye (Moyshe Broderzon bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1959), 24 pp.; A. lutski biblyografye (A. Lutski bibliography) (New York, 1959), 24 pp.; Yoyel entin biblyografye (Yoyel Entin bibliography) (New York, 1960), 20 pp.; Shimen frug biblyografye (Buenos Aires, 1960), 15 pp.; Mortkhe spektor biblyografye (Mortkhe Spektor bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1960), 8 pp.; Itsik manger biblyografye (Itsik Manger bibliography) (New York, 1961), 32 pp.; D״r yitskhok nakhmen shteynberg biblyografye (Dr. Yitskhok Nakhmen Shteynberg bibliography) (New York, 1961), 16 pp.; Dovid pinski biblyografye (Dovid Pinski bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1961), 19 pp.; Yoysef rolnik biblyografye (Yoysef Rolnik bibliography, 1961), 30 pp.; E. almi biblyografye (E. Almi bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 38 pp.; Moris rozenfeld biblyografye (Morris Rosenfeld bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 21 pp.; Elye bokher biblyografye (Elijah Bokher [Levita] bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 13 pp.; Avrom zak biblyografye (Avrom Zak bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 27 pp.; Leyb naydus biblyografye (Leyb Naydus bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 10 pp.; Yitskhok leybush perets biblyografye (Yitskhok Leybush Perets bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 16 pp.; David hofshteyn, izi kharik, itsik fefer bibliografye (David Hofshteyn, Izi Kharik, Itsik Fefer bibliografye) (Buenos Aires, 1962), 28 pp.; Avrom goldfaden biblyografye (Avrom Goldfaden bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1963), 16 pp.; Yisroel emyot biblyografye (Yisroel Emiot bibliography) (Rochester, 1963), 10 pp.; H. Leyvik biblyografye (H. Leivick bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1963), 16 pp.; Sh. an-ski biblyografye (Sh. An-ski bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1964), 19 pp.; Avrom golomb biblyografye (Avrom Golomb bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1964), 25 pp.; Y. y. shvarts, a. raboy biblyografye (Y. Y. Shvarts, A. Raboy bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1964), 14 pp.; Khayim nakhmen byalik biblyografye (Haim Nachman Bialik bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1964), 15 pp.; B. demblin (benyomen taytlboym) bibliografye (B. Demblin [Bemyomin Taytlboym] bibliography) (Tel Aviv, 1965), 18 pp.; Yehoyesh biblyografye (Yehoash bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1965), 18 pp.; Avrom Reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1966), 12 pp.; Arn kurts biblyografye (Arn Kurts bibliography) (New York, 1966), 7 pp.; Sholem-aleykhem biblyografye (Sholem-Aleykhem bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1966), 30 pp. In addition, the following may be found in Yeshurin’s archival materials: 100,000 items concerning writers; 1712 items concerning Yiddish literature; 4136 items concerning school curricula and education; 876 items on art and artists; 759 items on Yiddish theater; and 298 items on music and musicians. In addition to those works mentioned above, he edited: B. vladek, zayn lebn un shafn (B. Vladek, his life and work) (New York, 1936), 425 pp. of text and “B. vladek biblyografye” (B. Vladek bibliography), pp. 426-37; B. vladek in der opshatsung fun zayne fraynd (B. Vladek in the estimation of his friends) (New York, 1936), 173 pp. in Yiddish, 49 pp. in English; Der vilner, gevidmet der 80stn geboyrntog fun av. kahan (The man from Vilna, commemorating the eightieth birthday of Ab. Cahan) (New York, 1941), 48 pp.; Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1962), 530 pp.; Arbeter-ring in ranglenishn un dergreykhungen, 1914-1964 (The Workmen’s Circle, its strivings and achievements, 1914-1964) (New York, 1964), 433 + 31 pp. On the occasion of Yeshurin’s birthdays, there were published in New York: Der vilner treger (The porter from Vilna) (May 1935), 16 pp.; Khovershaft (Fellowship) (October 14, 1945), 32 pp.; Yefim yeshurin-yoyvl-bukh (Yefim Yeshurin’s jubilee volume) (1955), 176 pp. + 14 pp.; Der vilner balebesl (The little householder from Vilna) (December 17, 1960), 16 pp.; Yefim yeshurin-yoyvl-bukh (1960), 297 pp. in Yiddish, 18 pp. in English and Russian, which honored him with poetry by H. Leivick, Mani Leyb, Z. Schneur, A. Leyeles, Daniel Tsharni (Charney), A. Lutski, B. Y. Byalostotski, Nokhum Yud, Lui Goldberg, and others. He died in New York.
Sources: A. Sh. Zaks, Di geshikhte fun arbeter-ring (The history of Workmen’s Circle), vol. 2 (New York, 1925), see index; M. Ivenski, in Vilne (Vilna), anthology edited by Y. Yeshurun (New York, 1935), pp. 856-61; E. Frumkin, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (May 31, 1935); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (June 5, 1935); H. Rogof, in Forverts (New York) (June 23, 1935); A. Liessin, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1935); Dr. Y. Vigodski, in Di tsayt (Vilna) (October 11, 1935); L. Kahan, in Unzer ekspres (Warsaw) (October 25, 1935); Avrom Reyzen, in Unzer shul (New York) (December 1935); Sh. Mendelson, in Naye folkstsaytung (Warsaw) (December 29, 1935); M. Shalit, in Vilne (1939), pp. 81-86; Ab. Cahan, in Forverts (New York) (October 14, 1945); R. Abramovitsh, in Khovershaft (New York) (October 14, 1945); Shmuel Niger, in Khovershaft (May 30, 1950); Y. Sh. Herts, 50 yor arbeter ring in yidishn lebn (Fifty years of the Workmen’s Circle in Jewish life) (New York, 1950), see index; N. Khanin, in Khovershaft (May 1950); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 49 (1954); A. Leyeles, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 18, 1955); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (May 18, 1956); D. Naymark, in Forverts (February 5, 1956); Y. yeshurin yovl-bukh (Y. Yeshurin’s jubilee volume) (New York, 1955, 1960); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 139; B. Mark, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) (February-March 1960); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (May 28, 1961); S. Kahan, in Di shtime (Mexico City) (July 8, 1961); P. Shteynvaks, in Der yidisher zhurnal (Toronto) (August 8, 1961); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 15, 1961); Y. Bronshteyn, in Kheshbn (Los Angeles) (October 1961), pp. 11-14; G. Pomerants, in Der yidisher zhurnal (October 30, 1961).
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 307.]