Wednesday 18 January 2017


YITSKHOK (ISAAC) KASPI (b. March 17, 1915)
            The adopted name of Y. Srebrenik, he was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and a “Tora vedaat” (Torah and knowledge) school, and he later, as an external student, graduated from a Polish commercial high school.  He was a member of the central council of Haḥaluts (Pioneer) in Poland.  In 1935 he moved to Israel, worked in the colonies of Nes Tsiyona (Zionist miracle) and Tel Mond, and played a part in the Hagana.  During the war of independence in 1948, he was an officer in the Israeli army.  He began writing in the Hebrew periodical Beritenu (Our covenant) in Shedlets (1931-1932).  After 1933 he served as a member of the editorial board of Shedletser vokhnblat (Shedlets weekly newspaper), in which he published articles on community issues, as well as on Jewish folklore.  He also contributed to: Tsukunft (Future) and Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York; Letste nayes (Latest news), Reshumot (official gazette of the Israeli government), Itim (Seasons), Hapoel hatsair (The young laborer), Davar (Word), and their yearbooks—in Tel Aviv.  He translated stories and images by various Yiddish writers in Davar.  He also translated Yoyel Mastboym’s novel Mayne shturmishe yorn (My tempestuous years) as Besaarat hashanim (Tel Aviv, 1951), 156 pp.  In book form, he published: Megilat peraot shedlits bishenat 1906 (Scroll of the riots in Shedlets in 1906) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 48 pp.  He was co-editor of Sefer yiskor lekehilat shedlits (Remembrance volume for the community of Shedlets) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 800 pp., in Yiddish and Hebrew, in which he published “Geshikhte fun yidn in shedlets” (History of Jews in Shedlets), pp. 3-294, as well as a bibliographical listing of Yiddish and Hebrew writers.  He was last living in Tel Aviv.  He was active in the association researching Jewish folklore, which assembled around the journal Yeda am (Folklore), and in the Israeli division of YIVO.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 9 (Tel Aviv, 1958), pp. 3278-79; D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (October 12, 1956); Rabbi M. Shvartsman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (May 20, 1957).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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