Tuesday 20 June 2017


KHAYIM LEKER (July 15, 1889-December 1958)
            He was born in the village of Lenkovits (Lenkivtsi), near Czernovitz, Bukovina.  He graduated from high school in Czernowitz and went on to study philosophy and philology at the Universities of Czernowitz, Prague, and Vienna.  He was a professor in the state teachers’ seminary in Czernowitz.  After WWI, when Czernowitz became the center of Jewish cultural life of the emergent greater Romania, he was one of the most active Jewish cultural leaders in Bukovina, Bessarabia, and old Romania.  He taught at the Jewish state high school in Czernowitz and brought out a Yidishe khrestomatye far mitl- un fakh-shuln (Yiddish reader for middle and trade schools) (Czernowitz, 1919), 240 pp.  He was one of the founders and a campaigner on behalf of the Jewish Cultural Federation and Federation’s delegate to the first conference of secular Jewish schools in Poland (Warsaw, 1921).  In the anthology Kultur (Culture) (Czernowitz, 1921), he published “Tsu der frage vegn dyalekt un ortografye” (On the question of dialect and orthography); and in the collection Kultur-federatsye (Cutlral federation) (Czernowitz, 1922), he published “Di yidish shul-frage in rumenye” (The Jewish school issue in Romania).  He also contributed to the Labor Zionist weekly newspaper for greater Romania, Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), and in 1919, with the split in the Labor Zionist party, he edited the weekly Frayhayt (Freedom) in Czernowitz.  In the 1930s he experienced all the actions involved in the struggle for maintaining Jewish cultural life in Romania.  During WWII he was evacuated to the Soviet Union.  He lived from 1945 until his death in Czernowitz.

Source: M. Anilovitsh and M. Yofe, Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy) 1 (Vilna: YIVO, 1933), p. 474.
Borekh Tshubinski

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