Friday 7 July 2017


YANKEV MAZIN (b. September 20, 1910)
            He was born in Bobrovits (Bobróvycja), Chernigov (Chernihiv) district, Ukraine.  In 1919 he moved with his parents to Kiev, where he attended high school and studied Jewish subject matter with private tutors.  In 1921 he attended the Musar yeshiva “Bayit Yosef” (House of Joseph) in Kiev, run by the Musar group out of Novoredok.  In late 1922 when the Soviet authorities closed down religious educational institutions, he left for Poland where the Novoredok yeshivas had been firmly established anew in various cities.  In 1929 he moved to Uruguay.  He debuted in print in Urugvayer tog (Uruguay day) in 1933 under the pen name Ben-Gershon.  He published reportage pieces, poems, stories, children’s tales, and articles as well in the South American serials: Folks-blat (People’s newspaper), a monthly; Beys-yisroel (House of Israel); Unzer khinekh (Our education); Unzer morgn (Our morning); Kinder-vinkl (Children’s corner); the Spanish-language weekly Semanario Hebreo (Hebrew weekly); and Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper); Dorem (South); as well as in Haboker (This morning) in Tel Aviv.  For eleven years he worked as a Hebrew teacher, and then he became executive director of the Jewish National Fund in Uruguay and secretary of the Vaad haḥinukh (Educational council) at the Dr. Herzl School and of the Jewish teachers’ organization.  He was a member of Mapai.  Among his pen names: Ben-Gershon, Gershenzon, Freylikhovski, Moznaim, Mozne Tsedek, Y. Nizam, A. Torem, and Shtot-Balebos.  He was last living in Montevideo.

Source: Yitskhok Vaynshenker, Boyers un mitboyers fun yidishn yishev in urugvay (Founders and builders of the Jewish community in Uruguay) (Montevideo, 1957), p. 138.
Benyomen Elis

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