Thursday 17 August 2017


MENDL MARK (April 6, 1900-November 20, 1974)
            He was born in Palonge (Palanga), formerly in Courland, later in Latvia.  He received a traditional Jewish education, later graduating from a Russian state high school.  For a time he was a student at St. Petersburg University.  He graduated from the state pedagogical curse of study in Latvia.  He was one of the founders, builders, and first teachers in the Yiddish secular schools in Latvia.  He served for a while as director of the pedagogical course in the school organization in Latvia.  He was chairman of central Jewish school organization of the teachers’ union (TSIL) in Latvia and a member of Jewish Education Council in the Latvian Ministry of Education.  Between the two world wars, he was active in the Jewish Folks-partey.  He wrote for the journals Der shtrom (The current) in Libave (Liepāja) and Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language) in New York, and other serials, on matters that were related to the Jewish school and to the Yiddish language.  Over the years 1927-1929, he edited Naye vegn (New paths), a monthly put out by the Jewish school organization in Latvia.  He was co-editor of the youth publication Yugnt-blat (Youth newspaper) in 1934 and of the book Yidishe shul-bavegung in letland (The Jewish school movement in Latvia) (Riga, 1926), 210 pp.  From Russian into Yiddish, he translated Dr. B. Hertsfeld’s nook, Muter un kind, lernbukh far higyene fun der muter un kind (Mother and child, textbook on hygiene for the mother and child) (Riga, 1933), 192 pp.  Due to the fascist coup d’état of 1938 in Latvia, he moved to Canada, served in Montreal as principal of a Workmen’s Circle School, and then in 1945 moved to the United States and lived in New York.  He was a contributor to the Der groyser verterbukh fun der yidisher shprakh (The great dictionary of the Yiddish language) (New York: Book Committee, 1961-), 4 vols.  He died in Miami Beach, Florida.

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