Thursday 17 August 2017


YANKEV-YUDE MARK (May 3, 1856-February 10, 1929)
            He was born in Palonge (Palanga), formerly in Courland, later in Latvia.  He studied in the Telz yeshiva, and as an adult he studied commerce in Germany.  He became a prominent Mizrachi leader.  He began his writing career in Hebrew for Hamagid (The preacher) in 1874, with correspondence pieces and articles, later contributing to: Hamelits (The spectator) in Odessa; Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw; Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  Through letters in Hebrew, Russian, and German, over the course of thirty-five years he ran a bookkeeping course.  In 1920 he immigrated to the United States.  In 1927 in New York, he published his only book, Gedoylim fun unzer tsayt, monografyes, kharakter-shtrikhn un zikhroynes (Great men of our time, monographs, character traits, and memoirs), 384 pp.  The volume consists of two parts: “Rabonim un manhigim” (Rabbis and leaders) and “Maskolim un askonim” (Followers of the Jewish Enlightenment and community leaders).  It was a sort of book of memoirs.  He personally knew the personalities about whom he wrote.  These included: Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, Rabbi Ḥaim Soloveichik, Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and twenty-two other rabbis and leaders.  Of the secular followers of the Enlightenment and community leaders, he included Mattityahu Strashun, Kalman Shulman, Baron Ginzburg, and twelve other personalities.  Mark initially published these works in separate articles in Yidishe tageblat.  In 1958, twenty-nine years after his death, and thirty-one years after its first Yiddish edition, his book was published in a Hebrew translation under the title, Bimehitsatam shel gedole hador, biografiyot, sipurim, imrot vesiḥot ḥolin shel gedole yisrael bador hakodem (In the presence of the greatest of the generation: biographies, narratives, sayings, and secular conversations of the great Jewish people of the previous generation) (Jerusalem: Goyl), 248 pp.  He died in New York.

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