YUDL (YUDEL) MARK (November 2, 1897-August 2, 1975)
He was born in Palonge (Palanga), Lithuania. Until 1911 he studied in the local Russian state school and Jewish subjects as well as Hebrew with private teachers, later in Cohen’s high school in Vilna. Over the years 1915-1918, he studied in the historical-philology department in St. Petersburg University in the elite course of Baron Ginzburg. He was student of Nokhum Shtif who influenced him to dedicate his studies to the Yiddish language, as well as to concur with the ideology of the Jewish Folks-partey. He was secretary of the “student aid society” and founder of a folkish student group, while at the same time active in the “Khevre mefitse haskole” (Society for the promotion of enlightenment [among the Jews of Russia]) and in the office of the central committee of the all-Russian Jewish Folks-partey. In late 1918 he settled in Libave (Liepāja), Latvia, where he served as representative of the Jewish Folks-partey in the municipal administration and in the provisional Latvian parliament. He worked as a Yiddish teacher, 1919-1920, in the junior high school in Shkud (Skuodas), and he later (with interruptions) until 1924 lived in Vilkomir (Ukmergė), Lithuania. He was the founder of the Vilkomir Jewish Senior High School (the first in Lithuania) and its teacher of Yiddish and Russian. Together with Yoysef Tshernikhov, in 1922 he directed the election campaign of the Folks-partey for the Lithuanian parliament. He served as general secretary of the Jewish National Council. He was a teacher of Yiddish and Yiddish literature, 1927-1930, at the Riga municipal Jewish high school and a teacher of Yiddish in the state Jewish teachers’ course of study. He later worked as a teacher in the Kovno commercial high school. He was a contributor to YIVO (Yiddish Scientific Institute) and from 1929 a member of its executive bureau. He came to the United States for the first time in 1934 and for the second time in 1936. At that point he was active in the educational, philological, literary, and social life in America. He worked as a teacher in a Jewish middle school and in the pedagogical course at Workmen’s Circle. From 1941 he was a consultant to Jewish schools for the Jewish Education Committee in New York. He was also vice-president of the Council for Jewish Education. His writing activities began with the daily newspaper Nayes (News) in Kovno (1921), edited by Dr. A. Mukdoni, and it appeared as a weekly from June 1922 until the end of 1923 under the editorship of Mark and Y. Tshernikhov; in the period 1926-mid-1927, it was edited by Mark and Ozer Finkelshteyn. He was a contributor, 1923-1924, to Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky’s monthly journal Dos naye leben (The new life). He also placed work in: the anthology Der veg tsu der yidisher visnshaft (The path to Jewish scholarship) (Kovno, 1926); Dos folk (The people) and Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Vilner tog (Vilna day), Yidish far ale (Yiddish for everyone), and Di naye shul (The new school)—in Vilna; Shul-vegn (School ways) in Warsaw; Dorem-amerike (South America) in Buenos Aires; and the like. He was editor-in-chief, 1930-1934, of Folks-blat (People’s newspaper) in Kovno, in which, in addition to articles on a variety of topics, he published serially novels translated from German: Erich Maria Remarque, Afn mayrev-front keyn nayes (All Quiet on the Western Front [original: Im Westen nichts Neues]); and Artur Landsberger, Berlin on yidn (Berlin without Jews [original: Berlin ohne Juden]). From early 1930 until his arrival in the United States, he served as the Lithuanian correspondent for New York’s Forverts (Forward), using the pen name Dr. Shteynbakh, “Briv fun lite” (Letter from Lithuania). Once in America (from 1936), he wrote for: Tsukunft (Future), Forverts, Unzer shul (Our school), Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Afn shvel (At the threshold), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Yidishe dertsiung (Jewish education), Proletarishe velt (Proletarian world), Unzer veg (Our oath), and Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper)—in New York. He was a contributor (from 1930) to Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in Vilna and later New York, for which he wrote dozens of pieces on linguistic issues. He edited the YIVO journal Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language), in which, among other items, he published an essay on Mendl Lefin-Satanover, as well as his experiment at a Yiddish translation of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” In the Zamlbukh lekoved dem tsveyhundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese, 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937), he wrote a piece entitled “Yidishe peryodishe oysgabes in lite” (Yiddish periodical publications in Lithuania) (pp. 250-98); and for Lite (Lithuania) anthology, vol. 1 (New York, 1951), he penned “Unzer litvisher yidish” (Our Lithuanian Yiddish) (pp. 429-72). He wrote the introduction and compiled the material for Dr khayim zhitlovski, geklibene verk (Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky, selected works) (New York, 1955), 422 pp., which was published by the “Stein Library” of the World Jewish Culture Congress. He penned the “Heores un bamerkungen” (Notes and observations) to vol. 8 of Shimen Dubnov’s Velt-geshikhte fun yidishn folk (World history of the Jewish people) (Buenos Aires, 1955). For the Shmuel niger-bukh (Volume for Shmuel Niger) (New York: YIVO, 1958), pp. 127-57, he wrote: “Yidish-hebreishe un hebreish-yidishe nay-shafungen” (New Yiddish-Hebrew and Hebrew-Yiddish creations). He also contributed to: the Yiddish-Hebrew Yorbikher (Yearbooks) of the book council in New York; Jewish Education; and Finkelstein’s The Jews. In the Encyclopedia of Literature (New York, 1947), he published portions of a longer “history of Yiddish literature.” He edited: Pedagogisher buleten (Pedagogical bulletin) in New York (from 1941); Pinkes byalistok (Records of Bialystok), vol. 1 (New York, 1949), vol. 2 (New York, 1950); and the two-volume Yorbukh fun amopteyl fun yivo (Annual from the American branch of YIVO) (New York, 1939), with Leybush Lehrer. He was co-editor with Professor Yude A. Yofe of Der groyser verterbukh fun der yidisher shprakh (The great dictionary of the Yiddish language) (New York: Book Committee, 1961-), 4 vols. His books include: Shul-gramatik, in bayshpil un oyfgabes (School grammar, with examples and exercises) (Kovno: Likht, 1921), 124 pp., second edition (Kovno: Likht, 1923), 144 pp.; Eynheytlekhe folkshul, avtonomye in shul, unzere rikhtungen, di eynheytlekhe shul (Uniform people’s school, autonomy in school, our direction, the uniform school) (Kovno: Likht, 1922), 119 pp.; Program far yidish, shprakh un literatur, far pedagogishe kursn, far lerer-seminarn, far lerer-ekzamens (Program for Yiddish, language and literature, for pedagogical courses, for teachers’ seminars, for teachers’ examinations) (Riga, 1928), 32 pp., with Y. Kharlash; Ale mames zaynen sheyn (All mothers are beautiful) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1937), 48 pp., with M. Y. Berditshevski (Berdichevsky); Proyekt fun program far yidish in der elementar-shul (Project for a program in Yiddish in the elementary school) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1939), 81 pp.; Arbetsbukh far yidish in mitlshul (Workbook for Yiddish in middle school) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1939), 106 pp., part 2 (1940), 35 pp., second, improved edition (1941), 207 pp.; Gut yontef (Happy holidays), stories of the holidays for children (Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, Scroll of Ruth) (New York, 1940); Di geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur, konspekt (The history of Yiddish literature, synopsis) (New York, 1943), 54 pp.; Der vokabular farn onheyber-klas in der amerikaner yidisher shul (The vocabulary for the beginning class in the Yiddish school in America) (New York: YIVO, 1944), 78 pp., with Y. Steinbaum and David Bridger; Khumesh far kinder, loyt yehoyesh (Pentateuch for children, following Yehoash) (New York: Matones, 1944), 270 pp. Of his stories about historical Jewish figures, he published in Kinder-tsaytung: Rabeynu gershom, rashi, yude khosed (Rabbenu Gershom, Rashi, Judah the Pious) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1941), 32 pp.; Dovid haruveyni un shloyme molkho (David Hareuveni and Solomon Molkho) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1941), 98 pp.; Der yidisher poypst (The Jewish pope) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1947), 125 pp., with drawings by Y. Likhtenshteyn; Der rambam (The Rambam [Moses Maimonides]) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1947), 56 pp.—all of these with the addition of stories about “Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg,” “Moshe ben Ḥanokh,” “Ḥasdai ibn Shaprut,” “Rabbi Shmuel ha-Nagid,” “Rabbenu Baḥya ibn Paquda,” “Moshe ibn Ezra,” “Solomon ibn Gabirol,” “Rabbi Yehuda Halevi,” “Avraham ibn Ezra,” “Der Ramban [Naḥmanides],” and a longer story about the “Binding of Isaac” were included in Historishe geshtaltn (Historical personalities) (Buenos Aires, 1957), 166 pp.; Tsvey referatn (Two talks)—“Di shlikhes fun der yidisher shul” (Tasks for the Yiddish school) and “Afn shvel fun fertn yorhundert in amerike” (On the threshold of the fourth century in America)—(New York: Y. Kaminski, 1954), 31 pp.; Yidishe kinder, leyenbukh farn tsveytn lernyor (Jewish children, textbook for the second school year) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1955), 224 pp., with Zalmen Yefroykin; Heft far yidish (Notebook for Yiddish) (New York, 1957); Arbetsbukh tsu yidishe ḳinder 1, mit muzik tsu di lider in leyenbukh (Workbook for Jewish children I, with music accompanying the poems in the textbook) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1959), 80 pp.; Yidish far shul and heym (Yiddish for school and home) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1961), 25 pp. in Yiddish and 24 pp. in English; Shimen dubnov (Shimon Dubnow) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1962), 78 pp.; Avrom sutskevers poetisher veg (Avraham Sutzkever’s poetic path) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1974), 176 pp.; Gramatik fun der yidisher klal-shprakh (Grammar of the standard Yiddish language) (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, 1978), xii + 394 pp. From German he translated: V. Hodan (?), Yingl oder meydl (Boy or girl), “friendly chats on the issue of gender” (Riga, 1929), 168 pp.; Thomas Mann, Tonyo kreger (Tomio Krüger), with a preface on Thomas Mann and his work (Riga: Bikher far alemen, 1930), 189 pp. He also used such pen names as: M. Rekhtman, M. Mirkin, Y. Feyges, L. Zamt, and Dr. Shteynbakh. He visited the state of Israel in 1947 and 1958, South Africa in 1958, and Argentina in 1963. He died in Los Angeles.
Mark’s wife, FEYGL MARK, was born in 1912 in Tsoyzmer (Sandomierz), Poland. She published stories in Kinder-tsaytung and a series of articles on painting in Idisher kemfer in New York. She worked as a teacher of Yiddish in the New School for Social Research in New York. Their son, EMANUEL MARK, published poems in Tsukunft.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; M. Anilovitsh and M. Yofe, Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy) 1 (Vilna: YIVO, 1933), pp. 481, 526; M. Vizhnitski (M. Shtarkman), in Tog (New York) (January 11, 1935); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 16, 1935); Mukdoni, in Lite (Lithuania) anthology, vol. 1 (New York, 1951), p. 1094; Y. Sh. Prenovits, in Forverts (New York) (January 15, 1935); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (January 17, 1935); N. Y. Gotlib, in Lite, p. 1108; Yivo-biblyografye (YIVO bibliography), part 1, 1925-1941 (New York, 1943), part 2, 1942-1950 (New York, 1950), see indexes; Shmuel Niger, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 15, 1953; October 23, 1955); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (May 13, 1956); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (September 5, 1957); Zalmen Yefroykin, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (October 1957); Yefroykin and Y. Levin-Shatskes, Kultur un dertsiung (October 1959); Elye Shulman, in Der veker (New York) (March 1, 1958); D. Segal (Bashevis), in Forverts (New York) (March 8, 1959; January 21, 1962); Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (September 4, 1959; February 9, 1962); T. Bernshteyn, in Kultur un dertsiung (October 1959); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1960); B. Shefner, in Forverts (December 30, 1961); Y. Shteynboym, in Tsukunft (December 1961); A. Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (January 21, 1962); Leybush Lehrer, in Idisher kemfer (February 2, 1962); A. Glants-Leyeles, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (March-April 1962); M. V. Bernshteyn, in Der veker (July 1962); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index; Y. Yeshurin, in jubilee issue of Tsukunft (November-December 1962); L. Amnon, in Kinder zhurnal (New York) (February 1963); G. Vayner, in Jewish Book Annual XX (1962-1963)/
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information form: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 368.]