Wednesday 13 September 2017


YISROEL MEDRESH (1894-August 2, 1964)
            He was born in Lekhevitsh (Lyakhavichy), Minsk region, Byelorussia.  He attended religious primary schools and spent three years in the Lida yeshiva of Rabbi Y. Y. Reynes.  In June 1910 he came to Canada.  In 1922 he began writing for Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), at which he became a member of the editorial board and published feature pieces, political surveys, and a column entitled “Bilder fun gerikhts-zal” (Images from the courtroom).  He published a book Montreal fun nekhten (Montreal of yesterday) (Montreal, 1947), 176 pp., with a preface by Y. Y. Sigal.[1]  This volume depicts Montreal as it developed economically and culturally over the course of several decades.  His writing excels with quantities of information and at the same time with its easy, humorful style.  He also was the author of Tsvishn tsvey velt-milkhomes (Between two world wars) (Montreal: Keneder odler, 1964), 144 pp.  He was active in Montreal’s community life and was a member of the Yiddish writers’ association.  He died in Montreal.

Sources: Y. Rabinovitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 6, 1959); information from Meylekh Ravitsh in Montreal.

[Additional information form: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 370.]

[1] Translatoir’s note.  There is a recent English translation by Vivian Felsen, Montreal of Yesterday: Jewish Life in Montreal, 1900-1920 (Montreal: Vehicule Press, 2000), 214 pp. (JAF)

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