MENDL MEYERN-LAZER (MENDEL MEIERN LASER) (b. November 18, 1888)
Following his father (Lazer) and his mother (Meyern), he was born in Kolomaye, Galicia. He received a traditional Jewish education from itinerant school teachers and a secular education in the Kolomaye senior high school. He went on to study in the law faculty of Lemberg University and in the faculty of exact sciences in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to which he returned (a second time) in 1911 (where he had come with his father and brother and where he remained). Due to family matters, he was unable to graduate from the university and took up business affairs. From his student years, he was active in community and party (right Labor Zionist) life. He was a member of the YIVO administrative committee and cofounder of the plastic arts section of the Minkovsky Museum, and he was also active in Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) in Buenos Aires. Over the years 1906-1910, he edited for the student organization in Lemberg its mimeographed, Polish-language monthly Przedświt (Daybreak). From 1913 he was placing work in the Yiddish publications: Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York; Di naye tsayt (The new times), Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Di prese (The press), Argentiner yivo-shriftn (Argentinian YIVO writings), Shul-bleter (School papers), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Dertsiung (Education)—a publication of the Vaad haḥinukh hamerkazi (Central educational council)—and in the Hebrew in Darom (South)—all in Buenos Aires; and in Do (Here), a daily newspaper in Montevideo. In book form, he published: S’iz shoyn tsayt (It’s time already), a pamphlet in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Spanish, a defense of Yiddish (Buenos Aires, 1945), 24 pp.; Dos yidish shulvezn in argentine (The Jewish school curriculum in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1948), 252 pp., a historical overview of Jewish education in Argentina between 1895 and 1946, with an appendix of 30 pages of drawings, pictures, and documents. In Hebrew he published: Shelosha devarim al odot haḥinukh (Three words concerning education) (Buenos Aires, 1943), 36 pp. In Spanish: Hablan los Sobrevivientes: Testimonios Documentados de Crímenes y Martirios (The survivors speak, documented evidence of crimes and martyrs) (Buenos Aires, 1949), 304 pp. A translation of his Yiddish book on school curricula also appeared: La Escuela Judía en la República Argentina (The Jewish school in the Republic of Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1948), 249 pp.
Sources: Leksikon fun idishe gezelshaftlekhe tuer in argentine (Handbook of Jewish social leader in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 121, 258; Diccionario biográfico de hombres de negocios (Biographical dictionary of businessmen) (Buenos Aires, 1945), pp. 199, 207, 208.