Wednesday 25 July 2018


            He was born in Belaya Tserkov (Bila Tserkva), Kiev district, Ukraine.  After he completed senior high school in his hometown, he came to the United States and was among the founders of a communal collective and the first Jewish writers’ association in America in 1889.  He returned to Bila Tserkva and published a book in Russian on the United States: V Ameriku!, iz pami︠a︡tnoi knizhki studenta-emigranta (To America! From the notebook of a student-emigrant) (Kiev, 1884), 249 pp.  He later published a collection in Russian (Bila Tserkva, 1885), in which he wrote a psychological study about ideals.  Petrikovski awakened interest in Yiddish among Jewish intellectuals with their diplomas who looked upon “zhargon” with contempt.  A second time he made his way to the United States and settled in Louisville, Kentucky.  He edited (1889-1890) the New York-based evening newspaper Der hoyz-fraynd (The house friend) and published with Dovid Apoteker a weekly magazine of humor called Der groyser baytsh (The great lash).  He also contributed to: New York’s Yudishe folkstsaytung (Jewish people’s newspaper) (June 25, 1886-December 20, 1889); and Goldfaden’s biweekly Yudishe ilustrirte tsaytung (Jewish illustrated newspaper) in New York (November 15, 1887-July 12, 1888).  He also placed articles on Jewish history in Shomer’s (N. M. Shaykevitsh’s) journals Der mentshenfraynd (The people’s friend) and Der yidisher pok (The Jewish Puck); and he placed correspondence pieces in Hamelits (The advocate).  Due to a family tragedy he left New York and moved to London, and from the spring of 1896 he edited the Yiddish newspaper Hayisroeli (The Jew) there and corresponded for the Russian Jewish press.  He was expelled from London to Russia, and his subsequent fate remains unknown.[1]

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, pp. 477, 677, vol. 2, pp. 924-27; Moyshe Shtarkman, in Pinkes (New York) 1 (1927-1928), pp. 388-89; Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike, 1870-1890 (The start of Yiddish literature in America, 1870-1890) (New York: Writers’ Section of IKUF, 1944), p. 25.
Yankev Kahan

[1] Translator’s note. Some of the dates in this entry, particularly those from the 1880s, strike me as off and should be addressed critically. (JAF)

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