YANKEV FASTOVSKI (b. 1851)
He came from Poland and until 1888 was a Russian-Yiddish house tutor in Warsaw, Grodno, Zhitomir, and Odessa. Later, until 1906, he ran a book and newspaper shop in Odessa called “Yankev Post.” Together with Yoyne Tubnik, he “translated and adapted” the Rusish-yudish khrestomatye (Russia-Yiddish reader), which appeared in numerous editions, the first: (Zhitomir, 1893), 100 pp.—one page in Russian and the next in Yiddish with vowel points indicated. Fastovski published poems and other items in Sholem-Aleichem’s Yudishe folksbiblyotek (Jewish people’s library). He contributed to: Hoyz-fraynd (House friend) and Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg, among other venues. Together with Ben-Tsien Levin, he brought out a volume of poetry entitled Ziftsen funem hartsen (Sighs from the heart), eighteen poems by Levin and twenty-one by Fastovski (Odessa, 1904), 64 pp., among which may be found the poem “Di yudishe papirosen-makherin” (The Jewish girl who made cigarettes), which was sung as a folksong. He also wrote under the name Y. Fas.
Sources: See the biographies of Y. Z. Trubnik and B. Ts. Levin, in Leksikon fun der yidisher literatur (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish literature), translated, respectively, at: http://yleksikon.blogspot.com/2016/11/yone-zeydl-trubnik.html; and http://yleksikon.blogspot.com/2017/05/ben-tsien-levin.html.
Khayim Leyb Fuks