Friday 31 May 2019


            He was a journalist.  From 1914 he co-edited a small daily entitled Sandzer tsaytung (Sącz newspaper) in Nowy Sącz.  An important role in local life was played by the newspaper Viner morgentsaytung (Vienna morning newspaper) which Roker established in 1915.  In January 1919 he changed its name to Yidishe morgenpost (Jewish morning mail).  In May 1920 it became a weekly.

Source: Mendl Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), pp. 381-83.
Berl Cohen


SHIYE RAKER (Shevat [= January] 1864-1943)
            He was born in Gorlits (Gorlice), Galicia.  His father was a yeshiva headmaster and preacher in Sandz (Sącz).  He studied in religious elementary schools and in Hungarian yeshivas.  In 1891 he made his way to Cleveland.  He was a journalist, Zionist, and follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  In the early 1890s he began literary work for Chicago’s Hapisga (The summit) and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), among others.  In 1898 he was editing Cleveland’s weekly newspaper Der shtern (The star).  In 1908 he brought out the first Yiddish daily newspaper in Cleveland, entitled Di idishe teglikhe prese The Jewish daily press), which merged in 1913 with the local weekly Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) under the name of the latter, and it was for three decades edited by Raker.  In book form: Der sanzer tsadek r’ khayim halbershtam (The sage of Sącz, Rabbi Khayim Halbershtam) (Vienna, 1927), 225 pp., later editions (New York, 1927, 1961); Geoynim un tsadikim (Geniuses and sages) (Cleveland, 1938/1939), 215 pp.  He died in Cleveland.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), p. 202; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


PUE RAKOVSKI (PUAH RAKOVSKY, RAKOVSKA) (July 3, 1865-May 13, 1955)
            She was a writer and translator, born in Bialystok, into a family with a long line of rabbis.  She studied in religious elementary school with the boys.  She graduated from a private school at age twelve.  At home she studied foreign languages, especially Hebrew.  In 1889 she sat for the teacher’s examinations, and in 1891 she became a leader of Yehudia, the first Hebrew school for girls in Warsaw.  From 1916 she was a Hebrew teacher in private high schools in Warsaw and environs.  She was very active in “oveve-tsiyon” (Lovers of Zion) and later in the Zionist movement in Poland.  In 1935 she settled in the land of Israel.  She wrote for both the Hebrew and Yiddish press mostly on Israel and women’s issues.  With Rokhl Shteyn and Leye Prushanski, she edited Froyen shtim (Women’s voice) in Warsaw (1925, two issues appeared).  Her works include: Di yidishe froy (The Jewish woman) (Warsaw: Bnos tsien, 1918), 30 pp.; Di moderne froyen bavegung (The modern women’s movement) (Warsaw: Yidishe froyen-farband, 1928), 29 pp.; Zikhroynes fun a yidisher revolutsyonerin (Memories of a Jewish revolutionary woman) (Buenos Aires: Dos poylishe yidntum, 1954), 318 pp., which appeared earlier in shorter form in Hebrew as Lo nikhnati, sefer zikhronot (I did not submit, memoirs), trans. David Kalai (Tel Aviv, 1951), 200 pp.  He translations include: Yidishe geshikhte XIX yorhundert (Jewish history, nineteenth century), from Shimen Dubnov and other sources (Warsaw, 1920), 232 pp.; Karl Kautsky, Ver iz shuldig inem velt-krig? (Who is guilt in the world war?) (Warsaw: Nayer shtrom, 1920), 218 pp.; Avraham Yaakov Paperna, Zikhroynes (Memoirs) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1923), 214 pp.; Lily Braun, Memuarn fun a sotsyalistin (Memoirs of a socialist [original: Memoiren einer Sozialistin]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1924), 2 vols.; Erich Maria Remarque, Afn mayrev, nishto keyn nayes (All quiet on the Western front [original: Im Westen nichts Neues]) (Warsaw: Y. A. Tsuker, 1929), 259 pp.; Larisa Reisner, Di froy fun di barikadn (oktober) (The woman at the barricades, October) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1929), 502 pp.; Leon Trotsky, Mayn lebn (My life [original: Moya zhizn’]) (Warsaw: Biblyon, 1930), 2 vols.; Ben B. Lindsey, Di revolutsye fun der moderne yugnt (The revolution of modern youth [original: The Revolt of Modern Youth]) (Warsaw: Y. A. Tsuker, 1930), 301 pp.; and novels by Victor Margueritte: Der khaver (The comrade [original: Le Compagnon]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1927), 361 pp., second edition (1929); Di bokherte (The girl [original: La Garçonne]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1928), 359 pp., second edition (1928); Dayn kerper gehert dir (Your body belongs to you [original: Ton corps est à toi]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1928), 352 pp.; Der nayer dor (The new generation [original: Le Couple]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1928), 360 pp.; Der gezang fun pastukh (The song of the shepherd [original: Le Chant du berger]) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1931), 300 pp.  She was the protagonist of Ben-Avigdor’s story, Rabi shifra (Rabbi Shifra) (Warsaw, 1893), 34 pp.  She died in Haifa.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958); Sh. Grinshpan, Yidn in plotsk (Jews in Płock) (New York, 1960), pp. 178-80; Yankev Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence), vol. 2 (Buenos Aires, 1960), pp. 177-83; Ester Rozental-Shnayderman, Af vegn un umveg, zikhroynes, geshenishn, perzenlekhkeytn (Along ways and byways, memoirs, events, personalities), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1974), pp. 289-91; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Ruvn Goldberg


MARK RAKOVSKI (RAKOWSKY) (June 5, 1890-April 5, 1982)
            A writer, translator, and publisher, he was born in Malkin (Małkinia Górna), Lomzhe district.  He studied in religious elementary school and Hebrew and Russian with a private tutor.  After middle school, he turned to the study of foreign languages.  Later, he moved with his parents to Ostrolenke (Ostrołęka).  He lived for many years in Bialystok and later in Warsaw.  He was ideologically close to Communism, and in 1937 he was deported to a Polish concentration camp in Kartuz-Bereze (Kartuz-Bereza).  He was in the Soviet Union during WWII and returned to Warsaw afterward.  From time to time, he wrote literary essays in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) and Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  In 1935 he brought out the serials Velt-iberblik (World survey) and Iberboy (Reconstruction).  He took up publishing—“Biblyotek mark rakovski” (Mark Rakovski Library)—but his main contribution to Yiddish literature lay in the large number of his translations into Yiddish from world literature.  Rakovski’s began translating in Bialystok for the publisher A. Albek (1921) with Yaponishe mayselekh (Japanese tales) (91 pp.), Kleyne mentshelekh (Little people [original: Gente minima]) and Der meylekh fun di lyalkes (The king of the dolls) by Edmondo De Amicis, edited by Peysekh Kaplan (27 pp.).  Among his many other translations: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Dzhovani episkopo [Giovanni Episcopo] (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1923), 170 pp.; Guy de Maupassant, Der eltern-merder un andere (The adult murderer and others) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1923), 89 pp.; Catulle Mendès, Der farloyrener gan-eydn un andere (The lost Garden of Eden and other [stories]) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1923), 84 pp.; Jérôme Tharaud and Jean Tharaud, Leshono habo birusholaim (Next year in Jerusalem [original: L’an prochain à Jérusalem!]) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1923); Alphonse Daudet, Tartaren fun taraskon (Tartaren from Taraskon [original: Tartarin de Tarascon]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1926), 151 pp.; V. M. Doroshevich, Legendn un mayselekh fun orient (Legends and tales from the Orient) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1927), 246 pp.; Marcel Prévost, Mademuazel zhofr (Mademoiselle Jaufre) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1927), 327 pp.; Gustave Flaubert, Salambo, roman (Salammbô [a novel]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1927), 448 pp.; Flaubert, Madam bovari, roman (Madame Bovary [a novel]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1928), 495 pp.; Dray dertseylungen (Three stories [original: Trois contes]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1929), 155 pp.; Flaubert, Dray hertser (Three hearts); Henri Barbusse, Milkhome (War [original: Clarté (Clarity)]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1929), 223 pp.; Barbusse, Yeyshu hanoytsri (Jesus, the Nazarene [original: Jésus]), using the pen name B. Rozmarin (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1930), 196 pp.; Barbusse, Di henker (The executioners [original: Les Bourreaux]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1930), 252 pp.; Barbusse, Der vayser terror (The white terror [original: La Terreur blanche]); Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Der froyen gan-eydn (The women’s paradise [original: El paraiso de las mujeres]) (Warsaw: Rekord, 1929), 341 pp.; Pierre Loti, Di fisher fun island (Iceland fisherman [original: Pêcheur d’Islande]) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1924), 284 pp.; Claude Farrère, Markizin yarisaka, roman fun yapanishen leben (Marquise Yarisaka, a novel of Japanese life) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1925), 263 pp.; Panait Istrati, Kira kiralina (Kyra Kyralina) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1926), 181 pp.; Ouida, A roman fun a hunt (A novel about a dog [original: A Dog of Flanders]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1926), 216 pp.; Mikhail Zoshchenko, Nerveze mentshn (Nervous people [original: Nervnye liudi]) (Warsaw: Biblyotek mark rakovski, 1929), 158 pp.  As noted, these and many other translations all appeared between 1922 and 1930 in Warsaw.  Later, he brought out further translations in Warsaw: Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin, zikhroynes (Lenin, memoirs [original: Vospominaniia o Lenine]) (1930), 238 pp.; Pierre Louÿs, Di shpanerin (The [female] peeping Tom) (Grafia, 1938), 124 pp.; Leon Feuchtwanger, Di yidishe tokhter fun Toledo (The Jewish daughter of Toleda [original: Die Jüdin von Toledo]) (Yidish bukh, 1960), 2 vols.; Victor Jeremy Jerome, Lamtern far yerukhemken (A Lantern for Jeremy) (Yidish bukh, 1961), 326 pp.; Michael Gold, Yidn on gelt (Jew without money).  He also published translations in newspapers, such as: stories by Oscar Wilde in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) and by Miriam Harari in Haynt (Today).  He often used the pseudonym: Meriman.  He died in Warsaw.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Yonas Turkov, Azoy iz es geven, hurbn varshe (That’s how it was, the destruction of Warsaw) (Buenos Aires, 1948); Ber Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was), memoirs (Paris, 1955); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

Thursday 30 May 2019


NOKHUM (NEKHEMYE) RAKOV (February 20, 1866-December 29, 1927)
            He was a playwright, born in Ashmene (Ashmyany), Vilna district.  He graduated from a local Russian school and later spent a year at a technical school in Kremenchug.  For political reasons, he left Russia and lived for a short time in Germany and Copenhagen.  Beginning in 1887 he lived for fifteen years in London and from there made his way to the United States.  He wrote over sixty plays, melodramas, and operettas.  The most popular among them were: Helo nyu-york (Hello New York), A bisele glik (A bit of happiness), Fun got fargesn (Forgotten by God), and especially Kantshe in amerike (Little Hannah in America) and Der batlen (The idler) which was better known as Der yeshive-bokher (The yeshiva lad).  These and a few others were performed on Yiddish stages throughout the world.  Only a few of his plays were published: Der batlen, oder hokhtsayt fer shpass (The idler, or high time for a joke) (Przemyśl: Amkroyt et fraynd, 1909), 63 pp, second printing (1923); Kantshe in amerike (Warsaw: Teater-biblyotek, 1914), 57 pp.; Di neshome fun mayn folk (di neshome fun yisroel) (The soul of my people, the soul of Israel) (Warsaw: M. Goldfarb, 1926), 40 pp.  “In his melodramas and operettas,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen, “Rakov stands above the average Yiddish playwright, and many of his theatrical works can be considered as a transition from the literary trash of Lateiner to the repertoire of Gordin.”  He died in Mount Vernon.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963), with an almost complete bibliography; Sholem Perlmuter, Idishe dramaturgn un teater kompozitors (Yiddish playwrights and composers) (New York, 1952); Perlmuter archive, YIVO (New York.
Berl Cohen


YOYSEF RAKOV (b. 1890)
            He was born in Telekhan (Telekhany), Byelorussia.  He attended religious elementary school.  He was later arrested for revolutionary activities.  He authored: Farshikt in sibir durkh tsar nikolays rezhim (Exiled to Siberia by Tsar Nikolai’s regime) (New York, 1934), 174 pp., which includes a few poems at the end.
Berl Cohen


JULIUS RAKOV (November 11, 1890-1941)
            He was an actor, born in Lodz.  His Jewish given name was Yekhiel.  He performed on the Yiddish stage in Lodz, Vilna, Riga, Kovno, and elsewhere.  He translated into Yiddish: Tamten by Maskof (?), Geto (Ghetto) by H. Heiermann, and Daniel, Daniel by R. Foss (?); and he dramatized Mendl beylis (Mendel Beilis).  He published short impressions and translations in a variety of Yiddish periodical publications.  He died in the Lodz ghetto.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963).
Berl Cohen


SHOLEM (SHALOM) RAK (October 20, 1914-March 5, 1982)
            He was born in Vlotslavek (Włocławek), Poland.  He graduated from a Hebrew high school in Włocławek and a teachers’ seminary in Warsaw.  He worked as a teacher in Gdynia and Gostynin.  He was active in Betar.  He spent WWII in the Soviet Union.  After the war, he was in Austria and from 1948 in Israel.  He wrote for party organs.  He published several books in Hebrew, among them: Haasor hashlishi (The third decade) (Tel Aviv: Betar, 1972), 412 pp; Haasor harevii (The fourth decade) (Tel Aviv: Betar, 1977), 402 pp.; and Altalena, sipur oniya aḥat (The Atalena, a story of one ship) (Tel Aviv: Betar, 1977), 94 pp.  In Yiddish: A bintl gedanken un zikhroynes, gostinen (A bundle of thoughts and memories, Gostynin) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 84 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Source: M. Bakalchuk, in erut (Tel Aviv) (February 10, 1965).
Ruvn Goldberg

Wednesday 29 May 2019


MEYER RAK (b. July 6, 1911)
            He was born in Warsaw.  He studied in religious elementary school and graduated from a Jewish public school.  He worked as a tailor.  He began publishing in Kleyne folkstsaytung (Little people’s newspaper) in Warsaw.  He wrote stories for Folkstaytung (People’s newspaper), Foroys (Onward) in Warsaw, and Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature).  In late 1939 he fled to Russia and in 1940 was exiled to Siberia.  Over the years 1946-1950, he lived in Stockholm and from there moved to New York.  He wrote article for Forverts (Forward), Veker (Alarm), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), and Tsukunft (Future), among other serials.
Berl Cohen


JULIUS RAK (b. April 10, 1878)
            The author of stories, he was born in Pukhovitsh (Pukhavichy), Byelorussia.  His real name was Yude-Khayim Lipman.  In 1894 he emigrated to the United States.  From 1904 he published stories in Tsayt-gayst (Spirit of the times), Forverts (Forward), and elsewhere.  He wrote his first stories under the name Y. Lipman.  For social and family reasons, he has no sense of hope for the development of his literary talent.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Benyomen Grobard, A fertlyorhundert, esey vegn der yidisher literatur in amerike (A quarter century, essay on Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1935); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


            He was a leader among artisans in Warsaw.  In the 1930s he settled in the land of Israel.  He was the author of Zikhroynes fun a yidishn hantverker-tuer (Memoirs of a leader of artisans) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 221 pp.
Berl Cohen


MOYSHE RAFES (November 3, 1883-1942)

            He was a journalist and community leader, born in Vilna. He studied in religious elementary school, later in a Russian public school, and as an external student he passed the examinations at a five-year high school. Until 1917 he was among the active leaders of the Bund and a member of its central committee. Over the years 1917-1919, he was editor of Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Kiev, organ of the Bund for southern Russian. He wrote on political and Party themes and research works relating to the history of the Jewish labor movement. It was said of him that overnight he went from being an extreme anti-Bolshevik to an orthodox Communist. In 1919 he was the central figure in the establishment of the Kombund (Communist Bund) which that year decided to join the Communist Party. He was very active in the Yevsektsye (Jewish section [of the Party]), and in its heated discussions he acquired a name as an ideologue for active assimilation of the Jewish masses. He quickly ascended in his Bolshevik career, assuming important positions and was active as well in the Comintern. He was purged in May 1938, arrested, and sentenced by a military tribunal of the supreme court of the Soviet Union in June 1940 to ten years in a labor camp. According to certain sources, he was sent to a northern camp in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. It was there that he wrote the history of Soviet Jewry and died in 1942. Other sources claim that he fell a victim to the mass purges of 1948-1952.

He contributed articles to Bundist publications: Veker (Alarm), later Folks-tsaytung (1906-1907); Hofnung (Hope) and Morgnshtern (Morning star) (1907); the anthology Di naye tsayt (The new time) (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1908); Tsayt (Time) and Unzer tsayt (Our time) in St. Petersburg (1913-1914); and Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Vilna (1919). He also wrote for: Royte pinkes (Red record) in Kiev (1920); the collection Hirsh lekert (Hirsh Lekert) (Moscow: Biblyotek yung-vald, 1922); Arbeter-kalendar (Workers’ calendar) for 1924 (Moscow, 1923); Royte velt (Red world); and Emes (Truth); among others. He edited: Folks-tsaytung (Kiev, 1917-1919); Tsayt-fragen (Issues of the time), 1 issue appeared (Kiev, 1918); Komunistishe fon (Communist banner) (Kiev, 1919-1924, editor only in 1919); Di royte fon (The red banner) (Vilna, 1920); Avrom Kirzhnits, Der idisher arbeter, khrestomaṭye tsu der geshikhte fun der idisher arbeter, revolutsyonerer un sotsyalistisher bavegung in rusland (The Jewish worker, a reader on the history of the Jewish labor, revolutionary, and socialist movement in Russia) (Moscow: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1925-1928), 4 vols. He wrote on political, party matters and research work on the history of the Jewish labor and revolutionary movement.

            In pamphlet or book form: Fun vanen bakumen di melukhe ihre hakhnose? (Where does the state get its income from?) (Vilna: Di velt, 1906), 20 pp.; Af vos farbroykht di regirung dos gelt fun folk? (On what does the government dispense the people’s money?), using the pen name M. R-s (Vilna: Di velt, 1906), 24 pp.; Der ustav un di ershte trit fun di kranken-kases (The law and the first steps toward health insurance) (Warsaw: Di velt, 1913), 120 pp.; Di kranken-kases (Health insurance companies), translated from Russian by Kh. Ber (St. Petersburg, 1913), 16 pp., using the pen name B. Solovyov; Afn shvel fun der konter-revolutsye, publikatsyes un redes (At the threshold of counter-revolution, publications and speeches) (Ekaterinoslav: Di velt, 1918), 141 pp.; Di royte armey (The Red Army) (Kharkov-Kiev: Yunger arbeter, 1924), 66 pp.; Kapitlen geshikhte fun bund (1885-1922) (Chapters in the history of the Bund, 1885-1922) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1929), 278 pp. He also published pamphlets and books in Russian and wrote for the Russian press. In addition, he wrote under the Party pseudonym of L. Vaysenberg.

Rafes’s brother MIKHAIL RAFES (b. 1876) was a medical doctor and authored the pamphlet Di umbarihrbarkeyt fun perzon (The inviolability of the person) (Vilna: Di velt, 1906), 40 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), index; John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders), vol. 2 (New York: Veker, 1949), see index; Hersh Smolyar, Vu bistu khaver sidorov? (Where are you, Comrade Sidorov?) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1975), pp. 138-39; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).

Berl Cohen

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 356-57.]


ITSHE-YITSKHOK RAFAEL (b. April 4, 1895)
            He was a poet, born in Slonim, Byelorussia.  He studied in Vilna to be a dentist.  In 1925 he emigrated to Montreal, Canada, and from there to the United States.  From 1965 he was living in Rehovot, Israel.  He published poetry and drawings in: efa (Haifa) and Undzer shrift (Our writing) in Haifa.  His work in the plastic arts were shown at various exhibitions.  In book form: Fun friling tsu friling (From spring to spring), poetry (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963), 210 pp.; Tseykhenungen (Drawings), “limited edition” (Israel, 1982), 12 pp.; a prospectus of Tseykhenungen appeared in Tel Aviv (1983).  He was last writing and painting under the name Rafael.

Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 503-4.]


            He was born in Kiev.  He attended religious elementary school, later proceeding to a school for painting and at age nineteen a drama school.  He acted in Russian theater in Kiev and in other cities.  Under the influence of Ezra Korman and Dovid Bergelson, he switched to Yiddish.  In 1918 he founded the first Yiddish theater in Ukraine and later the Yiddish state theater of Byelorussia, for which he produced plays by Sholem-Aleichem, Y. L. Perets, Arn Kushnirov, Moyshe Kulbak, Dovid Bergelson, and others.  He was arrested in 1937 and died in a concentration camp.  He debuted in print in 1910 with a poem in Kiyever vort (Kievan word).  He published articles on theater in Minsk’s Oktyabr (October) and Shtern (Star).  He edited Zamlung far dramkrayzn (Collection for drama circles) (Minsk: State Publ., 1936), 176 pp.  In book form: the play Kheyder (Religious elementary school), dramatized following Sholem-Aleichem, Mendele, and Y. Linetski (Minsk: Shtern, 1926), 21 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), index; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 10 (1927); Y. Gutkevitsh, Af ale teg fun a gants yor (On every day of a full year) (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1966), p. 134.
Ruvn Goldberg


SHMUEL RAFALOVITSH (December 24, 1866-November 15, 1923)
            He was born in Bohupol (Bogopol), Podolia.  His Hebraized name was Rafaeli.  He was the brother of Yeshaye Rafalovitsh, and they came from a rabbinic-Enlightenment family.  He studied in religious primary school (with Micah Joseph Berdichevsky) and secular subject matter as well.  In 1882 he moved with his parents to Jerusalem.  In 1899 he left for London, in 1905 for New York, and in 1907 returned to the land of Israel.  He wrote mainly in Hebrew—novellas, research works, translations, and memoirs.  Especially well known from his Hebrew writings is Matbeot hayehudim (Jewish coins) (Jerusalem, 1913), 199 pp.  He also wrote for Yiddish-language newspapers.  He edited the Hebrew-Yiddish weekly Shaare tsiyon (Gates of Zion).  In 1890 he published and edited (with Shloyme Epshteyn) Der erets-yisroel yud (The Jew in the land of Israel) (Jerusalem)—8 issues over three months.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947); E. R. Malachi, in Hatoran (New York) (December 1923); Prese-zamlung (Press collection) (New York, 1930), pp. 149, 215.
Ruvn Goldberg


KALMEN RAFALOVITSH (b. June 27, 1882)
            He was born in Molev (Mohilov) on the Dniester River.  Around 1905 he made his way to the United States.  He worked as a shoe-cutter in Lynn, Massachusetts.  From time to time he published miniatures, aphorisms, sketches, and polemical articles in: Tsayt-gayst (Spirit of the times), Herald (Herald), Varhayt (Truth), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Tog (Day), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsayt (Time), and Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York.  With Shimen Shamrat, he published Dos lign peysekh blat (Boston).

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 503.


            He was born in Bohupol (Bogopol), Podolia.  He moved with his parents to Jerusalem in 1882.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva, before entering “Jews’ College” in London and German universities.  Over the years 1902-1924, he was rabbi in various cities in England; 1924-1935, he was rabbi for communities in Brazil, before returning to the land of Israel.  He wrote mainly in Hebrew.  He published essays in London’s Idisher ekspres (Jewish express) and several pamphlets: Brazilye, a tsukunfts-land far idisher imigratsye (Brazil, a future land for Jewish immigration) (Berlin, 1928), 12 pp.; and Der ruf fun shoyfer (The call of the shofar) (Rio de Janeiro, 1928), 12 pp.; Di badaytung fun yom kiper (The significance of Yom Kippur) (Rio de Janeiro, 1928), 9 pp. + 11 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Yeshaye Rafalovitsh, Tsiunim vetamrurim (Sings and markers) (Jerusalem, 1952); E. R. Malachi, Perakim betoldot hayishuv hayashan (Studies in the history of the old yishuv) (Tel Aviv, 1971).
Eliezer-Refoel Malachi


KHAYIM RAFALOVITSH (1888-June 18, 1927)
            He was a publisher and a writer, born in Raseyn (Raseiniai), Lithuania.  He studied in yeshiva until age fifteen, and in 1908 he was in a general education course of study in Vilna.  From 1920 he was in Kovno, where he was active with the Folkspartey (People’s party).  In 1921 he founded the publishing house Likht (Light) which brought out many books in Yiddish, a number for the Jewish schools in Lithuania.  He was a frequent contributor to the Folkspartey organ Nayes (News), edited by R. Ayziks.  He edited the daily Unzer tsayt (Our time) in Vilna (1920).  In book form: Tsum ershten mol, a komedye in eyn akt (For the first time, a comedy in one act) (Vilna, 1914), 31 pp.; and Roze, a drame in dray akten (Rosa, a drama in three acts) (Kovno: Likht, 1923), 88 pp.  He died in Kovno.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); Yor-ayn, yor-oys (Year in, year out) (Kovno, 1939).
Berl Cohen


ANNA RAPPORT (b. August 15, 1870)[1]
            A poetess, she was born in Kovno; her name at birth was Asnes Kalmanovitsh.  Her father was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, and his brother was the well-known Dvinsk rabbi, Meyer-Simkhe Hacohen.  She graduated from high school in Kovno.  In her youth she belonged to a Zionist group “Banot Tsiyon” (Daughters of Zion) In 1890 she made her way to the United States, accepted her brother’s changed name Zif (her mother’s maiden name), and for many years worked in sweatshops.  Over the years 1897-1905, she lived in Bayonne, New Jersey, later in Massachusetts, and from 1912 in New York.  She debuted in print, using the pen name Anna Zif, with a poem in Arbayter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper).  She published there and in Folks-advokat (People’s advocate) poetry between September 1, 1893 and January 19, 1894.  After a break of nine years, she wrote poems (1903-1909) for Tsukunft (Future) and Forverts (Forward) in New York.  Her work appeared as well in: Morris Basin, Antologye, 500 yor yidishe poezye (Anthology, 500 years of Yiddish poetry), vol. 2 (New York, 1917); Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins, antologye (Female Yiddish poets, anthology) (Chicago: L. M. Shteyn, 1928); and Nakhmen Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955).  She later withdrew from Yiddish literature.  Over the years 1911-1917, she contributed to the socialist The Call.  Rapport was among the Yiddish poet-pioneers in America.  Most of her poetry was of social content.  Only in one of her poems, entitled “Tkhies-hameysim” (Resurrection of the dead), she speaks of a Jew who “feels as though he is no more than a slave.”  “Overall we see in Anna Rapport’s poetry,” wrote N. B. Minkov, “the transition from subjective social poems to objective descriptions, didactic works, and poems of appeal…and finally—humanistic, rationalist considerations.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4, under “Anna Rapoport”; Nokhum-Borekh Minkov, Pyonern fun der yidisher poezye in amerike (Pioneers of Yiddish poetry in America), vol. 3 (New York, 1956).
Berl Cohen

[1] Her name and date of birth follow N. B. Minkov, Pyonern fun der yidisher poezye in amerike (Pioneers of Yiddish poetry in America), vol. 3 (New York, 1956); according to Ezra Korman, Morris Basin, and Zalmen Reyzen, she was born in 1876.


NAKHMEN RAPP (May 10, 1914-1987)
            The author of poetry and stories, he was born in Grayeve (Grajewo), Lomzhe district.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and later the Warsaw Tachkemoni seminary.  During the war he lived in Soviet Russia, later in Vrotslav (Wrocław), Lower Silesia, and he was active in the kibbutz movement and illegal aliya.  From 1950 he was in Herzliya and later Jerusalem.  He debuted in print in 1936 in Unzer lebn (Our life) in Bialystok.  From that point he was writing modernist lyrical poetry and stories in a variety of periodical Yiddish publications in Poland and elsewhere.  After the war, he contributed to: Nidersleshlezye (Lower Silesia) in Wrocław; Dos naye lebn (The new life) and Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) in Lodz; and Di yisroel-bleter (The Israeli sheets), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Bay zikh (On one’s own), and Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac) in Israel; among other serials.  He had a weekly column in Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  His work also appeared in: Mortkhe Yofe, Erets-yisroel in der yidisher literatur (Israel in Yiddish literature), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1961); Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber in yisroel (Almanac of Yiddish writers in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1967); Arie Shamri, Vortslen (Roots) (Tel Aviv, 1966); Mordekhai alamish, Mikan umikarov, antologya shel sipure yidish beerets yisrael (From near and from far away, anthology of stories in Yiddish in Israel) (Meravya, 1966); Yoysef Papyernikov, Yerusholaim in yidishn lid, antologye (Jerusalem in Yiddish poetry, anthology) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1973); Hubert Witt, Der Fiedler vom Getto: Jiddische Dichtung aus Polen (The fiddler of the ghetto, Yiddish poetry from Poland) (Leipzig, 1966, 1978).  He also published translations from Hebrew poetry.
            His work includes: Funken in ash, lider (Sparks in ashes, poetry) (Wrocław: Nidershlezye, 1947), 47 pp.; In shayn fun brenendikn dorn, lider un poemes (In the light of a burning thorn, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Pirsumim, 1958), 258 pp.; A krug mit vayn (A jug of wine), poetry (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1962), 100 pp.; Vandershtok in bli, lider un baladn (A voyageur’s stick in one’s prime, poems and ballads) (Jerusalem: Eybik, 1970), 98 pp.; Der onheyb, tanakhishe dertseylungen (The beginning, Biblical stories) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), 156 pp., published earlier in the Yiddish press, in Hebrew translation by Sh. Mandel as Baasher hu adam (How to be a man) (Jerusalem, 1979), 126 pp.; In veg tsum altn man, noveln un skitsn (The ways of an old man, novellas and sketches) (Jerusalem: Eygns, 1976), 148 pp.; Baym fayer-toyer (At the gate of fire), poetry (Jerusalem: Eybik, 1978), 93 pp.; Kholem mayn kholem, lider (Dream my dream, poetry) (Jerusalem: Eybik, 1979), 186 pp.; Oranzhn in shney, dertseylungen (Oranges in snow, stories) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1984), 164 pp.  “In his two earlier books,” wrote Dov Sadan, “he emerges overflowing with passion….  [Later,] this ceases, and his language is restrained, agreeable, and because it speaks as if to itself alone, his voice remains deliberate and prudent; and what’s more, his voice is such that it acquires a deeper oracular quality.”  “Nakhmen Rapp,: noted Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, “like a genuine poet, brings to his poetry what is true and characteristic for the sensitivities and experiences of his generation…which confronted darkness with light and destruction with emergence.”  He died in Israel.

Sources: Yonas Turkov, in Folksblat (Tel Aviv) 2 (1963); Dovid Sfard, in Folksblat 72 (1971); Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (July 9, 1971); Dov Sadan, Heymishe ksovim, shrayber, bikher, problemen (Familiar writings, writers, books, issues), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), pp. 155-56; Yankev-Tsvi Shargel, Fun onheyb on (From the beginning) (Tel Aviv, 1977), pp. 181-87; Avrom Lis, In der mekhitse fun shafer (In the compartment of creating) (Tel Aviv, 1978), pp. 232-35; Shmuel Kants, Koyekh fun os, eseyen (The power of a letter, essays) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1979), pp. 61-74.
Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 503.]


            He was born in Ostrovne (Ostrovno, Astroŭna), Vitebsk Province.  He was involved largely with political party work.  In the 1970s he published poetry in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow and Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star).  He died in Leningrad.

Source: Sovetish heymland, Materyaln far a leksikon fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Materials for a handbook of Soviet Jewish literature) (September 1975-).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 503.


SHAPSE RAPOPORT (October 28, 1898-January 10, 1951)
            He was born in Kielce, Poland.  He received a traditional Jewish education before graduating from a Polish Jewish high school.  In 1923 he completed the teacher’s course of study at Tsisho (Jewish School Organization) in Warsaw.  He taught at Tsisho schools in Poland and from 1929 at Jewish schools in Toronto, Calgary, and Winnipeg.  He was active in the left Labor Zionist party.  He wrote on literary and pedagogical topics in: Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw; Proletarisher gedank (Proletarian idea) in Chicago and New York; Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education) and Undzer veg (Our way) in New York; and Dos yidishe vort (The Jewish word) and Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Canada; among others.  He died in Toronto.  In 1955 the memorial volume Shapse rapoport zamlung (Shapse Rapoport collection) was published in Toronto (223 pp.), which included many of his articles.

Sources: M. Federman, in Der idisher zhurnal (Toronto) (January 12, 1951); P. Goldman, in Undzer veg (New York) (March 1951).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Tuesday 28 May 2019


SHAPSE RAPOPORT (ca. 1862-April 30, 1928)
            He was an active Zionist, born in St. Petersburg.  From 1921 he was living in Tel Aviv.  He was the founder, together with Shoyel Ginzburg, of the first Yiddish daily newspaper in Russia, Der fraynd (The friend).  He enriched the newspaper with literary supplements, anthologies, and the journal Dos leben (The life).  He published the writings of Shimen Frug, Y. L. Perets, and others.  For a number of years from 1895, he also published Hamelits (The advocate).  He died in Tel Aviv.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


RIFOEL RAPOPORT (b. January 6, 1899)
            He was born in Plozov (Płoszów), Poland.  He studied in the synagogue study hall until age seventeen.  In 1920 he matriculated as an external student from a German high school in Troppau, Silesia.  In 1924 he graduated from the philosophy department of the University of Vienna.  He published poetry and stories under the title Farn toyer (At the gate) (Vienna: Baginen, 1924), 32 pp.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


            He came from Poland and later lived in Mexico City, later still in Monterrey.  He was a teacher and a prayer leader.  He departed for New York where he died.  He was the author of a volume entitled Meksikaner idn tsvishn berg (Mexican Jewish in the mountains) (Mexico City, 1955), 323 pp.  He described the history of the Jewish community of Monterrey, Mexico.
Moyshe Rubinshteyn


            He was born in Yasle (Jasło), Poland.  He graduated from a Hebrew high school in Lodz.  He later studied at the Ger yeshiva in Warsaw.  He received his master’s degree from the University of Warsaw and his doctoral degree from the University of London.  He was rabbi in a number of Jewish communities in England and from 1952 chief rabbi of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Australia.  He published articles on current issues and Jewish religious values.  He contributed in Australia to: Di yidishe post (The Jewish mail), Der landsman (The compatriot), Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news), and Di melburner bleter (Melbourne sheets).  He published several books in English on Judaism.  In Yiddish: Der kval fun unzer eybikeyt (The source of our eternity) (Melbourne, 1964), 303 pp.; Mayn shtarkeyt un mayn gezang, ophandlungen vegn kiem un hemshekh fun yidishn folk (My strength and my song, essays on existence and continuance of the Jewish people) (Melbourne, 1966), 309 pp.; Azoy vi a royz tsvishn di derner, ophandlungen vegn dem glorraykhn bund tsvishn yidishn folk un di moralishe un religyeze vertn funem yidntum (Like a rose amid thorns, essays on the glorious bond between the Jewish people and the moral and religious values of Judaism) (Melbourne, 1968), 287 pp.; Unzer shif vet nit untergeyn (Our ship will not go under) (Melbourne, 1974), 302 pp.
Moyshe Ayzenbud


SHIYE (JEHOSZUA, JOSHUA) RAPOPORT (July 25, 1895-November 1, 1971)
            A literary critic and translation, he was born in Bialystok.  He studied in religious elementary school and with private tutors.  In 1913 he joined Tseire-Tsiyon (Zionist Youth).  From 1922 he studied for several years in Berlin.  He lived for a short while in Riga and for many years in Warsaw.  During WWII he roamed as far from home as Shanghai in 1941, and in 1946 he settled in Melbourne, Australia.  He journalistic work began in 1921 with the Bialystok daily newspaper Dos naye lebn (The new life).  He wrote on cultural and community topics, but in later years he mainly concentrated on literary critical writings and translations from world literature.  He contributed to: the Riga daily Frimorgn (Morning) of which he was also a member of the editorial board; Vilner tog (Vilna day); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Fraye shriftn (Free writings), and Bikher-velt (Book world) in Warsaw; Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), Kundes (Prankster) in New York; Dos fraye vort (The free word) in London; Dos folk (The people) in Riga; Kiem (Existence) and Unzer kiem (Our existence) in Paris; Tsukunft (Future), Literarishe heftn (Literary notebooks), Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), and Afn shvel (At the threshold) in New York; Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news) and Oyfboy (Construction) in Melbourne; and the like.  He edited: Der kritiker (The critic); and the Zionist socialist Bafrayung (Liberation) and Bafrayung-arbeter-shtime (Liberation-voice of labor).
            His work includes: “Literarishe bleter,” zeyer redaktor un unzer literarishe svive (Literarishe bleter, their editor and our literary environs) (Warsaw: Polet, 1931), 24 pp.; Gustav landoyers tragish lebn, tsu zayn fuftsn yortsayt (1919-1934) (Gustav Landauer’s tragic life, on the fifteenth anniversary of his death, 1919-1934) (Warsaw: 1934), 30 pp.; Dovid ignatov, der romantiker (David Ignatov, the romantic) (Warsaw, 1936), 32 pp.; Proletarishe literatur, pro un kontra (Proletarian literature, pro and contra) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1936), 15 pp.; Af di vegn fun der nayer eyropeyisher literatur (On the roads of modern European literature) (Warsaw: Yidishe universal-biblyotek, 1936-1937), 3 vols.; Tsvishn yo! un neyn! kritik un esey (Between yes! and no!, critic and essay) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1937), 211 pp.; Di tume in der yire (The ritual uncleanliness in idolatry) (Warsaw, 1938), 8 pp.; Der mehus fun dikhtung un ir sotsyale funktsye (The essence of poetry and its social function) (Shanghai, 1941), 63 pp.; Tsurik tsum altn seyder-hayom? (Back to the old agenda?) (Melbourne, 1947), 35 pp.; Akhad hoom, zayn lere un perzenlekhkeyt (Aad-Haam, his teachings and personality) (Melbourne, 1947), 94 pp.; Tropns gloybn, mayn antologye (Drops of faith, my anthology) (Melbourne: Bialystok Centre, 1948), 280 pp.; Ershter shnit nokhn shturem (First harvest after the storm) (Melbourne: Friends of Yiddish literature, 1948), 448 pp.; Heymishe geshtaltn (Familiar figures) (Melbourne, 1949), 304 pp.; Heldn un karbones fun der ibergangs-tsayt (Heroes and victims from the transition period) (Melbourne: Friends of Yiddish literature, 1949), 298 pp.; Literatur in demokratishe un totalitarishe lender (Literature in democratic and totalitarian countries) (Melbourne, 1951), 31 pp.; Sholem ashs literarishe nitskhoynes un mapoles (Sholem Asch’s literary victories and defeats) (Melbourne, 1953), 111 pp.; Oysgerisene bleter (Torn up pages) (Melbourne, 1957), 416 pp.; Tanakh improvizatsyes (Tanakh improvisations) (Buenos Aires: Division of the World Jewish Culture Congress, 1960), 264 pp.; Zoymen in vint (Seeds in the wind) (Buenos Aires, 1961), 500 pp.; Fayerlekh in nepl (Solemn in the fog) (Melbourne: Bukh-komitet, 1961), 424 pp.; Mehus fun dikhtung, eseyen, notitsn, retsentsyes vegn dikhter un dikhtung (Essence of poetry, essays, notices, [and] reviews of poets and poetry) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963), 321 pp.; Fragmentn fun a lebn (Fragments of a life) (Melbourne, 1967), 372 pp.; Rizn un karlikes unter eyn dakh, eseyen (Giants and dwarfs under one roof, essays) (Melbourne, 1969), 335 pp.  Rapoport enriched Yiddish literature by translating serious works from English, French, Russian, and German: Maurice Maeterlinck, Di inteligents fun blumen (The intelligence of flowers [original: L’Intelligence des fleurs]) (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1927), 82 pp.; Émile Coué, Bavustziniḳe oytosugestye, als mitl fun zelbstbahershung (Conscious autosuggestion, as a means of self-mastery [original: La maîtrise de soi-même par l'autosuggestion consciente]) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1927), 39 pp.; Romain Rolland, Dos lebn fun mikel andzhelo (The life of Michelangelo [original: Vie de Michel-Ange]) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1927), 220 pp.; Lidiya Seifullina, Dos ponem fun dorf; Gezetsbrekher (The face of a village; Delinquent) (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1927), 190 pp.; M. M. Filippov, Leonardo da vintshi, zayn lebn un tetikeyt (Leonardo da Vinci, his life and activities [original: Leonardo da vinchi kak khudozhnik, uchenyi i filosof, biograficheskii ocherk (Leonard da Vinci as artist, scholar, and philosopher, biographical sketch)]) (Warsaw: Orient, 1927), 112 pp.; Y. N. Steinberg, Der veg fun payn (The way of pain) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1927?), 121 pp.  Waldemar Bonsels, Di bin maya un vos mit ir farlofn (Maya the bee and what she’s covered with [original: Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer (Maya the bee and her adventures)]) (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1928), 170 pp.; Romain Rolland, Danton, drame in dray aktn fun der franzoyzisher revolutsye (Danton, a drama in three acts from the French Revolution [original: Danton]) (Warsaw, 1928), 220 pp.; Y. N. Steinberg, Fun februar biz oktober 1917 (From February to October 1917 [Ot fevralya po oktyabr’ 1917]) (Warsaw, 1928), 207 pp.; Irina Kakhovskaia, In shturem fun der rusisher revolyutsye (In the storm of the Russian Revolution) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1928), 134 pp.; Rabindranath Tagore, Natsyonalizm (Nationalism) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1929), 169 pp.; Angelica Balabanoff, Zikhroynes un iberlebenishn (Memoirs and experiences [original: Erinnerungen und Erlebnisse]) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1929), 420 pp.; Werner Sombart, Libe, luksus un kapitalizm (Love, luxury, and capitalism [original: Luxus und Kapitalismus]) (New York: Y. Yatshkovski, 1929), 245 pp.; Viach Polonskii, Di literarishe shtremungen in ratn-rusland fun 1917 biz 1927 (The literary tendencies in Soviet Russia from 1917 until 1927 [original: Ocherki liternaturnogo dvizheniia revoliutsionoi epokhi (Notes on the literary movement in the revolutionary epoch)]) (Warsaw-New York: Y. Yatshkovski, 1929), 352 pp.; Upton Sinclair, Dos bukh fun lebn (The book of life) (Warsaw-New York: Y. Yatshkovski, 1929), 312 pp.; Wilhelm Capelle, Di grikhishe filozofye (Greek philosophy [original: Griechische Philosophie]) (Warsaw-New York, 1929), 2 vols.; Georges Duhamel, Dos lebn fun martirer (The life of martyrs [original: Vie de martyrs]) (Warsaw, 1930), 168 pp.; V. M. Friche, Di sotsyologye fun kunst (The sociology of art [original: Sotsiologiia iskusstva]) (Warsaw, 1931), 197 pp.; Martin Andersen-Nexø, Pelle der ziger, der groyser kamf (Pelle the Conqueror, the great battle [original: Pelle Erobreren]) (Warsaw: Koykhes, 1936), 409 pp.; Y. N. Steinberg, Marya spiridonova, ir lebn un kamf (Mariya Spiridonova, her life and struggle) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1937), 3 vols.; Shimen Dubnov, Velt-geshikhte fun yidishn folk (World history of the Jewish people [original: Weltgeschichte des Jüdischen Volkes]) (Vilna, 1938-1940), vols. 1 and 4.  He also wrote Russian-language pamphlets on Yiddish literature.  His pseudonyms include: Y. Riger, Y. Vinkl, Nobod, S-e, and Y. K. R.  Rapoport was one of the most rigorous of Yiddish literary critics.  His reviews of books and critical essays often aroused heated polemics.  He said of himself that “the world appears to me always from its shadow side,” although he did pen more than a few positive criticisms of Yiddish writers, despite their once having been accompanied by shadows.  “Rapoport,” wrote Shloyme Bikl, “belongs to those important writing figures in our literature.  He was a man of enormous literary mastery, of sharp critical analysis, and an uncompromising polemicist on moral issues in society and literature.”  “The merit for agitating Yiddish literature,” noted Meylekh Ravitsh, “over the course of a string of years belongs to Shiye Rapoport….  Yiddish literature has a great mission, and there sits his chair by the eastern wall.”  “When one mentions Y. Rapoport,” stated Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, “it means an uncompromising fight for artistic values,… judging and evaluating a work not according to relative values, but according to an absolute measurement.”  He died in Melbourne.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1947); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), see index; A. Mukdoni, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 24 (1956); M. Grosman, in Di goldene keyt 29 (1957); A. A. Robak, Di imperye yidish (The empire of Yiddish) (Mexico City, 1958), pp. 240-60; Y. . Biltski, Masot (Essays), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 113-18; Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (January 25, 1961); Shloyme Bikl, Shrayber fun mayn dor (Writers of my generation) (Tel Aviv, 1965), pp. 275-79; Moyshe Ayzenbud, Nusekh y. rapoport (Y. Rapoport’s style) (Melbourne, 1967); Rifoel Mahler, Historiker un vegvayser, eseyen (Historian and guide, essays) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1967); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Dr. Noyekh Gris