AYZIK ROZENTSVAYG (1888-January 12, 1934)
A literary scholar, journalist, and teacher, he was born in Zabludove (Zabłudów), Grodno district, Byelorussia [now, Poland]. He was the son of a religious judge. Until age eighteen he was raised in the Hassidic religious spirit. In 1905 he joined the Zionist socialist party. From 1910 he was studying pedagogy in Grodno. He was a cofounder with other enthusiasts of the first Jewish middle school and the first Jewish pedagogical technical school in the Soviet Union—in Vitebsk (1920, 1921). He worked there as a teacher of Yiddish language and literature. In 1920 he appeared as an expert on behalf of the accusation in the well-known Vitebsk “Mishpet ibern kheyder” (Trial of the religious elementary school). In the 1920s he moved to Odessa, where he worked as a teacher of Yiddish literature in the Pedagogical Institute. He was killed in a car crash in Kharkov, where he had traveled on assignment. He debuted in print in 1913 with an article in Fraynd (Friend). From 1917 he wrote numerous journalistic, pedagogical, and literary-critical works for: the daily and weekly newspaper Royte shtern (Red star), Veker (Alarm), Oktyabr (October), Emes (Truth), Af di vegn fun der nayer shul (En route to the new school), Di yidishe shprakh (The Yiddish language), Proletarishe fon (Proletarian banner), and Kultur un bildung (Culture and education) in Minsk. He edited: Iber vegn un vaytn, a zamlung dertseylungen vegn transport (Along roads and faraway, a collection of stories about transportation) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1928), 86 pp.; Fun kinder-veltl, a zamlung dertseylungen (The little world of children, a collection of stories) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1928), 74 pp.
His books include: Arbet un shaf, leyenbukh farn tsveytn klas (Work and workshop, textbook for the second class), with Moyshe Yudovin, M. Mogilnitski, and Nokhum Solovey (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1928), 234 pp.; Der radikaler peryod fun peretses shafn (The radical period in Perets’s creative work) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 186 pp.; Sotsyale diferentsyatsye inem yidishn folklor-lid (Social differentiation in the Yiddish folklore poetry) (Kiev: Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 1934), 60 pp.; Di yidishe literatur in XIX yorhundert, ershte bukh (1800-1881) (Yiddish literature in the nineteenth century, first volume, 1800-1881), with Maks Erik (Kiev-Kharkov: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1935), 259 pp., second edition, 299 pp.; Mendele moykher-sforim (1836-1936) (Mendele Moykher-Sforim, 1836-1936) (New York: International Workers Order, 1936), 47 pp. He wrote a long introduction to Geklibene verk in eyn band (Selected work in one volume) by Mendele (Kiev-Kharkov: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1936), 491 pp.; and in Emes (June 18, 1936), he sent out a call (under the pen name A. R. Tsvayg) to collect Jewish folklore materials.
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), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 4 (1963), p. 148; Moyshe Notovitsh, in Sovetish heymland 5 (1963); V. Shapin, in Yidishe kultur (New York) 1 (1972); D. Koyfman, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 77 (1972); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Dr. Avrom Grinboym
[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), p. 353.]
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