Wednesday 22 May 2019


YOYSEF ROTENBERG (1904-June 13, 1984)
            He was born in Levertov (Lubartów), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary schools, later turning to self-study.  In Lublin, as a soldier on the Polish army, he received certification of a baccalaureate.  From 1924 he was living in Warsaw.  There he studied at the Wszechnica senior high school, went through a senior pedagogical course of study run by Tsisho (Jewish School Organization), and served (1929-1930) as the administrator of the Mikhalevitsh school.  During WWII he roamed as far as Vilna and went on much further to Shanghai.  In 1947 he arrived in Mexico City, where he worked as a teacher in the Jewish middle school, seminary, and preparatory school.  At his initiative, the Mendelson Fund publishers was created, and it brought out over twenty books.  He was active in the Bund both in Poland and in Mexico.  He began writing for the daily Lubliner togblat (Lublin daily newspaper), edited by Shoyel-Yitskhok Stupnitski.  He also wrote for the pedagogical journals: Shul un lebn (School and life), Shulvegn (School ways), and Eltern-tribune (Parents’ tribune) (first in Warsaw, later in Mexico City).  He contributed as well to: Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), Unzer lebn (Our life), and Unzer velt (Our world) in Shanghai, and especially in Foroys (Onward) in Mexico City, which he edited for over twenty-five years.  Over the years 1932-1937, he prepared four textbooks for the Jewish public school.  Rotenberg’s published textbook Fun sholem aleykhems oytser (From the treasury of Sholem-Aleichem) was confiscated in 1940 by the Communist authorities in Vilna.  On the paths his wandering took him, he wrote Fun varshe biz shankhay, notitsn fun a polet (From Warsaw to Shanghai, notes of a refugee) (Mexico City, 1948), 400 pp.  He died in Mexico City.
Berl Cohen

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