Monday, 27 February 2017


YITSKHOK LUFBAN (LOFBAN, LAUFBAHN) (July 17, 1888-September 10, 1948)
           He was born in Dembitse (Dębica), western Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school, synagogue study hall, and later under the influence of Jewish Enlightenment literature, he turned his attention to secular knowledge.  He was the leader of the Dębica group in the Zionist youth movement “Hashaḥar” (The dawn) of western Galicia.  He began writing around 1904, initially in Hebrew in Hashaḥar in Torne (Tornów), later in Yiddish for Di naye folks-tsaytng (The new people’s newspaper) in Reyshe (Rzeszów), edited by Naftole Zigel, and in the Polish-language Morija (Moriya) in Lemberg.  In 1908 he left for the land of Israel, joined the Labor Zionist movement, and worked for a time with Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s newspaper Hatsvi (The gazelle) in Jerusalem.  In 1910 he departed for Switzerland where he was an early auditor in the philosophy department of Zurich University.  He returned to Israel in 1912 and edited the issues of Ḥovarot medaiyot amamiyot (Popular science pamphlets), put out by the publisher Laam.  In 1914 he became assistant editor (and during WWI the editor) of the weekly Hapoel hatsair (The young worker).  He was a member of the Asefat Hanivḥarim (Assembly of Representatives) and of the cultural council of the Zionist Organization, a delegate to Zionist congresses, and, with the unification of Aḥdut haavoda (Union of labor) and the Labor Zionists, he was a member of the central committee of Mapai.  In 1921 he came to Poland on an assignment from the party.  In Warsaw he edited the newspaper Folk un land (People and land), and later he edited Arbayts-folk (Working people) in Berlin, published articles and travel narratives in Haynt (Today) in Warsaw and in Tog (Day) in Cracow, edited by Yoyne Krepl, and in other Yiddish, Polish, and German Zionist publications in Poland, Austria, Germany, and other countries.  After the death of Yoysef Aronovitsh, editor of Hapoel hatsair, Lufban edited the weekly over the course of thirty years and published essays, monographs, and political articles.  He also contributed work to: Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hatekufa (The epoch), Moznaim (Scales), Arakhin (Vows), and Maabarot (Fords), among others.  Into Hebrew he translated Emil Ludwig’s Napoleon in two volumes (Berlin-Tel Aviv, 1930).  He edited several issues of the monthly journal Aḥdut haavoda, and he was also compiler of the articles by Chaim Weizmann (published by Mitspe in 1934).  In Yiddish he published the pamphlet, Far vos zaynen mir gegen revizyonism? (Why are we opposed to Revisionism?), in which was included his article “L״b perushim” (Thirty-two commentaries) and an article by A. Tsioni, “Di opozitsye” (The opposition) (Warsaw: Folk un land, 1927), 46 pp.  He wrote introductions to works by Khayim Orlozorov, Yoysef Aronovitsh, and Yankev Zandbek, and to the anthology Pirke hapoel hatsair (Selections from The Young Worker).  Shortly before his death, he edited the collection Arbaim shana (Forty years) on the fortieth anniversary of Hapoel hatsair.  He died in Tel Aviv.  After his death, two books by him appeared: Anshe segula (Virtuous people), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1949), 552 pp., a collection of his essays on Jewish and Gentile personalities, which had been published in various newspapers and periodicals; Mivar kitve y. lufban (Selections from the writings of Y. Lufban) (Tel Aviv, 1954), 564 pp., edited by N. Teradion, with critical assessments by Dov Sadan and Yitsḥak Elazar Volcani.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1604-5; Gershon Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937); Dov Sadan, Kearat tsimukim (A bowl of raisins) (Tel Aviv, 1950); Y. Kahan, in Gesharim (Bridges) (Tel Aviv, 1954/1955); Dr. N. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958).

Sunday, 26 February 2017


MALKIEL LUSTERNIK (1911-summer 1942)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland, into a home of Zionist followers of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He studied in Yitskhok Katsenelson’s Hebrew school, later graduating from a Polish Hebrew high school in Lodz, and then he studied humanities and early literature at Warsaw University.  Under the influence of Katsenelson, he began in 1927 to write poetry, first in Hebrew and later also in Yiddish.  He published the Hebrew poetry in Baderekh (On the road) in Warsaw, and the Yiddish poems in publications of the young Yiddish writers’ group in Lodz.  He later contributed as well to: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw—both his own poems and translations of modern Hebrew poetry.  He also translated into Hebrew from modern Yiddish poetry, mainly from the Lodz poets (Broderzon, Rabon, Kh. L. Fuks, Yisroel Shtern, and others).  He contributed to the yearbook Sefer hashana leyehude polaniya (Yearbook for Polish Jews) (Warsaw, 1934-1936), as well as in the Polish Jewish press in Poland.  He was editor of the Hebrew-language anthology Reshit (Beginning) in Lodz (1933), in which he wrote about Yiddish literature.  He was a member of the editorial board of the quarterly Teḥumim (Boundaries) in Lodz-Warsaw (1937-1939).  In book form: A. d. gordon, zayn lebn un shafn (A. D. Gordon, his life and work) in Yiddish and Polish (Warsaw, 1935?), 48 pp.; Sufat aviv, shirim (Spring storm, poems) (Lodz-Warsaw, 1937), 96 pp.  When the Nazis seized Lodz, Lusternik fled to Warsaw, and in the Warsaw Ghetto he was active in Jewish community life.  He was a cofounder—with Elkhonen Tsaytlin, Dr. Hillel Zaydman, and others—of the Zionist Hebrew underground group “Tekuma” (Resistance).  In the summer of 1942 he made an attempt to sneak out of the ghetto, but he was seen by the German guard and shot by the ghetto gate.

Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 22, 1935); Dr. H. Zaydman, Tog-bukh fun varshever geto (Diary from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Buenos Aires, 1947), p. 140; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 219, 261; A. Indelman, in Udim (Firebrands) (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 145-55.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland.  He was a member of the administration of ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), secretary of the craftsmen’s union, and an active leader in the Tarbut schools in Chełm.  Over the years 1930-1933, he edited the craftsmen’s section of Khelmer vokhnblat (Chełm weekly newspaper).  From 1934 he was a member of the editorial board of the weekly Khelmer shtime (Voice of Chełm), later its editor—until the day of his death in the ghetto under the Nazis.

Sources: H. Shishler, in Yizker-bukh khelm (Remembrance volume for Chełm) (Johannesburg, 1954), see index; Shishler, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 5, 1948).


AVROM LUSTIGMAN (b. April 4, 1910)
            He was born in Kutne, Poland.  He received a religious education, later studying at a Polish high school.  From 1934 he was living in the land of Israel.  He established in Jerusalem the book publisher “Or laam” (Light to the people).  In 1925 he began publishing stories in: Kinder velt (Children’s world) in Warsaw and Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna.  He contributed stories, sketches, and Arabic legends in Hebrew publications and to Tsien yugnt (Zion youth) in Jerusalem and to Velt-zhurnal (World journal) and Tidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Tel Aviv.  In 1961 he launched the weekly newspaper Naye yisroel tsaytung (New Israel newspaper) in Tel Aviv and in 1972, with others, the periodical Oyfgang (Arise) in Ḥolon.  Among his pen names: Levi ben Menakhem, Ben Menakhem, A Lustig, A. Man, A. Lusi, B. Ilni, and A. M. Shaanan, among others.

Lustigman during the War on Independence

Source: M. Hampel, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (July 11, 1975).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 326.


GETSL LUSTGARTN (1907-June 14, 1969)
            He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied in religious primary school and yeshiva.  He was a boot-maker who became involved with the Bund, in which he was active his entire life.  From 1930 he was living in Warsaw.  During WWII he was captured in Soviet Bialystok, was arrested several times, and exiled by the Soviet authorities.  After liberation he returned to Poland and in 1948 he left for Israel.  In book form: In vander un gerangl, 1939-1968 (Wanderings and struggles, 1939-1968), memoirs (Tel Aviv, 1968), 274 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: M. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (June 28, 1969); H. K[empinski], in Unzer tsayt (New York) (October 1969).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 326.


            He was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into a family of fine pedigree.  He received a strictly religious education.  At age six he was already studying Talmud, and at age twelve he was well known as a prodigy.  After his bar mitzvah, out of fear that this bright, young lad might become infected by the Jewish Enlightenment, his father sent him in 1869 to Jerusalem, where he studied at the Ets Ḥayim (Tree of life) yeshiva, although he yielded there to the temptation of the Enlightenment, and he was expelled from the yeshiva.  Because of persecutions inflicted upon him by zealots, he was compelled for a time to leave Jerusalem, turn to take up teaching, publishing articles in the Hebrew-language press—in Hamagid (The preacher), Ivri anokhi (I am Jewish), Hatsfira (The times), and Hashaḥar (The dawn)—later returning to Jerusalem, where he was one of the founders there of the first library (1874), and he then turned his attention completely in the direction of research on the land of Israel in its past and present—a field that earlier had been solely the ken of non-Jews.  In 1876 he published the text, Netivot tsiyon viyerushalayim (The pathways of Zion and Jerusalem), on the geography of Jerusalem and environs.  In 1878 he published in the journal Shaare tsiyon (Gates of Zion), which he also edited, an article on the history of Jews in Israel from the time of Ramban [Naḥmanides] until the end of the fifteenth century.  His scholarly work in the field of research on Israel did not cease even when he became blind (ca. 1878).  In 1896 he began to publish his Luaḥ erets-yisrael (Calendar of Israel) which was renowned in the field.  Over the course of forty years after becoming blind, he wrote hundreds of articles in his field of research, and he published in Hebrew, German, and Yiddish essays and books, thirteen volumes of the collection Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), twenty-one volumes of Luaḥ erets-yisrael, three volumes of Hamaamad (The deputation), and more.  In Yiddish he published the volume Durkh palestina, ayne oysfihrlikhe geografishe und historishe bashraybung aller ortshaften palestinas, alles nokh di nayeste nokhforshungen, nebst mehrere interesante abbildungen in holts-shnit (Through Palestine, a detailed geographical and historical description of all the places in Palestine, all according to the latest research, the most interesting representations in woodcut) (Jerusalem: 1894/1895), 212 pp.  In the foreword to this book, he apologizes for turning his attention to “publishing a journalistic work, for while there are descriptions of Palestine in every language, only in zhargon [Yiddish], despite the number of its speakers amoutning to six million, there has not been a single book published on this topic.”  Together with the well-known advocate of Bilu—“Bet yaakov lekhu venelkha” (Let the house of Jacob go!), an early movement to settle the land of Israel—and agronomist Menashe Mairovitsh, he edited and published in Rishon Lezion a quarterly journal in Yiddish and Hebrew entitled Der kolonist—haikar (The settler), running to eighty pages per issues (1893-1894).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (with a bibliography); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 46-47; Ben-Tsvi, in Luaḥ aḥiever (New York) (1918), pp. 38-39; A. R. Malachi, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1928); Malachi, in Hadoar (New York) (December 19, 1952; December 26, 1952; January 9, 1953); Malachi, in Unzer horizont (New York) (April 1958); Malachi, in Berazim (Faucets) (Tel Aviv, 1961), pp. 276-77; M. Unger, in Zamlbukh lekoved dem tsveyhundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese, 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), pp. 585-86; Dov Sadan, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 16 (1953); A. Toybnhoyz, in Der amerikaner (New York) (May 20, 1955); Y. Rafael, Rishonim beaḥaronim (Earlier and later sages) (Tel Aviv, 1949/1950), pp. 360-66.
Mortkhe Yofe


Y. KH. LUNER (ca. 1885-August 1, 1915)
            He was born in Bialystok, Russian Poland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1907.  He was a close collaborator of Avrom Reyzen on Der nayer land (The new land), in which he published poems and articles—among them, “Knut hamsun un di yuden” (Knut Hamsun and the Jews) in issue no. 15.  He stood close to the Jewish labor movement and contributed to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) and Tsukunft (Future), among other serials in New York.  Because of an illness he moved to California, where he was one of the pioneers of the Yiddish press and the principal contributor to the weekly Der progres (Progress) in Los Angeles.  He died in Los Angeles.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; B. Rivkin, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1915); Sh. Naumov, in Di tsayt (New York) (January 16, 1922); Kheshbon (Los Angeles) 5 (1954), p. 34.
Yankev Kahan