Sunday, 25 September 2016


            He was born in Bucharest, Romania.  He was a prominent figure in Jewish life in Bucharest in the 1870s and 1880s.  He was a representative of Hebrew Enlightenment literature in Romania, and he owned the principal agency for Hamagid (The preacher), Haivri (The Jew), and Hashaḥar (The dawn).  He wrote correspondence pieces for the Hebrew-language newspapers and in 1870 also for Kol mevaser (Herald).  His home was a meeting place for the Enlightenment “sages,” and every follower of the Enlightenment who visited Bucharest enjoyed his hospitality.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.
Zaynvl Diamant


YANKEV KHARASH (1846-July 25, 1870)
            He graduated from rabbinical school in Zhitomir.  Together with Uri Kovner, Avrom Harkavy, and others he took part in a polemic which was carried on in the mid-1860s in the Hebrew-language press against the representatives of the older generation of writers of the Jewish Enlightenment with A. B. Gotlober first and foremost.  He wrote (sometimes using the pseudonym “Khet”) articles and stories in Hebrew in Hamelits (The advocate) and in Yiddish for Kol mevaser (Herald).  He died in Odessa where he was a student at the “New Russian University.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.


ELKONE KHARMATS (CHARMATZ) (December 21, 1910-May 1986)
            He was born in Ostrovtse (Ostrowiec), Kielce district, Poland.  After his father’s death, he moved to Cracow and from there to Sosnovits (Sosnowiec), where he had a glass business.  During the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Sosnovits ghetto.  In February 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo, driven through a number of work camps in Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia, and he spent time in Auschwitz and Dachau.  After liberation he left in May 1945 for Paris, and from there in December 1946 he made his way to Brazil.  He began writing when young, publishing stories and reportage pieces in Moment (Moment) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, as well as in the Zaglembyer tsaytung (Zagłębie newspaper) in Będzin, and later he wrote for Unzer vort (Our word) and Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris.  He traveled as a correspondent of the Parisian Jewish newspapers to the Nuremberg and Dachau Trials.  In Brazil he initially contributed to and co-edited Di idishe prese (The Jewish press) in Rio de Janeiro (edited by Arn Bergman), later becoming editor of Idishe prese (Jewish press) in São Paolo.  He published (using as well the pen names D. Hartsfelt, A. Kheyt, and Melekh Avyon) stories and articles in: Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv, Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; and Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Montevideo.  He was general secretary of the united Zionist organization (Unifikado), secretary of the united Israel campaign, member of the central committee of the Labor Zionist “Hitaḥdut” (union), and secretary of the local division of the World Jewish Culture Congress.  His books include: Koshmarn, zikhroynes fun di groylike yorn fun der natsisher memshole in Eyrope, 1939-1945 (Nightmares, memories of gruesome years under Nazi domination, 1939-1945) (São Paolo: Nayer moment, 1975), 326 pp.[1]  His work was included in Sh. Rozhanski, ed., Katsetlers, antologye (Concentration camp survivors, anthology) (Buenos Aires, 1982).

Sources: Sh. Kants, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (June 11, 1976); Y. Shmulevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (August 19, 1976); B. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (December 1976); Z. A. Berbitshes, in Der veg (Mexico City) (February 17, 1978); L. Shalit, in Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (Johannesburg) (May 16, 1980).
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 273.]

[1] Translator’s note.  There is an English translation of this memoir by Miriam Dashkin Beckerman, Nightmares: Memoirs of the Years of Horror under Nazi Rule in Europe, 1939-1945 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003), 274 pp.


AVROM-KHAYIM KHARLAP (A. HYMAN, A. HYMAN CHARLAP) (November 23, 1862-February 1916)
            He was born in Vistiniec, Suvalk district, Lithuania.  At age six he moved with his parents to Mariampol (Marijampolė).  In 1892 he made his way to the United States where he was the administrator of a Talmud Torah in Syracuse.  From 1902 he was a teacher of the East Broadway Talmud Torah in New York.  He published stories and articles in Hatsfira (The times) in 1890, Otsar hasifrut (Treasury of literature), and Hebrew-language periodicals in America.  In Hebrew he published: Zikhronot hair kivshan (Memories of the city of Kivshan) (Chicago, 1898), 100 pp.; Bet haotsar (The treasury) (Chicago, 1902), 128 pp.  He translated “the entire Tanakh” into Yiddish (Tanakh in idish, 4 volumes), which came out with the original text (New York: Hebrew Publishing Co., 1912).  He also published a Hagada for Passover with notes in Yiddish (New York, 1921).  He contributed with Aleksander Harkavy to the compilation of Vokabular fun nay-hebreishe verter (Vocabulary of modern Hebrew words) (New York, 1918), 102 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Leye Mishkin, in Pinkas shikago (Chicago) (1951/1952), pp. 82-83; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4577.


YOYSEF KHARIF-OSTRI (JOSEF HARIF) (1901-February 11, 1980)
            He was born in the village of Pętkowice, Poland.  He moved with his family to Sosnovits (Sosnowiec), where he received both a Jewish and a general education.  In 1934 he made aliya to Israel, settled in Jerusalem, and later moved to Kibbutz Tzora.  He was active among the left Labor Zionists.  He wrote miniatures and reportage pieces in Nayvelt (New world) and other Israeli publications.  Among his books: Af randn fun teg, minyaturn (On the edges of days, miniatures) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1969), 431 pp.; Yerusholaim noent un vayt, minyaturn (Jerusalem near and far, miniatures) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1982), 244 pp.  He died in the Kibbutz Tzora.

Sources: Y. Emyot, in Forverts (New York) (January 17, 1971); A. Lustigman, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (March 19, 1980); Z. Tabakhovitsh, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) (March-April 1980); Sh. Shveytser, Shures poyle-tsien, portretn (Ranks of Labor Zionism, portraits) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1981), 571-73.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 273.


MEYER KHARTINER (MEIR ḤARTINER) (November 29, 1880-July 18, 1972)
            He was born in the village of Kaladneivke (?), near Skalat, eastern Galicia, into a family of Jewish landowners.  He graduated high school in Czernowitz and studied thereafter at the Universities of Vienna, Berne, and Czernowitz.  He was a teacher in Tarnopol and Czernowitz and for a time an instructor in medieval Hebrew literature at the Jewish pedagogical institute in Vienna.  In 1920 he moved to Israel where he worked as a teacher in a senior high school in Haifa and later at the women’s seminary for teachers in Jerusalem.  He lived in Vienna, 1925-1934, and then returned to Israel.  From his young student years, he was active in the Zionist movement in Galicia.  He was a cofounder of the Jewish student organization “Bar Kokhba” in 1904 and co-editor (with Dr. F. Korngrin) of their Polish “calendars.”  He was a cofounder of the Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists) movement in Austria.  He debuted in print in 1898 with poems in Hatsfira (The times) in Warsaw, to which until 1907 he was a regular contributor.  At the same time, he contributed to other Galician publications.  He was one of the first Yiddish poets in Galicia.  He composed music himself to go with his poems, which were sung widely.  His song Di khasene (The wedding) (Tarnopol, 1905), 8 pp.—which appeared as well in his own Hebrew translation (Jerusalem, 1944), 16 pp.—was assumed to be a folksong.  He was an internal contributor (1907-1914) and editor (1907-1908) of Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg, in which he published during the Austrian parliamentary elections his well-known twelve articles entitled “Kneses yisroel betsar” (The Jewish people in sorrow), which came out as a separate booklet (Lemberg, 1907), 30 pp.  He wrote poems, articles, and essays as well for such Galician publications as: Der tog (The day), Ilustrirte tsaytung (Illustrated newspaper), Di yugend (The youth), Yung-galitsyaner almanakh (Young Galician almanac), Beys-yisroel (House of Israel), and Di kalendar (The calendar) of Moyshe Frostik and Dr. Anzelm Kleynman, among others.  In Hebrew he wrote articles for the Israeli Doar hayom (The mail today) in 1925 and Haolam (The world) in 1948-1950, and he edited the latter.  He was co-editor of Sefer tarnopol (Tarnopol volume), in the “Encyclopedia of the Diaspora” series (Tel Aviv, 1955).  In his first years as a writer, he served as co-editor of the Galician humor periodicals: Der gazlen (The crook) in 1907 and Der guter bruder (The good brother) in 1909.  Over the years 1904-1912, he brought out Folkstimlekhe lider mit notn (Folksongs with musical notation) in Lemberg, which had a considerable distribution.  He also published in various newspapers, journals, and anthologies in Polish and German.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Gershon Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), pp. 100-1; D. Klinghofer, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (March 5, 1954); M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), p. 301; Dr. F. Korngrin, in “Sefer tarnopol,” in Entsiklopediya shel galiyot (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora) (Jerusalem, 1957), see index; M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 188-91.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            This was the pseudonym of Fayvl Moldavski.  In the 1870s and 1880s, he was the owner of a Jewish publishing house in Warsaw, which brought out religious texts and storybooks in both Hebrew and Yiddish.  He was the author of the pamphlets: Mayse nora fun r’ shmuel amsterdamer mit zayn vayb sore di tsnue (Fearful tale of R. Shmuel Amsterdamer and his wife Sarah the chaste), “from this story one can extract a moral, that a person ought not oppose God, blessed is His name, but a man must have faith that God, blessed be He, will help” (Warsaw, 1879), 16 pp.; Mayse fun maharsha (Story of Maharsha), Mayse fun rambam (Story of Rambam), and Mayse fun node beyehude (Story of those well-known among the Jews) (Warsaw, 1876-1879), all 16 pp.
Khayim Leyb Fuks