Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 23

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iptz in
— Y
idd ish
itera ture
In the third volume o£
Mein Lexikon,
Melech Ravitch in 1958
gave pen profiles of 64 Israeli Yiddish writers and 39 who wrote
in both Yiddish and Hebrew. In the same year the periodical
listed 154 Israeli Yiddish writers, of whom 130 were
members of the Yiddish Authors’ Society. Moshe Grossman, the
editor, founded this journal for literature, criticism and social
problems in June 1956 and continued as its editor until his
death in 1961. In 1956 the Yiddish writers of Tel Aviv acquired
their own home at Rehov Dov Hos 25. In the same city the Peretz
Farlag was forging ahead with the publication of about 25 books
each year. By 1962 Israel outdistanced the United States as the
main center for Yiddish publishing, with 55 books as against the
latter’s 41 and in 1963 the proportion was 57 to 43.
Proud Record of Achievement
When Yiddish men-of-letters met in Tel Aviv in February 1965
to celebrate the appearance of the fiftieth issue of the quarterly
Di Goldene Kei t ,
they could look back upon a proud record of
achievement and forward to continuing growth in prestige and
influence. Editor Suzkever recalled that at its founding he had
penned a poem in answer to the Cassandra voices that forecast
the quick demise of Yiddish. In this poem he prophesied that in
a hundred years Jews along the Jordan would still be discussing
the coming death of Yiddish. One-sixth of the hundred years
had already passed with the discussion still going on. He himself
was convinced that the artistic Yiddish word would continue to
resound in Israel at the end of this time limit. Suzkever’s coeditor
Eliezer Pines felt that by becoming a home for Yiddish creativity
throughout the world and by bringing in each issue translations
of Hebrew writers, the quarterly had succeeded in its objective
of consolidating the unity of Jewish literature in its two Jewish
languages. The fiftieth issue confirmed this conclusion by includ-
ing contributions by Marc Chagall, Elchanan Wogler, L. Doman-
kevitch, Mendel Mann and M. Waldman from Paris; I. D. Berko-
vitch, Eliezer Steinman. K-zetnik, M. Tzanin, Yacov Friedman,
Rivke Basman, Binem Heller, Rachel Auerbach, Israel Kaplan,
I. Zerubavel, M. Gross-Zimmerman, Yechiel Hofer, Shifre Verber,
A. Karpinovitch and A. Suzkever, from Tel Aviv; Moshe Basok
from Ashdod Yakov; Rekuda Potash and Chone Shmeruk from
Jerusalem; Avraham Kariv from Haifa; Moshe Jungman from
Tivon; I. Spiegel from Givataim; Moshe Gurin from Holon;
Chaim Grade, Aaron Zeitlin, Mordecai Striegler, Gabriel Preil,
Mordecai Schechter, Max Weinreich, Ephraim Auerbach, A.
Leyeles, I. Bashevis and the late Leibush Lehrer from New York;