Page 98 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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8 6
e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
be a Jewish scholar and writer. He engaged private tutors for him,
both for Jewish and general studies. Later he studied abroad, re­
ceived the degree of chemical engineer at the Polytekhnikum at
Karlsruhe and his doctorate at the University of Basle. In 1898 he
settled in St. Petersburg where, until his arrest in 1938, he was
head of the chemical laboratory in Putilov (later Kirov) plant.
Tsinberg made his literary debut with the publication in Yid­
dish of a book on popular science in 1900. In the same year he
published his first work in Russian,
Isaac Ber Levinsohn,
a study
of the life and works of the well known leader of the Enlightenment
in Russia. A second monograph about Levinsohn was published
in 1910 in the
Eureiskaya Starina.
In 1901 he began to contribute
where he wrote the “Review of the Press.” He con­
tributed to other Russo-Jewish periodicals such outstanding works
as “Yiddish Literature and Its Readers” (1903). Of interest are
his Russian essays, “The Origin of Shylock,” “Two Currents in
Jewish Life,” and “Abraham Uri Kovner.” Of special value are
his essays about the origin of the Yiddish theater and his critical
evaluations of some histories of Yiddish literature. In the reviews
about the work of Max Erik and Max Weinreich he expressed
his views about Yiddish literature.
As a scholar and historian he was occupied with the past but
he wrote astutely and knowledgeably about current events. In
St. Petersburg Yiddish daily
Der Fraynd
he published articles
about the obligation of the intelligentsia to the Jewish masses,
and in the St. Petersburg Hebrew daily
he polemicized
with the opponents of Yiddish. He lectured often and gave special
courses at the Baron David Giinzburg Academy in St. Petersburg
which became in 1917 a college for Jewish studies. Among the
students at the academy were Zalman Shazar and Solomon Zeitlin.
(The Communists liquidated the school.)
Together with Saul Ginzburg, Simon Dubnov, Kh. H. Hur-
wirtz and Israel Yefroykin, Tsinberg founded the Yiddish monthly
Di Yidishe Veit
(1912) which was transferred to Vilna where it
became the leading Yiddish journal in the world. He contributed
a number of papers to this journal, including essays about I. L.
Peretz, Nahum Sokolov and Haim Zelig Slonimsky, and about
the Yiddish weekly
Kol Mevasser
published and edited by Alek-
sander Tsederbaum (1869-1878). Of great value is his “History
of the Jewish Press in Russia in Relation to the Social Trends,”
which he published in Russian in 1916. Together with S. Niger,
he published a collection in Yiddish,
To the Memory of Sholem
(1917) which contains valuable material.
Tsinberg participated in the well-known
Evreiskaya Entsiklo-
(Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian) which was published in