Page 105 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 34

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FISHMAN / YUDEL MARK:
1897*1975
95
cultural organizations and the Yivo itself) even in his older years,
both in the United States and in Israel.
Related to his communal activism
(yidishe gezelshaftlekhe
arbet)
was Mark’s dedication to Jewish education in general and
to the Yiddish secular school in particular. In this regard he
was much more than an activist-organizer; he was an exemplary
teacher of teachers, as well as an ideologue. He was a writer of
numerous textbooks, storybooks, and workbooks for students. He
was the tireless editor of a professional journal for teachers
(Peda
-
gogisher buleten
: 1941-1970), and a spellbinding speaker at peda­
gogic conferences. He was a productive staff member of the Board
of Jewish Education of New York (then the Jewish Education
Committee), contributing to its growth and effectiveness far be­
yond the narrow limits of Yiddish-secularist education. Finally,
he was for years a member of and contributor to the delibera­
tions and publications of the National Council for Jewish Edu­
cation, and a tireless advocate of traditionalization
(yiddishkeit
).
The above mentioned two passions and Mark’s total creativity
were fired by his overarching passions for Yiddish literature and
the Yiddish language. On their behalf Mark labored not only
as an activist, and as a master-pedagogue, ever ready to devise
better teaching rationales, methods and materials, but also as
a researcher of extraordinary capacity and vision. Characteristi­
cally, he viewed them in their modern periods as outgrowths of
centuries of development and refinement, and also as the prod­
uct and property of Ashkenaz as a whole, rather than merely of
its Yiddish-secularist branch. Mark’s passion for Yiddish litera­
ture and Yiddish language prompted him to write countless
papers, monographs and volumes dealing with various Yiddish
literary and cultural masters. He edited and contributed to the
scientific journal
Yidishe shprakh
(1941-1968), and to scholarly
journals and books dealing with Yiddish language and litera­
ture published on all continents. Finally, he was editor in chief
of the
Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language,
four volumes
of which (covering only the letter
alef)
he was able to see pub­
lished.
Mark’s approach to the
Great Dictionary
(many more volumes
of which will appear, based upon the materials collected under
Mark's direct supervision) is characteristic of his view of Yid­
dish as a sublime instrument of the entire Ashkenazic branch