FIRST YIDDISH LANGUAGE CONFERENCE
 
Conference participants
  • A. Almi
  • Sholem Asch
  • Gershom Bader
  • Nathan Birnbaum
  • Samuel Eisenstadt
  • Ester Frumkin
  • Moyshe-Leyb Halpern
  • Abraham Heisler
  • Lazar Kahn
  • Leon Khasanovitsh
  • Joseph Kissman
  • Anselm (Moshe) Klaynman
  • Yona Krepl
  • Mates Mizes
  • H. D. Nomberg
  • I. L. Peretz
  • Noah Prilutsky
  • Avram Reyzen
  • N. Sotek
  • Leybl Tobiash
  • Michael Vaykhert
  • Chaim Zhitlovsky
  • Conference participant: Leybl Tobiash (1863-1933) 

    Der publitsist un aktiver propagandist fun undzer yidisher shprakh Leybl Tobiash iz geboyrn gevorn in der shtot Bender bam taykh Nester (Besaraber gubernye), in der mishpokhe fun a rov in 1863. Er hot gegrindet di gazete "Di yidishe folkstsaytung" in Kolomye, un hot dernokh aroysgelozt di tsaytung "Yudishes vokhenblat" in Chernovits, in velkher hot er zikh gestaret fareynikn di literatorn fun Bukovine un Galitsye. Er iz oyskloybn gevorn a vitse-prezident fun der chernovitser shprakh-konferents, ineynim mit Peretsn un Zhitlovskin. In 1928 hot Tobiash aroysgegebn dem bukh "Talmudishe elementn inem yidishn shprikhvort" mit a baylage fun bafliglte verter un oysdrukn fun gemore. Leybl Tobiash iz geshtorbn in 1933 in Vin. 

    Shaya Mitelman. 

    Conference participant: A. Almi (1892-1963) 

    Ruth Kaswan in the beautiful work reprinted in the second Czernowitz issue (8.048:1) mentions, that her father Joseph (born in 1889) was the youngest attendee at the conference. Technically speaking, amongst the 70 people in the audience there was also a soon-to-be poet and journalist A.Almi (pen-name of Elyohu-Khaim, or Elyuhi-Khaim, Sheps), who was born in Warsau in 1892 and was only 16 in 1908. He debuted, in fact, in 1907 in "Roman-tsaytung" in his hometown, and came to the US in 1912. His memoirs "Moment fun a lebn" (1948) contain reminiscences of the Conference as a turning point in his life and career. A.Almi was a very prolific author untill his tragic death in Buenos Aires in 1963. Selected books: Di tsveyte ekzistents (Nyu York: Kosmos, 1921), Bay di randn (Nyu York: Ekho, 1923), Humoristishe shriftn (Varshe: A. Gitlin, 1928), Literarishe nesies (Varshe: M. Goldfarb, 1931), Gezang un geveyn (Nyu York: Shrayber-Farlag, 1943), Momentn fun a lebn, zikhroynes, bilder un epizodn (Buenos Ayres: Tsentral-Farband fun Poylishe Yidn in Argentine, 1948), In gerangl fun ideyen: eseyen (Buenos Ayres: 

    Bukhgemeynshaft bay der Yidisher ratsyonalistisher gezelshaft, 1957), Heshbn un sakhakl : kapitlen fun mayn seyfer hahayim (Buenos Ayres: N.Kaplanski, 1959) 

    Shaya Mitelman. 

    Conference participant: Ester Frumkin 

    Ester Frumkin - professional revolutionary, lifelong fighter for Yiddish 

    "Ester" (Ester Frumkin, real name Malka Yankelevna (Maria Yakovlevna) Livshits) was born in 1880 in Minsk. Graduated from Mariinskaia Gymansium in Minsk and Pedagogical University in St.Petersburg. In 1905 one of the leaders of Minsk organization of Bund, in 1906-07 member of the Bundís Vilna Committee. Arrested several times and in 1908 exiled from Russia. At the Czernowitz conference called for the recognition of Yiddish "as the only national language of the Jews". After the Conference Ester stayed in Czernowitz for several months where she played an instrumental role in organizing Jewish Social Democratic Party of Bukovina. Ester Frumkin was one of the few Bund leaders, who advocated continuity of Jewish tradition: "When we speak of education in a proletartian spirit, we do not mean that children should recite part of the Erfurt Program instead of the "Shema", or a chapter of the Communist Manifesto instead of the "Modeh Ani." (Transl. by Nora Levin, 1977). She "wrote about religion as a necessary element in the raising of a "folk-child" and was eloquent about the positive educational value of religious customs such as the blessing of the candles" (N. Levin, 1977) - something that some other left-wing Yiddishists realized only 90 years later. In 1917 she was elected to the Central Committee of the Bund. After the 1917 Revolution she was a leader of Kombund and Evsektsia. Editor of the 8 volume edition of Leninís "Oysgeveylte verk" in Yiddish. Author of "Lenin un zayn Arbet" (Moskve, 1925), "Oktyaber-revolutsye" (Moskve, 1928), and other books. Served as an editor of "Emes" - a major Yiddish publishing house. In 1935-36 she was the Rector of the Communist University in Moscow. Arrested in 1938, died of starvation in 1943 in Karlag - a concentration camp for the political prisoners in Kazakhstan. 

    Iosif Vaisman 

    Conference participant: Gershom Bader 

    Gershom (Gustav) Bader was born in Cracow in 1868. Received traditional Jewish education, taught in Chacky School in Lemberg. Publisher of annual "Yidisher Folkskalender" (1896-1908), that played an important role in the propaganda of Zionist ideas in Galicia. Founder of the first Yiddish daily in Austria-Hungary "Togblat" (1904-1906, "Dos Naye Lemberger Togblat" since 1906). Bader was an editor of a number of other Yiddish and Hebrew periodicals. He wrote several Hebrew textbooks, reference sources, and historical novels. After 1912 Bader lived in New York, where he actively contributed to several Yiddish periodicals. Several of his plays in Yiddish were produced in New York. Among his important works in Yiddish are: 

    "Tsvishen blut un fayer" (Nyu-York : Ferband fun Galitsyaner un Bukoviner Iden in Amerika, 1916), "Draysig doyres Iden in Poylen fun der ershter tsayt, vos Iden zaynen ahin gekumen voynen, biz tsum letsten "miatezsh" (Nyu-York : 

    Oriom Pres, 1927), "Eybige emesín : fun sforim un funm leben : kleyne mayses un sharfe famerkungen far khol-erley groyse kinder" (Vien : Union, 1927), "Unzere gaystige riezen : dos leben un di lehren fun unzere Tanoim un Amoyroim" (Nyu York : Moyneshter, 1934), "Mayne zikhroynes" (Buenos Ayres : 

    Tsentral-farband fun Poylishe Yidn in Argentine, 1953). He died in New York in 1953. 

    Iosif Vaisman 


     
    Conference participant: Leon Khasanovitsh 

    Leon Khasanovitsh (Chasanowich, real name Kasriel Shub) was born in Sirvintos near Vilna in 1882. He founded Poalei Zion in Poland in 1905. In 1908 he fled Russia and became the editor of Der Yidisher Arbeter in Lemberg. In 1913-1919 he headed, with Ber Borochov, the Central Office of Poalei Zion in Vienna. He founded Di Yidishe Arbeter Korrespondents in the Hague, edited Der Yidisher Kemfer and Di Tsayt (both in New York). Co-founded the American Jewish Congress and the Peopleís Relief Committee. Died in 1925 in Czechoslovakia. Works in Yiddish: Der krizis fun der Idisher kolonizatsye in Argentina (Stanisloy: Bildung, 1910), Di Yudishe kongres bevegung in Amerika (Varshe: Arbeter heym, 1917), Der Idisher hurbn in Ukrayne : materyalen un dokumenten (Berlin: Yuda, 1920), "Arkhiv funím Idishn sotsialist" (Berlin, Farlag Poyle Tsien, 1921). 

    Iosif Vaisman
     

    Conference participant: Mates Mizes
     
    mates (matesyohu) mizes (er flegt zayn familie oyslaygn afn fartsaytikn shteyger: mizish) iz geven a forsher un shrayber af daytshish, poylish, hebreish un yidish. zayne temes: shprakhn, shrift, religie, antisemitizm, vekedoyme. er iz der bal-mekhaber fun tsvey klasishe verk vegn der historie fun mame-loshn: 1) Die Entstehungsursache der jüdischen Dialekte (Wien, 1916, reprinted Hamburg: H. Buske, 1979); 2) Die jiddische sprache; eine historische grammatik des idioms der integralen Juden Ost- und Mitteleuropas (Berlin, Wien: B. Harz, 1924). 

    in 1908 af der tshernovitser konferents iz er (agev: a gebirtiker in der alter galitsisher shtot premisle) nokh geven a 23-yoriker yunger-man, khotsh a shtikl shem vi a shrayber af hebreish hot er shoyn gehot. 

    keyn ofitsieln omt af der konferents hot mizes nisht farnemen, ober a tsentrale role hot er yo geshpilt. zayn referat vegn mame-loshn hot gemakht a kolosaln royshem: bay di yidishistn - an entuziastishn, bay di anti-yidishistn - a bitern protest (geshrayen un afile geveynen). perets hot firgelaygt, me zol dos referat mizeses aroysgebn vi a bazundere broshur. aroysgegebn bazundererhayt hot men es nisht, ober inem band _di ershte yidishe shprakh-konferents_ (yivo, 1932, zzí143-193) iz mizeses referat arayn gantserhayt. do veln mir ibergebn bekitser teyln fun di hoyptargumentn fun zayn kulldiker, kimat advokatish tsunoyfgeshtelter farteydikung fun der yidisher shprakh kegn di bilbulim vos koydem antisemitn un meshumodim in meshekh fun hunderter yorn, un shpeter - in akhtsetn, nayntsetn un tsvantsikstn yorhundert - provintsiele maskilim, hiperhebreistn, asimilatorn un glat grobe-yungen hobn oysgeklert. lomir gedenken, az moshe mendelson, yoysef fridlender un andere pionirn fun der haskala hobn mame-loshn gemakht mit der blote tsu glaykh: der "shmutsiker zhargon" iz "shuldik in der ummoralishkayt funem yid fun a gants yor". haynrikh grets, vos af zayn historie funem yidishn folk hobn zikh oyfgehovet doyres mizrakh-eyropeishe inteligentn, hot mame-loshn ongerufn "a halb animalishe shprakh". di amolike baleydikunger (arayngerekhnt "golus-shprakh", "fardorbener daytshisher dialekt" ud"gl) klingen undz haynt poshet idiotish, ober in 1908 hot men oyf zay nor gedarft entfern, un mates mizes hot er getun oyf a maysterishn ufn, i in a gentser serie hebreishe artiklen, ober dereykrisht balpe, mit zayn referat af der tshernevitser sprakh-konferents. 

    Mordkhe Schaechter
    Fragments from the article published in "Afn Shvel", No.271, 1988
    [Romanized by Ester Vaisman] 
     
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