The Mendele Review: Yiddish Literature and Language
(A Companion to MENDELE)

[A characteristic photograph of Avraham

(to be replaced by a clearer one in the archival copy)]

Contents of Vol. 12.018 [Sequential No. 209]
Date: 12 October 2008

1) This issue of The Mendele Review
2) What a few colleagues and friends say about Avraham
3) Avraham summarizes his career
4) Avraham Greenbaum's publications*
5)  Excerpts from one of Avraham's publications
6) "The Jerusalem Conference: A Century of Yiddish 1908-2008"

1) ---------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 October 2008
From: ed.
Subject: This issue of TMR

This issue is devoted to the memory of Avraham Greenbaum z"l, who died on the morning of October 5th, 2008, having lain unconscious for a little over two years as a result of a stroke. An individual of sterling character and professional integrity, he was highly respected by all who came in contact with him. He commanded a broad range of scholarship and always strove to be expert in his subject – I doubt if anyone knew more than he did about the state of Hebrew letters in the Soviet Union. Sensitive and warm, he gave freely of his time to colleagues and students. In retirement he continued to teach courses at the University of Haifa on a volunteer basis. A historian and librarian, he published in three of the languages he knew well in addition to English: Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian. His formal titles were: Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Jewish History, University of Haifa and Research Associate, Dinur Center for the Study of Jewish History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but these hardly define the range of his activities and interests (which included the study of the mandolin!) He had a remarkable family and was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He had a great love for Yiddish.

2) ---------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 October 2008
From: ed.
Subject: What a few colleagues and friends say about Avraham

Charles Berlin: "He was a great scholar and a mentsh. His work is a lasting contribution to Jewish scholarship. Yehi zikhro barukh."

National Library Readers Association [Givat Ram Jerusalem, 91390]: Founding member Professor Abraham Greenbaum's contribution was vital to the founding of our association and his vision will continue to guide us.

Zachary M. Baker:  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know Avraham.  He visited YIVO periodically during the years that I worked there, and that is where we first met.  For all his attainments, Avraham was the most modest of individuals.  There was no artifice about him - he was "eydlkeyt" personified.  Naturally I read his important monograph Jewish Scholarship and Scholarly Institutions in Soviet Russia, 1918-1953, a work that continues to be useful, even in the more open intellectual climate that we have enjoyed since 1989.  His contributions in the realm of historiography and bibliography were manifold, yielding insights that might otherwise have remained hidden.

חוה טורניאנסקי: מאוד הצטערתי לשמוע על מותו של אברהם ז"ל, אף על פי שבשבילו זו הייתה השתחררות ממצב קשה. הייתי אצל המשפחה הנהדרת שלו לניחום אבלים.

['I was most grieved to learn of the death of Avraham, z"l, even though it brought him release from a painful condition. I was able to attend the Shiva at the home of his wonderful family.’ [

Helen (Khayele) Beer: "I have fond memories of Avraham. The last time I was at his house at the end of 2005 was when he organised an evening for yidishistn. Any time I met him, the conversations were always intense and interesting, always on a Yiddish-related subject. He was warm-hearted and possessed a generosity of spirit."

Wolf Ze'ev Hirst: "Whatever I could tell you about Al's personality and scholarship, his generosity and general benevolence, would be less than you know yourself. You may, however, not know how popular was the regular shiur he gave for years daily after minkha at the Young Israel Synagogue in Romema [Haifa]."

3) ---------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 October 2008
From: ed.
Subject: Avraham summarizes his career

Bom in Germany. Family migrated to the U.S. in 1940, and settled in a suburb of Boston (Malden, Massachusetts). After graduating the local high school and serving for two years in the U. S. Army, I entered Harvard College (1946), where I majored in Russian. Simultaneously I studied at the local Hebrew Teacher College, graduated both institutions cum laude in 1950 and was awarded a fellowship for a year's study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1953 1 began studies at the new graduate school of Brandeis University while teaching Hebrew at local schools and in the course of time becoming a Semitics Librarian. In 1958 1 was awarded the first Ph.D. degree given by the university in Judaic Studies. 1960-1968 I was largely at Wayne State University in Detroit (librarian and teacher of Hebrew) and in 1968 I settled in Israel, working for over twenty years in a split position at the University of Haifa as Lecturer -- later Senior Lecturer -- in Jewish history and as a reference librarian. I also had ties with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, being appointed as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in 1986/87 and as researcher at the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History at about the same time. In 1989 I took early retirement from the University of Haifa to move to Jerusalem and take up full-time work at the Dinur Center.      [a personal communication received several years ago.]

4) ---------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 October 2008
From: ed.
Subject:  Avraham Greenbaum's publications*

*[Please inform the editor of errors and omissions.]

Jewish Scholarship in Soviet Russia 1918-1941, Boston [s.n.], 1959.

"Hebrew Literature in Soviet Russia," Jewish Social Studies 30 (1968), 135-148.

"התיאטרון האידי ברוסיה הסובייטית בשנות העשרים", מתוך "העבר", לדברי ימי היהודים והיהדות ברוסיה, ספר ט"ז, תשכ"ט (1969)

פירסומים רוסיים בברית ה-מועצות על יהודים ויהדות, 1967-1917, ביבליוגרפיה נרשמה בידי ב פינקוס וא. גרינבוים בצירוף מבוא מאת מ. אלטשולר, ערך מ. אלטשולר. ירושלים : אגודה לחקר תפוצות ישראל, תש"ל.[1970]

[Russian Publications on Jews and Judaism in the Soviet Union, 1917-1967: a bibliography.   Compiled by A.A. Greenbaum and B. Pinkus. Introduced and edited by Mordechai Altshuler, Jerusalem: Society for Research on Jewish Communities, 1970].

"Some Notes and Conclusions about the Published Totals of the Soviet Census of January 15, 1959 by Yaakov Kantor," translated and annotated by A. A. Greenbaum. Studies in Jewish Bibliography, History and Literature (1971), 145-159.

"The Early 'Russian' Congregation in America and Its Ethnic and Religious Setting,"  American Jewish Historical Quarterly 62 (1972), 162-170.

"Soviet Nationality Policy and the Problem of the 'Fluid' Nationalities," Jews and Non-Jews in Eastern Europe, 1918-1945 (1974), 257-270.

"The 'Verein fuer Kultur und Wissenschaft  der Juden', Texts and Responses  (1975), 173-185.

Jewish Scholarship and Scholarly Institutions in Soviet Russia, 1918-1953, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Centre for Research and Documentation of East European Jewry, 1978, c1977.

"Soviet Jewish Schools," Soviet Jewish Affairs, 7, 2 (1977), 73-75.

Yiddish Literary and Linguistic Periodicals and Miscellanies: a Selective Annotated Bibliography, edited by Leonard Prager with the Help of A.A. Greenbaum, Darby, PA: Norwood Editions, 1982.

הגות ומעשה : ספר זכרון לשמעון ראבידוביץ במלאת עשרים וחמש שנים למותו / ערכו אברהם גרינבוים, אברהם עברי.  חיפה: אוניברסיטת חיפה, 1983.

[English t.p.: 'Thought and Action; Essays in Memory of Simon Rawidowicz on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of his Death]

ביקורת המקרא במשנת רנ"ק, הגות ומעשה: ספר זכרון לשמעון ראבידוביץ במלאת עשרים וחמש שנים למותו, עע'  105- 101

['Biblical Criticism in Krochmal's Work']

"'Index of Articles on Jewish Studies' and 'Index to Hebrew Periodicals': a Comparison," Judaica Librarianship 1,1 (1983), 34-35.

"An Introduction to Soviet Yiddish Lexicography," Jewish Language Review 3 (1983), 51-54.

"A Note on the Tradition of the 24 Martyrs," Soviet Jewish Affairs 17, 1 (1987), 8-10.

"Bibliography of the Writings of Merton (Menachem) Dagut," Jewish Language Review 7B (1987), Part A, 8-10.

"More on Yiddish Names for synagog," Jewish Language Review 7B (1987), Part A, 33-35.

"Trends in Judaism in the Soviet Union," Nationalities Papers 16, 2 (1988), 191-200.

Minority Problems in Eastern Europe Between the World Wars With Emphasis on the Jewish Minority. Edited by Avraham Greenbaum. Introduced by Edward Allworth. Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem: the Institute of Advanced Studies, 1988.

"The Moscow Yeshiva," Jews and Jewish Topics in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 9 (1989), 35-39.

"The Underground Jewish Press in Eastern Europe until 1917," Kesher 9 (1991), 14-19.

"Yehiel Ravrebe, Jewish Poet and Scholar," Jews and Jewish Topics in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 17 (1992), 27-36.

"Jewish Studies in the U.S.S.R. 1950-1990," Encyclopaedia Judaica Yearbook 1990-1991 (1992), 179-183.

"The Status of Hebrew in Soviet Russia from the Revolution to the Gorbachev Thaw,"  Hebrew in Ashkenaz: A Language in Exile, ed. Lewis Glinert. Oxford University Press (USA), 1993, pp. 242-248.

"The Beginnings of Jewish Historiography in Russia," Jewish History 7, 1 (1993), 99-105.

Evrei v Rossii: istoriograficheskie ocherki:  2-ia polovina XIX  veka-XX vek, redactor Marina Agranovskaia,  Moskve: Evreiskii universittet v Moskve, 1994.

"רבני ברית המועצות בין מלחמות העולם 1917-1939",  חומר ללקסיקון ביו-ביבליוגרפי, (1994), הוצאת המרכז לחקר ולתיעוד יהדות מזרח אירופה - האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים

"The Jewish Religion in the Soviet Union in the 1930s," Shvut N.S. 1-2 [17-18] (1995), 146-160.

"The Rabbinic Conference at Korostin," Shvut 4 [20] (1996), 53-58.

יבגני קגרוביִידישיסט סובייטי נשכּח,  חוליות  3 (1996), 274-271.

"הסיפור של ברגלסון ,אן עדות' כמשל על היהדות הסובייטית," חוליות  3 (1996), עע' 159- 162.

"The Girls' heder and Girls in the Boys' heder in Eastern Europe before World War I,"  East/West Education 18,1 (1997), 55-62.

"Gennady Estraich, Intensive Yidish," The Mendele Review, vol. 1, no. 19 (15 Sept. 1997) [Review]

"Yiddish Communist Theater in the Soviet Union," Shvut 6 (22) 1997, 212-214.

תולדות בית ההוצאה אררט, ירושלים: ראובן מס, תשנ"ח.

[English t.p.:A History of the Ararat Publishing Society, Jerusalem:Rubin Mass,1998.]

The Periodical Publications of the Jewish and Revolutionary Movements in Eastern and Southeastern Europe 1877-1916: An Annotated Bibliography, Jerusalem: The Dinur Center, 1998.

"Yiddish Language Politics in the Ukraine 1930-1936," Politics of Yiddish (1998), 23-27.

A Missionary for History: Esays in Honor of Simon Dubnow, edited by Kristi Groberg  and Avraham Greenbaum, Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota, c1998.

"A Note on Itshe-Meyer Shpilrayn," The Mendele Review, vol. 3, no. 1 (14 Jan. 1999).  [Yiddish]

"Rabbi Shlomo (Solomon) Shlifer and Jewish Religious Life in the Soviet Union 1943-1957," Shvut 8 (24) 1999, 123-132.

"מיכל גורדון וספרו על תולדות רוסיה," חוליות 5 (1999), עע' 51-54.

"הרבנות בברית המועצות", הרצאות הקתדרה על שם יקותיאל וחנה קליין לתולדות הרבנות באירופה בדורות האחרונים, חוב' 6, (2000), הוצאת אוניברסיטת בר-אילן

"The Fate of Belorussian and Yiddish in the Soviet and Post-Office Periods," East European Jewish Affairs 30,2 (2000), 71-76.

"The Belorussian State Jewish Theater in the Interwar Period," Jews in Eastern Europe 2 [42], (2000), 56-75.

"Der krizis fun yidish in der akademye," Lebns-fragn (merts-april) 2003, 13-14.

"Eliezer Podriatshik's Checklist of Soviet Writers," The Mendele Review, vol. 8, no. 4 (31 Mar. 2004)

"The Russian Rabbinate under the Czars," Studies in Jewish Civilization 16 (2005), 1-7.

"The United States' Airlift to Israel in 1973 and Its Origins," Israel Affairs 13, 1 (2007), 131-140.

פרקים בהיסטוריוגרפיה של יהדות רוסיה בהוצאת מרכז דינור לחקר תולדות ישראל ומרכז זלמן שזר לתולדות ישראל (חלק מהסדרה "קונטרסים - מקורות ומחקרים"), ירושלים תשס"ז [2007]

"To My Wise and Understanding Son: Letters from Poland to Germany, 1922-1934," The Mendele Review, vol. 11, no. 9 (19 Aug. 2007).

"A Note on Stencl in Holland," The Mendele Review, vol. 11, no. 9 (19 Aug. 2007).

"Eynikayt," The Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe," New Haven / London: Yale University Press, 488-489.

"Gold, Hugo," ibid., p. 608-609.

"Hickl, Max," ibid., p. 715.

"Juedische Volksstimme," ibid., p. 837.

"Maze, Iakov Isaevich," ibid., p. 1140.

"Medal'e, Shemaryahu Yosef Leib Iankelevich," ibid., p. 1140.

"Newspapers and Periodicals," ibid., pp. 1260-1268 {major entry – ed.}

"Rabinovich, Yitshak Ya'akov," ibid., p. 1505-1506.

"Revista Cultului Mozaic din R.P.R.," ibid., p. 1557.

"Selbstwehr," ibid., p. 1684.

"Weltsch, Felix, " ibid., pp. 2020-2021.

"Yom, Ha-," ibid., p. 2097.

"Yudishe Togblat, Dos," ibid., pp. 2102-2103.

[About five years ago Avraham fulfilled a long-nourished desire of writing the history of the Malden Jewish community where he once lived and especially of the orthodox Beth Israel synagogue which his family attended for many years.  I know that such a publication  --  a booklet -- exists but cannot find an exact description. – ed.]

[I found a typewritten 2-page article by Avraham entitled "Reportory and Reportory Problems in the Belorussian State Theater in the Interwar Period." I don't know if it was ever published. – ed.]

Date: 12 October 2008
From: ed.
Subject: Excerpts from one of Avraham's publications  (click on any image to enlarge)

6) ---------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 October  2008
From: ed.
Subject: "The Jerusalem Conference: A Century of Yiddish 1908-2008"


Prof. Chava Turniansky: "I will be delighted to participate in The Jerusalem Conference: A Century of Yiddish. I would like to deliver a paper on the history and significance of the Department of Yiddish of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Congratulations for the great idea and best wishes for its success."

Prof. Leonard Prager: "This is surely the right time to hold a conference on a century of Yiddish and I can think of no more suitable place to hold the conference than Jerusalem."

Dr. Tsvi Sadan (Tsuguya Sasaki): "I'll be glad to participate in your planned conference on Yiddish as a lecturer. I can even propose my topic immediately. I hope lectures can also be in Yiddish." 

Prof. David G. Roskies: "I would be honored to participate. It is a historic occasion that will certainly attract the best scholars in the field."


End of The Mendele Review  Issue 12.018
Editor,  Leonard Prager
Editorial Associate, Robert Goldenberg

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