Over the past several years the Jacob Dinezon Project has commissioned English translations of Yiddish documents related to the life and literary career of the Jewish writer Jacob Dinezon. Included in these translations are short biographies, newspaper articles, essays, and other research documents.
Literary Biography in English
Jacob Dinezon: The Mother Among Our Classic Yiddish Writers by Shmuel Rozshanski. An insightful and well-documented biography about the beloved and successful 19th century Yiddish writer, Jacob Dinezon. In this thoroughly footnoted volume originally published in 1956, the renowned literary historian Shmuel Rozshanski makes the case for including Jacob Dinezon in the “family” of classic Yiddish writers. Based on his extensive research and review of Dinezon’s major works, Rozshanski concludes that Jacob Dinezon deserves to be recognized as a major figure in the development of Yiddish as a literary language. Translated from the Yiddish by Miri Koral, the entire book is available online for researchers and Yiddish literature enthusiasts.
Bibliographies of Yiddish Books
Online Yiddish books by Jacob Dinezon. A selection of Jacob Dinezon’s books printed in Yiddish and digitized by the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. These digitized files are available for download from archive.org.
Online Yiddish books About Jacob Dinezon. Shmuel Rozshanski’s Yiddish biography of Jacob Dinezon and additional books with content related to Dinezon. These digital files are available for download from archive.org.
Biographical Entries Translated into English
Leksikon fun der yidisher literatur, prese un filologye (Biographical Dictionary of Yiddish Literature, Press and Philology), 1928. Jacob Dinezon’s entry in Zalmen Reyzen’s important biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers. Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson.
Leksikon fun der nayer Yidisher literatur (Biographical Dictionary of the New Yiddish Literature), 1956-1981 A second Dinezon entry in a later Yiddish biographical dictionary edited by Samuel Niger and Jacob Shatzky. Translated from the Yiddish by Ruth Fisher Goodman.
Newspaper Obituaries Translated into English
Haynt, August 31, 1919. The announcement of Jacob Dinezon’s death on Friday, August 29, 1919 at his home at Karmelica 29, Warsaw, Poland. Tributes are offered by literary colleagues and a detailed report is provided of Dinezon’s final hours on his deathbed. Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson.
Haynt, September 1, 1919. A description of Jacob Dinezon’s funeral on Monday, August 31, 1919, including the path of the procession to the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery, the thousands of mourners who lined the streets to pay their respects, and the conflict between the honorary and the regular burial attendants over who will prepare the body for interment. Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson.
Haynt, September 2, 1919. Eulogies presented over Jacob Dinezon’s grave by Avraham Shalkovitsh and S. An-ski. Dinezon’s age is given as 68, thus challenging the date of his birth in most biographical entries. This would indicate that Dinezon was born in 1851 or 1852 not 1856, five years earlier than previously believed. Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson.
Essays Translated into English
I. L. Peretz Essay. A literary essay about Jacob Dinezon by his friend and colleague, Isaac Leib Peretz. Peretz offers a story at the end to describe Dinezon’s deep compassion for the Jewish people. Translated from the Yiddish by Jane Peppler.
David Frishman Essay. An essay about Jacob Dinezon by his friend, the Yiddish writer and literary critic, David Frishman. This first appeared in the Warsaw Jewish newspaper, Haynt, on September 5, 1919, following Dinezon’s funeral. Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson.
Bal-Makhshoves Essay. A literary essay by the Yiddish critic, Isidor Eliashev, who wrote under the pen name Bal-Makhshoves. In this tribute to Jacob Dinezon, Bal-Makhshoves calls Dinezon “ “the optimist of our Yiddish literature.” Translated from the Yiddish by Jane Peppler.”
Samuel Leib Zitron (Tsitron) Essay [Coming soon]
Book Entries in English
Jacob Dienesohn by Leo Wiener. The first English description of Jacob Dinezon’s contribution to modern Yiddish literature appears in The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century by Harvard professor, Leo Wiener, published in 1899.
Letters Translated into English
Jacob Dinezon’s Letter to Sh. Niger. In this reply to a letter from Shmuel Niger, Jacob Dinezon relates his memories about the Yiddish writer, Isaac Meir Dik, and offers insights into his own career as a Jewish writer. Translated from the Yiddish by Jane Peppler.
Sholem Aleichem’s Letter to Jacob Dinezon, 1909. This thank you letter to Jacob Dinezon is in response to Dinezon’s efforts to help secure Sholem Aleichem’s copyrights from his former publishers. Here Sholem Aleichem describes his friend as “Uncle Dinezon.” Translated from the Yiddish by Sholem Aleichem’s son-in-law, I. D. Berkowitz.