Aleksander Zederbaum

Journalist, Deceased Person

1816 – 1893

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Who was Aleksander Zederbaum?

Aleksander Ossypovich Zederbaum was a Polish-Russian Jewish journalist. He was founder and editor of Ha-Meliẓ, and other periodicals published in Russian and Yiddish; he wrote in Hebrew.

A son of poor parents, he was apprenticed to a tailor. He succeeded in acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew literature, and of the Russian, Polish, and German languages. He married in Lublin, and in 1840 left for Odessa, then the Mecca of the Haskalah movement. He obtained there a commercial position, made the acquaintance of the Maskilim of the city, and in his leisure hours continued to work for his self-education. Later he opened a clothing-store, and was himself cutter in his tailoring-shop.

In 1860 Zederbaum succeeded in obtaining the government's permission to publish "Ha-Meliẓ," the first Hebrew periodical issued in Russia; and three years later he began publishing the pioneer Yiddish journal "Ḳol Mebasser." After an existence of eight years the latter paper was suppressed by the government, whereupon Zederbaum went to Saint Petersburg, obtaining permission to transfer the headquarters of "Ha-Meliẓ" to that city. He was also granted permission to do his own printing, and to publish, besides "Ha-Meliẓ," a Russian weekly, which, however, enjoyed only a short existence, as did also the "Razsvyet," which he started a few years later. In 1881 he founded the "Volksblatt," a daily Yiddish journal which existed for eight years, although Zederbaum was its editor for only a few years.

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Aug 27, 1816
Sep 8, 1893

on July 23, 2013


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