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Cohen, Israel


COHEN, ISRAEL (1905–1986), Hebrew literary critic and editor. Cohen spent his childhood in Galicia and Czechoslovakia and later studied in Buczacz and Lemberg. Active in Zionist youth movements, he immigrated to Palestine in 1925, and was a leading member of Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir and later Mapai. In 1934 he was appointed to the editorial board of the weekly *Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir and was its editor from 1948 until it ceased publication in 1970. Active in the writers' association, he edited many of its publications, including the monthly Moznayim. Cohen wrote extensively on literature. His books include: Ha'arakhot u-Vavu'ot (1938) and Gesharim (1955), essays on the labor movement. In 1962 four volumes of his selected works appeared: Sha'ar ha-Soferim, Sha'ar ha-Havḥanot, Sha'ar ha-Te'amim, and Ishim min ha-Mikra. He also published several compilations of epigrams, including studies of parallel Hebrew, German, and English sayings (1954, 1960). Cohen's articles are excellent examples of eclectic analysis. His essays, written in an outstanding Hebrew style, generally describe and define the literary scene and the works or their authors. On his 75th birthday, Nurit Govrin edited Sefer ha-Yovel (1980). Cohen's correspondence with *Agnon and with David *Ben-Gurion, Ḥilufei Mikhtavim, appeared in 1985.


Israel Cohen, Bibliografyah 1924–65 (1965), 1,430 items by and on him; add. bibliography: H. Hoffman (ed.), Israel Cohen: Bibliografyah 1979–1987 (1987).

[Getzel Kressel]

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