Druyanow, Alter

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DRUYANOW, ALTER (Asher, Avraham Abba ; 1870–1938), Hebrew writer, editor, and Zionist leader. Born in Druya, in the district of Vilna, he studied at the Volozhin yeshivah in his youth and then turned to commerce. In 1890 he published his first essay in Ha-Meliẓ, under the pen name "Alef, Beit, Gimmel, Dalet," and from then on was a frequent contributor to the Hebrew press (Mi-Mizraḥ u-mi-Ma'arav; Ha-Shilo'aḥ, etc.), using various pen names. From 1900 to 1905 he was the secretary of the Committee for the Settlement of Ereẓ Israel in Odessa. In 1906 he immigrated to Palestine, but returned to Russia in 1909 and until 1914 was editor of Ha-Olam, the official organ of the World Zionist Organization. In 1921 he settled permanently in Palestine. Together with *Bialik and *Ravnitzky, he edited the first four volumes of Reshumot, a periodical devoted to the study of folklore (1919–26). His literary work includes Zionist articles, descriptive writing, and literary criticism. He is best remembered for two compilations: Ketavim le-Toledot Ḥibbat Ẓiyyon ve-Yishuv Ereẓ Yisrael ("Writings on the History of Ḥibbat Zion and the Settlement of Palestine," 3 vols., 1919–32 (re-edited by Shulamit Laskov, 1982)) and Sefer ha-Bediḥah ve-ha-Ḥiddud ("The Book of Jokes and Witticisms," enlarged 3-vol. edition, 1935–38), a collection of Jewish folk humor with notes on the origin and history of the contents. A two-volume selection of his essays was published in 1943–45.


J. Fichmann, Be-Terem Aviv (1959), 371–6; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 564; abgd: Yad la-Kore, 9 (1968), 116–8, a bibliography.