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Eichenbaum (Gelber), Jacob


EICHENBAUM (Gelber ), JACOB (1796–1861), Haskalah poet, educator, and mathematician. Born in Krystianopol, Galicia, he was married at the age of 11, but divorced when his father-in-law suspected him of secular leanings. He married again in 1815 and settled in Zamosc where he developed his interest in mathematics and translated Euclid from German into Hebrew (unpublished). Here he adopted the name Eichenbaum in order to obtain a resident's permit. Later he served as a private tutor, traveling from place to place, and finally settling in Odessa where he established a private Jewish school in 1835. He was appointed director of the Kishinev Jewish school in 1844 by the Russian government and in 1850 inspector of the newly established Zhitomir Rabbinical Seminary. Eichenbaum contributed poetry to Hebrew journals of the period. Kol Zimrah (1836), his collection of poems (and some translations), was one of the first books of poetry published in the Haskalah period. He also wrote Ha-Kerav ("The Battle," 1839), a book in verse describing the game of chess, and Hokhmat ha-Shi'urim (an adaptation of a French arithmetic book, 1857). His grandson Boris *Eichenbaum was a well-known Russian literary scholar.


Zinberg, Toledot, 6 (1960), 229–30; A. Zederbaum, in: Ha-Meliẓ, 2 (1961/62), nos. 49, 50; 3 (1862/63), nos. 1, 3, 6; Kressel, Leksikon, s.v.

[Getzel Kressel]

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