Golomb, Abraham

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GOLOMB, ABRAHAM (1888–1982), Yiddish writer and educator. Born in Lithuania, Golomb studied at yeshivot and at the University of Kiev. In 1921–31 he directed the Yiddish Teachers' Seminary in Vilna. He settled as a teacher in Palestine (1932), before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, (1938) to become the principal of the Peretz School, to Mexico City (1944) to head Yiddish schools there, and finally to Los Angeles (1964–82). In his hundreds of articles and many books he expounded his ideology of "Integral Jewishness," which includes the language, festivals, religious observances, family relationships, and ideals of the Jews, which collective experience he deemed essential for the continued existence of the Jewish people. Like Simon *Dubnow and *Aḥad Ha-Am, Golomb stressed the need for retaining Jewish distinctiveness in the Diaspora, holding that this will remain a continuing fact of Jewish historic life, no matter how much the Jewish center in Israel grows. Golomb called for maximum efforts to retain both Yiddish and Hebrew as national languages of the Jewish people. Diaspora communities which were giving up Yiddish were becoming fossilized and fragmented into the scattered dying remnants of a people. He advocated the canonization of the finest works of Yiddish literature, as had been done with earlier holy works in Hebrew. Golomb enriched the Yiddish vocabulary of science and psychology and supplemented his theoretical discourses with practical classroom texts. His selected works Geklibene Shriftn ("Selected Works") appeared in six volumes (1945–48).


Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1926), 464–6; S. Kahan, Literarische un Zhurnalistische Fartseykhnungen (1961), 259–62. add. bibliography: T. Soxberger, in: G. Estraikh and M. Krutikov (eds.), Yiddish and the Left (2001), 195–207.

[Sol Liptzin /

Gennady Estraikh (2nd ed.)]