Prylucki, Noah

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PRYLUCKI, NOAH (1882–1941), Yiddish philologist and journalist, and Polish political leader. Born in Berdichev, Ukraine, he grew up in Kremenets and in Warsaw, and practiced as a lawyer after 1909. Having published a collection of erotic lyrics, Farn Mizbeakh (1908), he gave up poetry and devoted himself to journalism and Yiddish philology. He was a pioneer of research into the Yiddish language and helped to classify the various dialects of Eastern, Central, and Western Yiddish. His closest collaborators were the linguist M. *Weinreich, the literary historian Z. *Rejzen, and the folklorist Shmuel Lehman. At the Czernowitz Language Conference of 1908, he fought unsuccessfully for an extreme resolution declaring Yiddish as the national Jewish language. In 1905, together with his father, Ẓevi *Prylucki, he founded the Warsaw Yiddish daily Der *Moment, which existed until the German occupation of Warsaw in 1939. Active in politics from 1916, he was the defender of the impoverished Jews and of the middle-class artisans. He founded the Folkspartei, which fought for Jewish autonomous rights in Poland. In 1918 he was elected as the party's representative in the Polish Sejm. Besides publishing philological studies, he influenced the modernization of Yiddish orthography, helped to found the *yivo Institute for Jewish Research, edited yivo's organ Yidish far Ale (1838–1939), and published articles and reviews in yivo Bleter. When World War ii began, he fled to Vilna, where he lectured on Yiddish philology until 1941. When the Germans marched into Vilna he was arrested, compelled to classify yivo's treasures for the Gestapo, and tortured to death.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 954–66; M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon (1945), 174–6. add. bibliography: J. Gothelf, Ittonut Yehudit she-Hayeta (1973), index.

[Melech Ravitch]