Romano, Samuel

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ROMANO, SAMUEL (1906–1941), Yugoslav author, editor, and translator. Born in Sarajevo and raised in an observant Sephardi family, Romano studied at the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin. He later became a teacher of religion in the high schools of Zagreb and remained active in the profession until his death, which coincided with the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia. As a writer and educator, Romano did much to widen the scope of Jewish knowledge and culture, and much of his literary work is concerned with Jewish national themes.

In his youth, he wrote lyric poetry in Serbo-Croatian and hundreds of children's poems, some of which were collected in Bajke, priče, slike Šemuela čike ("Tales, Stories, and Pictures of Uncle Samuel," 1938). During the 1920s and 1930s, he also edited the Zagreb children's monthly Ha-Aviv and the literary supplement of the Jewish weekly Židov, in which many of his outstanding translations of modern Hebrew prose and poetry appeared. His translations of stories by Burla and Hameiri also appeared in book form. Romano was the first to collect and publish the proverbs of the Bosnian Sephardim, and his study of Solomon ibn Gabirol appeared in 1930. He also helped to translate an anthology of modern Hebrew literature by Rabinson and Bistritski (Antologija novohebrejske književnosti, 1933).

[Cvi Rotem]