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Wilder, Hertz Emanuel


WILDER, HERTZ EMANUEL (1888–1948), activist, Yiddish journalist, and newspaper editor. Wilder was born in a Romanian village at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. He was educated in ḥeder and public schools in Craiova, and graduated from a commercial state school in Bucharest, where he became active in Jewish literary and Zionist circles. He immigrated to Canada in 1903 and settled in Winnipeg, where he lived until his death. He was employed in banking, business, and printing.

Wilder was active in Winnipeg Jewish institutional life, and played leadership roles in causes such as education, war relief, and immigrant aid. He also served as first English secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and as vice president of the Zionist Organization of Canada. His Yiddish poems, short stories, and articles on Jewish and non-Jewish issues and historical materials on Jewish settlement in Western Canada appeared in the Winnipeg Dos Folk and Der Kanader Yid (renamed Dos Yidishe Vort, 1915). In 1915 Wilder assumed ownership of the Israelite Press, and until 1933 served as president and managing editor of the bilingual Yiddish-English weekly Dos Yidishe Vort/Israelite Press, which briefly appeared as a daily in 1928. As editor, Wilder fostered Yiddish literature and encouraged contributions by young Yiddish writers. Wilder was a pioneer of the Anglo-Jewish press in Western Canada, and in 1920 he founded the short-lived weekly Guardian, where he published his English translations of Yiddish literature. Wilder left the weekly Dos Yidishe Vort for financial reasons, but returned as co-publisher in 1946 and contributed a regular English language column until his death.


C.L. Fuks, Hundert Yor Yidishe un Hebreyishe Literatur in Kanade (1982), 106; H. Gutkin, Journey into Our Heritage: The Story of the Jewish People in the Canadian West (1980), 179; L. Levendel, A Century of the Canadian Jewish Press: 1880s–1980s (1989), 24.

[Rebecca E. Margolis (2nd ed.)]

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