Wiseman, Shloime

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WISEMAN, SHLOIME (1899–1985), Canadian teacher, Yiddish and Hebrew translator, and critic. Wiseman emigrated to Montreal from Dinovitz, Podolia, in 1913. He was the son of the teacher Shmuel Wiseman, who was a maskil, a Bible specialist, and a Hebraist. Shloime, following in his father's footsteps, earned both a B.A. (1920) and M.A. (1923) in pedagogy from McGill University in Montreal even as he was beginning his career as a teacher in the city's Yidishe Folk Shule, a leftist afternoon school created in 1914. A gifted teacher, in 1920 he was offered the directorship of the institution. He held that position until his retirement in 1969. He also served as lecturer in Hebrew at Sir George Williams University (1953–55) and was the first principal of Montreal's Jewish Teachers' Seminary (1952).

In addition to teaching, Wiseman immersed himself in Montreal's Yiddish-speaking community and its cultural life. As a young teacher he also began writing for the Montreal Yiddish press about pedagogy and the responsibilities of teachers in the maintenance and dissemination of Jewish culture. His first serious text appeared in 1916 and he continued to submit articles in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English to Canadian Jewish newspapers and specialized American periodicals. But Wiseman did not limit himself to articles about pedagogy. He also wrote about literature and philosophy. In 1931, he published a three-volume literary anthology for Yiddish schools entitled Dos Vort. In 1955, working in collaboration with Mordecai Husid, he published a collection of poems written by the late J.J. *Segal under the title of Letste Lider. Wiseman demonstrated his skill as a Hebrew literary critic and translator in 1956 when he assembled, translated, and published a selected anthology of 28 American short-story writers entitled Mesapperim Amerikayim. In 1976 Wiseman also published a Hebrew translation of the work of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus.

[Pierre Anctil (2nd ed.)]