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The Jews of Pinsk, 1881 to 1941$
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Azriel Shohet, Mark Jay Mirsky, and Moshe Rosman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804741583

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804741583.001.0001

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The Hebrew Language Movement in Pinsk

The Hebrew Language Movement in Pinsk

(p.126) Three The Hebrew Language Movement in Pinsk
The Jews of Pinsk, 1881 to 1941
Stanford University Press

This chapter traces the emergence of a Hebrew language movement in Pinsk, Belarus. It first looks at the efforts of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda to resurrect spoken Hebrew in the Palestine during the early 1880s, and how the idea gained currency among Russian nationalist maskilim. Y. L. Dovidovitz, an Odessa teacher, claimed to have founded the earliest Hebrew-speaking society in 1889, the same year that Eliezer Ben Yehuda and Yitzhak d'Arabela established a Safah Berurah society in Jerusalem. In November 1889, Dovidovitz launched a Hebrew-speaking circle which he called Sefatenu Itanu (our own language). The following year, the first branch of the Safah Berurah society of Jerusalem was inaugurated. Also in 1890, a Pinsk society using the name Safah Berurah was formed. On the eve of World War I, many people in Pinsk understood Hebrew and listened to lectures and eulogies in this language.

Keywords:   Pinsk, Belarus, Hebrew language, Palestine, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Y. L. Dovidovitz, Odessa, Safah Berurah, Sefatenu Itanu, Yitzhak d'Arabela

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