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  • %0 ART
  • %T
  • %A COHEN Hagit
  • %G 0044-4758
  • %I Historical Society of Israel
  • %C Jerusalem, ISRAEL
  • %D 2010
  • %V 75
  • %N 4
  • %O Hebreu
  • %X This article focuses on the activity of Max N. Maisel as a bookseller and publisher of modern Yiddish literature. Maisel, born in Riga, opened his bookstore on the Lower East Side of New York in 1893. His publishing and book selling activities coincided with the height of the mass immigration, and lasted thereafter into the 1950s. This study, based on his archive, traces his activity as an agent of integration and ethnicization from the period of mass immigration until the end of the 1930s. At the height of mass immigration, Maisel provided for the linguistic and literary needs of the immigrant community during its early stages of integration, as he published Yiddish translations of Ibsen and Chekhov. But given how new, exciting, and different America was, it is no wonder that immigrant Jews needed a 'user's guide' to find their way in their new surroundings. His publishing enterprises indeed included all kinds of guidebooks and manuals on private and public life. As an agent of ethnicization Maisel strove to develop and widen modern Yiddish literature. Following the program of the Czernowitz Conference (1908), he published original and translated works in Yiddish in various fields: fiction, science, and philosophy, as well as textbooks for the children of the Yiddishist secular schools. In the interwar period, along with his close friend Chaim Zhitlovski, he was active in various organizations for promoting the Yiddish culture such as YIVO and Yidisher Kultur Gezelshaft. Maisel lamented the decline of the immigrants' culture in Yiddish in the 1930s. His New York bookstore mirrored the Yiddish readership in the United States and beyond. His commercial networking all over the world sheds light on the ex-territorial nature of Yiddish culture. 
  • %S Zion

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