RIBALOW, MENACHEM


RIBALOW, MENACHEM (1895–1953), U.S. Hebrew editor and essayist. Born in Chudnov, Volhynia (Russia), Ribalow received a yeshivah education and also studied at the University of Moscow; he immigrated to the United States in 1921. Two years later he was appointed editor of the Hebrew weekly Hadoar. For 30 years he wrote his weekly editorials under his pseudonym, M. Shoshani, and hundreds of essays which appeared in various periodicals and, eventually, were collected in five volumes. As an essayist he concentrated on literary criticism, especially of Hebrew poetry. Though his love for Hebrew sometimes led him to hyperbolic evaluations of Hebrew writers, he was a perceptive critic. Many Hebrew authors in the U.S. made their debut under his guidance.

Ribalow also edited a short-lived quarterly Mabbu'a (1952/53); two jubilee volumes of Hadoar (1952); several volumes of a literary annual Sefer ha-Shanah li-Yhudei Amerikah ("The Year Book of American Jews") between 1931 and 1949; a literary annual; and memorial volumes for various writers. He also edited an anthology of American-Hebrew poetry in Yiddish, an anthology of Hebrew writers and Ahisefer (1944), a volume designed to foster greater understanding between Hebrew and Yiddish writers in the U.S. A collection of some of his literary essays appeared in English translation, The Flowering of Modern Hebrew Literature (1959, tr. and ed. by J. Nadich). Ribalow was a leader of Histadrut Ivrit of America, an organization for the propagation of Hebrew culture in the United States. With Israel's President Izhak *Ben-Zvi, he was co-president of the World Hebrew Union.

His son, HAROLD URIEL RIBALOW (1919–1982), was a writer and anthologist with a special interest in Jewish participation in the world of sport. He published The Jew in American Sports (1949) and Fighter from Whitechapel: The Story of Daniel Mendoza (1962). He served as editor of Congress Weekly from 1946 to 1951, the American Zionist from 1951 to 1953, and as sports editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after 1956.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A. Epstein, Soferim Ivrim ba-Amerikah, 2 (1952), 420–7; H. Bavli, Ruḥot Nifgashot (1958), 193–202; Waxman, Literature, 4 (19602), 1075–76; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 855–6.

[Eisig Silberschlag]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.