LEFTWICH, JOSEPH (1892–1984), English author, editor, and anthologist. Born Joseph Lefkowitz in Holland, Leftwich eventually became head of the London branch of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (1921–1936). He made his name as an authority on Jewish and Yiddish literature, translating works by Sholem Asch, Max Brod, I.L. Peretz, Zalman Schneour and Stefan Zweig. The Nazis' rise to power stirred him to write What Will Happen to the Jews? (1936) and The Tragedy of Anti-Semitism (in collaboration with A.K. Chesterton, 1948). He also wrote Yiddish Language and Literature (1944), and studies of Herzl (1942) and Zangwill (1957). Leftwich edited two influential anthologies: Yisröel, the First Jewish Omnibus (1933; revised 1963), a wide selection, in English, from the Jewish literature of many countries, and The Golden Peacock (1939), translations from Yiddish poetry. He published a new anthology of Yiddish essays in English translation, The Way We Think (2 vols., 1969). He served from 1945 as director of the British Federation of Jewish Relief Organizations. Leftwich was a friend and associate of such noted East End cultural figures as Isaac *Rosenberg and Mark *Gertler, and coined the name the "Whitechapel Boys" for their group.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.