SCHARFSTEIN, ẒEVI (1884–1972), U.S. Hebrew educator, journalist, and publisher. Born in the Ukraine, Scharfstein devoted himself to educational work from 1903. After directing a Hebrew school in Tarnow, Galicia (1900–14), he arrived in the United States in 1914 and two years later became instructor at the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he eventually served as professor of Jewish education until his retirement in 1960.
A prodigious contributor to the Hebrew press, his column in the American Hebrew weekly Hadoar dealt with political and, especially, with literary events. From 1907 Scharfstein also published educational texts embracing Hebrew literature, Jewish education, Bible, and Hebrew language.
His historical works as a Jewish educator include Ha-Ḥeder be-Ḥayyei Ammenu (1943) and Toledot ha-Ḥinnukh be-Yisrael ba-Dorot ha-Aḥaronim (5 vols., 1960–66); and his autobiographical works comprise Arba'im Shanah ba-Amerikah (1955–56). Among his contributions to Hebrew lexicography is Oẓar ha-Ra'yonot ve-ha-Pitgamim (3 vols., 1966). From 1940 Scharfstein was editor of the educational periodical Shevilei ha-Ḥinnukh.
Sefer ha-Yovel li-Khevod Ẓevi Scharfstein (1955), 7–28 (incl. bibl.); Sefer Scharfstein (1944), 163–231 (incl. bibl.); Sefer Scharfstein (1971); Waxman, Literature, index.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.