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Papers of Tashrak

Identifier: RG 1502

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains three primary groups of materials: correspondence, manuscripts, and clippings. Correspondence is the smallest series but may be the most significant, containing as it does Tashrak’s correspondence with Sholem Aleichem. Manuscripts consists of primarily photocopied scripts of Tashrak’s works, adapted for performance whether live or radio. The final series of clippings is the largest. Although this series consists of published materials that may be found elsewhere, these clippings have been carefully assembled to provide the entire run of Tashrak’s columns, for example his series titled "Joe the Waiter," or "Shulem the Shadchan." Other clippings contain announcements of his readings or events honoring him, articles describing his work for German, English, or Hungarian-speaking audiences, or obituaries.


  • undated, 1905-1961

Language of Materials

The collection is in Yiddish and English, with a few articles in other languages.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained in writing from the YIVO Archives.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

YIVO Archives, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Tashrak, pen name of Israel Joseph Zevin, was born June 30, 1872 in Horki, a town in what is now Belarus, and died October 5, 1926, in New York. He was a humorist, translator of agadot from the Talmud, and journalist. He was primarily affiliated with the Yidishes Tageblat , but wrote frequently for other newspapers as well. His journalistic career was wide-ranging, involving him in journalistic work in other cities both in America (such as his stint as editor of Di Yudishe Prese , a weekly based in Philadelphia) and abroad (such as his articles for the Warsaw daily Dos Lebn / Der Fraynt ). He also wrote for English language papers such as the New York Herald . He was a popular writer that reached a huge audience, and was called in the American press “the Yiddish Mark Twain.”


"Tashrak." Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur . Niger, Shmuel, Ya'akov Shatski, eds. Nyu-York : Alveltlekher Yidisher kultur-kongres, 1956-1981, Vol. 8, 807.


1.08 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of Tashrak, the American Yiddish humorist and journalist. It consists primarily of clippings of Tashrak’s columns and about Tashrak, but also contains correspondence, including his correspondence with Sholem Aleichem, and manuscripts created when he adapted his works for performance.


The series are arranged by type of material.

  1. Series I: Correspondence, 1905-1924
  2. Series II: Manuscripts, undated, 1926
  3. Series III: Clippings, undated, 1909-1961

Acquisition Information

These records were received from Arthur and Miriam Kulik, descendents of Tashrak, in 1996. Additional materials were received from Dan La Botz in 2012.

Guide to the Papers of Tashrak undated, 1905-1961 RG 1502
Processed by Sarah Ponichtera in 2013, made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States