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Rubinshteyn, Ruvn

(1891–1967), jurist, journalist, and public figure. Ruvn Rubinshteyn had a traditional religious education and graduated from the Kagan Jewish Secondary School in Vilna. In 1910, he moved to Saint Petersburg, where he graduated from the law faculty of Saint Petersburg University and also attended the Jewish seminars for oriental studies of Baron David Gintsburg. In 1913 he joined the Organization of Zionist Student Youth He-Ḥaver. From August 1917 to February 1918 he edited Evreiskii student (Jewish Student), and from January to August 1918, the Zionist daily Unzer togblat (Our Daily Newspaper). For a time, Rubinshetyn served as secretary to Moisei Aizenshtadt, the Saint Petersburg crown rabbi.

From 1917 Rubinshteyn was secretary of the Central Committee of the Zionist Organization in Russia and from 1919 a member of the Central Committee. In autumn 1919, the Bolsheviks arrested Rubinshteyn for Zionist activities. In April 1920 he was again arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for participating in the All-Russian Conference of Zionists. Given amnesty in July of that year, he served as legal adviser to the Lithuanian Embassy in Moscow.

From 1923 he lived in Kovno, where from the end of 1925 until 1940 he edited the Zionist daily Di idishe shtime (The Jewish Voice), which he turned into the leading Lithuanian Jewish newspaper. In 1924 and 1925 he was also editor and publisher of the illustrated weekly Di velt (The World), and in 1930 coeditor of the literary Mir aleyn (We Alone). From 1925 Rubinshteyn was director-general of the Association of Jewish People’s Banks of Lithuania, and in 1930 he served on the city council of Kovno and as chairman of the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Association of General Zionists.

Arrested by Soviet authorities in July 1940, Rubinshteyn was sent to a labor camp in Vorkuta in 1941; he was granted amnesty in 1943. In 1945 Rubinshteyn moved to Poland and to Munich in 1946. In 1947 and 1948, he chaired the Central Council of Jewish Refugees in Germany, edited Unzer veg (Our Way) and coedited the literary Di velt (The World). He moved to Israel in 1948, and from 1949 to 1964 edited press bulletins (the Hebrew Leket and the Yiddish Zamlung; both meaning Collection) for the Ministry of Defense. From 1964 he worked at the Yiddish desk of the Voice of Israel radio station. He was also the coeditor of the collection Yahadut Lita (Jews of Lithuania).

Under the pseudonym R. Karmi, Rubinshteyn wrote Vozrozhdenie evreiskoi strany (The Rebirth of the Jewish Land; 1917, published in Yiddish in 1918) and Kakaia nam nuzhna obshchina? (What Kind of Community Do We Need?; 1917). He also adopted the pen names R. R., R. K., Ben, and Nobody.

Suggested Reading

Refa’el Ḥasman, “Re’uven Rubinshtein,” in Yahadut Lita, ed. Natan Goren, vol. 2, pp. 322–325 (Tel Aviv, 1972); Abraham Lis, ed., Sefer Re’uven Rubinshtein (Tel Aviv, 1971).



Translated from Russian by I. Michael Aronson