Dr. Judah A. Joffe, Noted Philologist, Dies in New York; Was 93

Funeral services were planned today for Professor Judah A. Joffe, noted philologist and lexicographer and editor-in-chief of the Yiddish dictionary which is soon to be published by the Institute of Jewish Lexicology jointly with the City University. Dr. Joffe died here Friday night at the age of 93.

Born in Russia, he came to the United States in 1891 and received a B.A. degree from Columbia in 1893. He held fellowships in classical and comparative philology and studied phonetics and historical English grammar. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia described him as “the first to advocate the now universally accepted Yiddish spelling.”

He served as an editor on the International Yearbook, the New International Encyclopedia and the Nelson Looseleaf Encyclopedia. He contributed also to the Psychiatric Dictionary and the new Webster dictionary in 1912. He had lectured on the Russian language at Columbia University. In the 1940′s he was a professor of Yiddish at the Ecole Libre des Hautes Etudes of the French University in Exile in New York. He was honorary president of the Linguistic Society of New York.

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