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Yudi Mark Dead at 78

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Dr. Yudi Mark, foremost Yiddish lexicographer and Editor-In-Chief of “The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language,” died Friday in the hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, after suffering a stroke. He was 78 years old, Interment took place today in the family plot in Toronto. Dr. Mark made his home in Israel since 1970 but had been here on a visit the past few weeks and had just arrived at the home of his son, a scientist in Wilmington.

Born in Polonge, Lithuania, Dr, Mark attended the University of Petrograd (now Leningrad) and from 1921 to 1927 was director of the Jewish Secondary School at Wilkomir in Lithuania of which he was also the founder. From 1927-1930 he taught at the Jewish secondary school at Riga, Latvia and from 1930-1936 he was the editor of the Yiddish daily newspaper in Kovno, Lithuania, in the latter year, he came to America where he taught in Jewish schools until 1940 when he joined the staff of the Jewish Education Committee of New York (now Board of Jewish Education) as educational consultant for the Yiddish schools. He retired from this position in 1968.

From 1940 to 1970, Dr. Mark was also professor of Yiddish language, grammar and literature at the Jewish Teachers Seminary-Herzliah in New York. He was the author of numerous books, principally grammars and other text books in Yiddish, and teachers’ manuals.

“The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language” represents his life’s work in collecting Yiddish words and phrases. Together with his associates, he amassed more than 250,000, and it was his ambition to have published a dictionary that would do for the Yiddish language what the Oxford dictionary is to the English language, Three large volumes have already been published and a fourth has been sent to the printers. This will complete the entries under “Aleph,” the first letter in the Hebrew-Yiddish alphabet.

The headquarters of the Dictionary Committee are at 1048 Fifth Avenue, New York. It is associated with the Institute for Yiddish Lexicology of the City College of New York and with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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