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Mordechai Tenenblatt Dead at 94

March 2, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services were held here yesterday for Mordechai Anshel Tenenblatt, one of the first correspondents and editors of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He died Saturday at the age of 94.

Tenenblatt was born in Oziran, Galicia. He studied at the yeshivas of Galicia and Hungary and later completed his studies in Vienna and Czemovitz. As a young man he devoted himself to the promotion of Jewish culture and taught Hebrew and Jewish journalism.

He was a Judaica scholar and an expert in Hebrew and Yiddish as well as English and German. He was a member of the Hebrew Teachers Association in Galicia and subsequently became its secretary. He composed a Hebrew instruction book titled “Our Language.”

Tenenblatt published numerous articles in Jewish newspapers in Poland, Germany and the United States. During World War I, he was the editor of the Zionist daily, “Tenenblatt,” which began publication in 1904 in Lemberg. In 1918 he was arrested by Polish authorities following his paper’s strong criticism of the pograms by the Polish army against the Jews of Lemberg.

Tenenblatt was sentenced by a military court and detained in a concentration camp, where he remained until the Paris peace conference at the end of 1919. Upon his release, he was sent by the Council of Jewish Communities in Poland to join the delegation of European Jewry to the peace conference. Afterwards, the Council sent him to the Ukraine, as a journalist, following reports of pograms against the Jews in the Ukraine.

After Poland conquered western Ukraine, Tenenblatt moved to Vienna where he worked as the chief correspondent for the Jewish Daily Forward in New York City and published many articles in the Morgen Journal, also in New York, and other publications.

Tenenblatt began a new chapter in his journalistic career when the Jewish Correspondents Bureau, established in 1917 in The Hogue by his old friend Jacob Landau, moved in 1920 from The Hague to London under the new name of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Landau, who had known Teneblatt’s journalistic activities from his work in Vienna, invited him to become JTA’s chief correspondent in Europe, working in Vienna

During the administration of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss (1932-34), Tenenblatt was arrested by the Austrian authorities following an in-depth report on the persecution of Jews and the violation of their rights in that country. He was released shortly afterwards at the intervention of the United States government after the JTA publicized his plight and asked the U.S. to intercede on his behalf. After his release, Tenenblatt moved to London where he headed the world operation of the JTA.

Upon the establishment of the JTA office in Jerusalem, he immigrated to Palestine and served as chief of the Palestine bureau and later the Israel bureau until his retirement, due to illness, in 1955. Since then, Tenenblatt researched the Babylonian Talmud, which he regarded as his life’s work.

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