Prof. Joseph Bar-El (1930 - 2003)
Prof. Joseph Bar-El was born in Sulitza, Romania in 1930. He engaged for many years in Jewish education in Winnipeg, Canada, where he directed the Y.L. Peretz elementary school. His academic career included many years as lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, as well as guest lecturer at Oxford University and in New York. In 1989, Prof. Bar-El conducted a seminar in Moscow for Yiddish teachers from the 17 republics of the USSR. A considerable number of his many students have attained advanced degrees (MA and Ph.D.) in Yiddish studies. His principal areas of research dealt with old Yiddish literature and Yiddish folklore. Although his published articles and books in these fields are far too numerous to be listed here, the most prominent of these are mentioned below: A very important dictionary dealing with old Yiddish terminology in Responsa literature of the late Middle Ages. The Rashi Solutions Book, a noteworthy work dealing with foreign words in the renowned commentary. The Book of Raisinkes and Worldly Saying, containing a veritable treasure of folklore articles and sayings. Prof. Bar-El's last book which deals with the poetry of Ya'akov Friedman, in a way completes a circle - Friedman was also a native of Romania, and Bar-El found his poetry very moving.