||First two issues of the Hebrew weekly literary journal, Ha-Deror, founded by Reuben Brainin. Among if not the first such journal to be published in the United States, its varied contents include articles and verse by leading names in the Jewish world in the first decade of the twentieth century. Ha-Deror was issued as a weekly, appearing every Friday, and went through fifteen issues in 1911. In addition to articles and verse it also includes book reviews. The back page has an English heading Ha-Deror (the Swallow). It names Caspar Levias as president, Dr. Israel Schapiro, and lists Brainin as secretary-treasurer. It prices the journal at 10 cents, $1.60 for six months, and $3.00 for a year. Its inherent value is enhanced as a timepiece for and window into Jewish life of the period. Both issues including numerous advertisements.
Reuben Brainin (18621939) was a Hebrew and Yiddish author. Born in Lyady, Belorussia, Brainin received a traditional Jewish education. His first article was on the last days of Perez Smolenskin (Ha-Meliẓ (1888), no. 59). In 1892 he settled in Vienna where he published an influential but short-lived periodical Mi-Mizraḥ u-mi-Ma'arav (189499) which was intended to be a bridge between European and Hebrew literature. Only four issues were published at long intervals, with articles on Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Ibsen, and Hebrew scholars such as Elijah b. Solomon Zalman of Vilna. Brainin also published essays in the annual Aḥi'asaf. He attracted wide attention with his caustic critique of Judah Leib Gordon in the first issue of Ha-Shilo'ah (1896), edited by Aḥad Ha-Am . The central theme of Brainin's work was Hebrew literature in the context of world literature. His flair for biography came to the fore in monographs on two great writers of the Haskalah period, Perez Smolenskin (1896) and Abraham Mapu (1900), which possessed an unusual freshness of tone and approach. He championed the young and unknown Saul Tchernichowsky , who became one of the great Hebrew poets of the century. In Ha-Dor (founded in 1900), Brainin published articles and sketches on contemporary Hebrew writers and artists. There was hardly a Hebrew periodical of the time to which Brainin did not contribute. He also wrote extensively in Yiddish and contributed articles to the Russian-Jewish press. In 1909 Brainin settled in America where he founded the periodical Ha-Deror. He spent a few years in Canada, where he edited two Yiddish papers: first the Kanader Adler (191215), then Der Weg (191516). He returned to New York and assumed the editorship of Ha-Toren (191925), first as a weekly, then as a monthly. In New York he also published the first volume of an uncompleted biography of Herzl, Hayyei Herzl (1919), covering the period up to the First Zionist Congress. Toward the end of his life, Brainin wrote almost exclusively in Yiddish. His championship of the autonomous Jewish province of Birobidzhan in Soviet Russia alienated him from Hebrew writers and Hebrew literature. The three volumes of his selected writings (Ketavim Nivḥarim, 192240) afford an insight into his activities as a critic, publicist, and writer of sketches and short impressionistic stories. He also translated into Hebrew M. Lazarus' Der Prophet Jeremias (1897) and Max Nordau's Paradoxes (1901).