CHORNY, JOSEPH JUDAH:
Russian traveler; born at Minsk April 20, 1835; died at Odessa April 28, 1880. His parents destined him for the wine-growing industry; but after having been graduated as a viticulturalist, he, owing to an indomitable passion for travel and exploration, abandoned this career. For eight years Chorny, with practically no means, explored a great part of the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, and many Asiatic countries; studying everywhere the life, customs, and history of the inhabitants, and chiefly those of the Jews. In 1875, on returning from his travels, he endeavored to publish his studies on the Jews of the countries he had visited, but failed to find the necessary means. He resumed the life of an explorer; and after five years of hardships and privations returned, in ill health and poverty, to Odessa, where he died shortly after his arrival.
Chorny was highly appreciated by the officials of the Russian government, and his studies on the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, published in various Russian papers, attracted the attention of the minister of the interior, Loris Melikov, who recommended Chorny to the protection of the governor-general of Odessa. The most noteworthy of Chorny'sstudies were: "Kratkiya Istoricheskiya Svyedeniya o Gorskikh Yevreyakh Terskoi Oblasti," Terskiya Vyedomosti, 1869; "Gorskie Yevrei," in "Kavkaz," 1870, vol. iii.; "On the Caucasian Jews," in "Den," 1870, No. 38.
Chorny bequeathed his manuscripts to the Society for Promoting Culture Among the Russian Jews; and the latter commissioned A. Harkavy to edit them. They were published with Harkavy's notes under the title "Sefer ha-Massa'ot" (Book of Travels), St. Petersburg, 1884.
- Ha-Zefirah, 1880, p. 148;
- Ha-Meliẓ, 1880, p. 117;
- Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 399.