LERNER, JOSEPH JUDAH (OSSIP):
Russian journalist; born Jan. 1, 1849, at Berdychev; educated at the gymnasium of Jitomir. In 1866 he went to Odessa, where he studied law for a year, and then entered upon a journalistic career. He served for ten years on the staff of the "Odeski Vyestnik," acting as war correspondent for that paper during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78. In Bucharest he published during the war a daily paper, "Zapiski Grazhdanina." In 1880 he founded at Odessa a Jewish theater, for which he wrote many plays in Judæo-German. The years 1883 and 1884 he spent in Germany and France as correspondent of the Moscow daily "Russkiya Vyedomosti," writing articles for other Russian papers also. In Hebrew Lerner published: a short sketch on the Chazars (Odessa, 1866); "Ma'amar Biḳḳoret" (ib. 1867), a criticism upon Gottlobers; "Yamim mi-Ḳedem" (ib. 1868), a tale of Jewish life in Russia; and articles on various topics of the time. Of his dramas in Judæo-German may be mentioned "Zhidovka," "Ḥanukkah," and "Der Fetter Moshe Mendelssohn" (Warsaw, 1889).
Lerner wrote many articles in Russian on the Jewish question, a list of which is to be found in "Sistematicheski Ukazatel," etc., St. Petersburg, 1893. In 1902 Lerner published "Yevrei Novorossiskavo Kraya," a historical sketch of the life of the Jews in South Russia, which, however, is rather a memoir than a history.
Lerner, who has recently become a convert to Christianity, is now (1904) residing in Odessa.
- Sokolov, Sefer Zikkaron, p. 66.