BIENSTOK, JUDAH LEIB (Leon; 1836–1894), Russian writer and community leader. He was born in Volhynia and educated in Zhitomir at the government-sponsored rabbinical seminary. He served as government-appointed rabbi at Zhitomir from 1859 to 1862. Afterward he worked as a specialist for Jewish affairs in the office of the governor of Volhynia. He wrote for the Jewish press in Russian and Yiddish. In 1879 he went to St. Petersburg where for a time he became the secretary of both the Jewish community and the "Society for the   Spreading of Enlightenment." As a friend of mendele Mokher Seforim, he translated his He-Avot Ve-ha-Banim ("Fathers and Children") into Russian and collaborated with him on a few popular pamphlets in Yiddish, also writing one of the first biographical articles about him (Voskhod, 12, 1884). In 1891 he published a study of the Jewish agricultural settlements in the district of Yekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk). In 1892 when vladimir tiomkin resigned from his post as Ḥovevei Zion representative in Ereẓ Israel, the odessa committee appointed Bienstok in his place. He assisted in the establishment of modern schools in the country and the founding of the Sha'arei Zion library in Jaffa. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Tidhar, 3 (1958), 1280–81; LNYL, 1 (1956), 297–8. (Yehuda Slutsky)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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