Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker: Samuel Zagat's Yiddish Comic Strips 1912-1914

NEW: Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker Volume 4

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The 8-1/2x11" 180 page book is available for $9.90: Gimpel Beynish Volume 4 at Amazon's Createspace
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Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker Volume 3

Buy the $5 digital download (PDF) of Volume 3 by clicking here:

The 8-1/2x11" 220 page book is available for $11.90: Gimpel Beynish Volume 3 at Amazon's Createspace
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Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker Volume II

Buy the $5 digital download (PDF) of Volume II by clicking here:

The 8-1/2x11" 158 page book is available for $9.90: Gimpel Beynish Volume II at Amazon's Createspace
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Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker Volume I

Buy the $5 digital download (PDF) of Volume I by clicking here:

The 8-1/2x11" 130 page book is available for $9.90: Gimpel Beynish Volume I at Amazon's Createspace
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Samuel Zagat was born in 1887 to Isaac and Mary Aronoff Zagat in Sebesh, a Lithuanian village near Vitebsk. Mary and the children followed Isaac to America in 1893. In 1900 Sam lived in Brooklyn with his widowed mother Mary, his older brother Isidore, and his younger sisters Sarah and Minnie.

His wife Ida Roji (Rojansky) Zagat published a book of his illustrations and comics in 1972, Samuel Zagat: Drawings and Paintings: Jewish Life on New York's Lower East Side 1912-1962. I got a used copy from the Strand Bookstore. Ida wrote that Sam's formal education ended with elementary school because he and his brother had to support the family. He attended evening sessions at the Art Students League and the Academy of Art.

The editor of Warheit, Louis B. Miller, hired Zagat in 1912; Zagat's political cartoons first appeared in March of that year and his first Gimpel Beynish cartoon appeared in December. Jacob C. Rich, one of his editors, wrote that, while the ideas and text accompanying the drawings were Miller’s, "Zagat endued them with a playfulness and a Jewish charm that no other artist was able to duplicate"

I found Zagat while researching a song called "Gimpel Beinish the Matchmaker" in the American Yiddish Penny Songs collection. In the song, Gimpel grumbles that his livelihood is being destroyed by the personal ads in Der Toybn Post - turns out this was the Warheit personals column.

Sam's Gimpl Beynish der Shadchen cartoons ran in the Warheit until it folded in 1919 and subsequently, intermittently in the Forverts for several decades. The NYU library has a large collection of his original drawings. I found the cartoons in the Warheit on-line, downloaded 252 of them, cleaned them up, translated them, and re-typed the tiny Yiddish captions (free pdf file of the Yiddish available on request).

The Yiddish Forverts wrote about my book on December 3, 2015: גימפּל־בייניש אויף ענגליש.

I post strips at the Gimpel Beynish blog.

I post Gimpel images at Jane Peppler on Instagram.




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