Joseph Leftwich, circa 1937

Joseph Leftwich (1892–1983), born Joseph Lefkowitz, was a British-Jewish critic and translator into English of Yiddish literature. He is known particularly for his 1939 anthology The Golden Peacock of Yiddish poetry, and his 1957 biography of Israel Zangwill.

He was one of the 'Whitechapel Boys' group (the others being John Rodker, Isaac Rosenberg and Stephen Winsten) of aspiring young Jewish writers in London's East End, in the period roughly 1910–1914. He himself retrospectively coined the name, to include also the artists David Bomberg and Mark Gertler.

His daughter Joan[1] married the American writer Joseph McElroy.[2]


  • War (1915)
  • What will happen to the Jews? (1936)
  • Along the Years, Poems: 1911–1937 (1937)
  • The Golden Peacock: An anthology of Yiddish Poetry (1939)
  • Yisroel: The First Jewish Omnibus (1945)
  • The Tragedy of Anti-Semitism (1948) with A. K. Chesterton
  • Israel Zangwill (1957) biography
  • The Way We Think (2 volumes) (1969) editor
  • Anthology of Modern Yiddish Literature (1974)
  • A Distant Voice: An Autobiography of Samuel Lewin, translator
  • Years at the Ending : Poems 1892–1982 (1984)
  • Soldier' song: Translation of Bálint Balassi's poem "Egy katonaének" (Hungarian)


  1. ^ see the dedication page in The Golden Peacock
  2. ^ from the McElroy biography in Vineta Colby (ed) World Authors 1975-1980


  • Joseph Leftwich at Eighty-Five: A Collective Evaluation (1978)

External links