Tuesday, 19 March 2019


FROYM KUPFER (b. 1905)
            He was born in Proshovits (Proszowice), Kelts (Kielce) district.  He came from a rabbinical family.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshivas, later turning to general subject matter and studying history at Lodz University.  During WWII he was in Bialystok and Soviet camps.  From 1945 he was in Lower Silesia, from 1947 in Warsaw, and 1957 in Israel.  He published historical works in Polish and a great deal of Yiddish journalism in: Bleter far geshikhte (Pages for history) in Warsaw, also its co-editor; Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz and Warsaw; Naye kultur (New culture); and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) in Tel Aviv; among others.  In book form: Ber mayzels, zayn onteyl in di kamfn far der frayhayt fun poylishn folk un der glaykhbarekhtiḳung fun di yidn (Ber Meyzels, his role in the struggles for the freedom of the Polish people and equal rights for the Jews) (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1952), 231 pp.
Ruvn Goldberg


SHOLEM Y. KUPERSHMID (1881-1968)[1]
            He was a folklorist and literary scholar, born in Belatserkov (Bila Tserkva), Ukraine.  He worked as a teacher in the 1920s in the Jewish schools of his hometown.  He was engaged his entire life in the collection of Jewish folklore, especially folksongs, and he participated in the work of the “ethnography section” of the Institute of Jewish Culture. Together with M. Beregovski, he published Yiddish folksongs, melodies, aphorisms, and witticisms.  He wrote articles for: Tsaytshrift (Periodical) in Minsk, Ratnbildung (Soviet education), Afn shprakhfront (On the language front), Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language) in Kiev, the anthology Folklor-lider, naye materyaln zamlung (Folkloric poetry, new material collection), vol. 2 (Moscow: Emes, 1936)—forty-six of the folksongs included were ones he transcribed for the “ethnography section” in Belatserkov and other Ukrainian towns—and Sovetish literatur (Soviet literature), among others.  In book form: Folkslider fun der foterlenderisher milkhome (Folksongs from the war of the fatherland) (Moscow: Emes, 1944), 30 pp.  He died in Belatserkov.

Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Nokhum Oyslender, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (January 18, 1945); Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 4 (1966).
Berl Cohen

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 332.]

[1] Translator’s note.  The Leksikon gives a birth year of 1889. (JAF)


LEYBL KUPERSHMID (b. September 23, 1910)
            He was poet, born in Byale-Ravske (Biała Rawska), Poland.  He studied in a religious elementary school and in the synagogue of the Gerer Hassidim.  From 1923 he spent several years in Lodz and worked there in a bakery.  He then returned to his hometown and studied carpentry.  He spent WWII in the Soviet Union.  He returned to Lodz in 1947, and from 1957 he was living in Israel, where he worked his trade.  He began literary work in the mid-1930s.  After the war he published poems in: Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) in Lodz; Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz-Warsaw; Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Letste nayes (Latest news), and Bay zikh (On one’s own) in Tel Aviv; and Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris.  His work also appeared in: Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber in yisroel (Almanac of Yiddish writers in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1967); and M. Knapheys and Shmuel Rozhanski, Antologye, vidershtand un oyfshtand, lider, proze, drame, muzik tsu 2 lider (Anthology, resistance and insurrection, poems, prose, drama, music to two poems) (Buenos Aires, 1970).  His work includes: Tsiter-fayerlekh (Trembling fires), poetry (Lodz: Grinverml, 1937), 32 pp.; Der shney-mentsh, kinder-shpil in fir akten (The snowman, a children’s play in four acts) (Lodz, 1939), 19 pp.; Flemelekh in der nakht, lider (Flames in the night, poetry) (Lodz: Yidish-bukh, 1949), 47 pp.; Toybn in denkmeler (Doves on monuments), poetry (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1953), 35 pp.; In lebn farlibt (In love with life), poetry (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1955), 58 pp.; Eli, eli, drame in zibn bilder fun lebn in geto under der natsi-hershaft (My God, my God, a drama in seven scenes of life in the ghetto under Nazi domination) (Tel Aviv, 1960), 54 pp.; Farrundikte legende, dramatishe poeme (Fine legend, a dramatic poem) (Tel Aviv, 1966), 219 pp.; Mit opgebrite finger (With a scalded finder), poetry (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1975), 155 pp.; Kuntres byale-poshet (byale-ravske) (Commentary on Biała Rawska), memoirs (Tel Aviv, 1976), 190 pp.; Peysekhdike koyselekh, lider un poemes (Passover drinks, poetry) (Tel Aviv, 1978), 141 pp.; Gaz un vayroykh, shaylok un dzhesike, dramatishe poeme (Gas and incense, Shylock and Jessica, a dramatic poem) (Tel Aviv, 1979), 134 pp.  “The facts that have inspired the poet,” noted Y. Yanasovitsh, “are actually well known, but the images through which he expresses his pain breathe with horror as if for the first time.”  He was last living in Ḥolon, Israel.  It was there that he co-edited the literary journal Funken (Sparks) in 1967.

Sources: Foroys (Warsaw) 4 (1938); B. Mark, in Yidishe shriftn (Lodz-Warsaw) (June 1949); Daniel Leybl, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (December 2, 1949); ol verua (Sand and wind) (Holon, 1964), pp. 187-89; V. Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (July 22, 1966); D. Sfard, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 75 (1975); A. Karpinovitsh, in Letste nayes (June 30, 1975); Y. Yanasovitsh, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (June 23, 1976); Khayim Leyb Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystiḳe un derhoybene lodzh, 100 yor yidishe un oykh hebreishe literatur un kultur in lodzh un in di arumiḳe shtet un shtetlekh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz, 100 years of Yiddish and also Hebrew literature and culture in Lodz and in the surrounding cities and towns) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), see index.
Ruvn Goldberg

Monday, 18 March 2019


LEYB KUPERSHTEYN (b. August 25, 1905)
            He was born in Markulesht (Mărculeşti), Bessarabia.  He attended a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) and a Hebrew high school.  He went on to study in Belgium and France.  He worked as a teacher in his city and from 1933 he was living in Belz.  From 1940 he was in the land of Israel.  Kupershteyn’s main work was in Hebrew—Megilat struma (The story of the Strumah) (Tel Aviv, 1941/1942), 128 pp.; Goral yehude romaniya (The fate of Romanian Jewry) (Tel Aviv, 1943/1944), 107 pp.; and Bisheliut hatenua haivrit (On behalf of the movement for Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1965), 93 pp.; among other works.  From 1922 he was publishing reportage pieces as well as journalistic and literary critical articles in: the daily Unzer tsayt (Our time), Tsayt-fragn (Issue of the day), and Dos kooperative vort (The cooperative word)—in Kishinev; Tshernovitser bleter (Czernowitz pages); and Oyfgang (Arise) in Sighet.  He edited and published the weekly newspaper Dos beltser vort (The Belz word).  In Israel he wrote from time to time for Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  He wrote a monograph on Yankev Fikhman—in his anthology Asif, mivhar yetsirato shel yaaḳov fikhman beshira uveproza (Harvest, selected work of Yaakov Fikhman in poetry and prose) (Tel Aviv: Masada, 1958/1959); and a work on Froym Oyerbakh—in Ir levana, Vayse shtot (White city) (Tel Aviv, 1960), 134 pp.
Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 482.]


LEO KUPERMAN (June 24, 1883-September 29, 1949)
            He was born in Jassy (Iași), Romania.  His first name in Yiddish was Shaye-Arye.  He was one of the oldest book dealers in Romania.  He was raised in Hassidic surroundings.  He attended religious elementary school and later a German school.  In 1900 he began writing in Romanian.  Kuperman’s first poems in Yiddish, written in Roman letters, were published in the supplement to Nosn Birnboym’s Yidishe vokhnshrift (Yiddish weekly writing) in Vienna.  He returned to New York (where he had lived over the years 1900-1904) and worked as a teacher of German and French.  He published poems in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York and other periodicals, and he contributed to Tog (Day) in New York and Idishe velt (Jewish work) in Philadelphia, in which he published the majority of his poetry, articles, feature pieces, and reviews.  In book form: Azrael, a tragedi (Azrael, a tragedy) (New York: R. Raskin, 1910), 54 pp.; a translation of J. W. von Goethe, Faust, a tragedye in tsvey teyl (Faust, a tragedy in two parts), with commentaries by the greatest Goethe scholars (New York-Philadelphia: Malerman’s Literary Publishing Co., 1920), 2 vols.  His play Der yid (The Jew), written with William Edlin, was staged in 1931, but it remains unpublished.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); Y. Horovits, in Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York) 174 (1942).
Berl Cohen


KHASYE KUPERMAN (February 2, 1907)
            The wife of N. B. Minkov, she was born in New York.  She studied in the municipal schools and Talmud-Torah.  In 1926 she graduated from the teachers’ seminary of the Workmen’s Circle; in 1927 graduated from Hunter College; and in 1933 received her doctorate from Columbia University.  In the late 1930, she and Minkov directed courses on Yiddish literature at the New School for Social Research in New York.  She debuted in print in 1925 with poetry in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.  She contributed essays and poetry to: Bodn (Terrain), Kern (Nucleus), the collections 1925 and 1926, Inzikh (Introspective), and Undzer bukh (Our book), among others.  Her work appeared as well in Moyshe Shtarkman’s Hamshekh antologye (Hamshekh anthology) (New York, 1945) and Ezra Korman’s Yidishe dikhterins, antologye (Female Yiddish poets, anthology) (Chicago: L. M. Shteyn, 1928).  In book form: In yagd (In the hunt) (New York: Zun, 1929), 76 pp.  She also compiled the volume Nokhum borekh minkov (Nokhum Borekh Minkov) (New York, 1959), 348 pp.  She translated Paul Valery’s Metod fun leonard da vintshi (The method of Leonardo da Vinci [original: Introduction à la méthode de Léonard de Vinci]).

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3.
Berl Cohen


LEYZER-PINKHES KUPERMAN (b. February 21, 1884)
            The author of stories, he was born in Ostrovtse (Ostrowiec), Poland.  He studied with the Ostrovtser rebbe, R. Meyer-Yekhiel.  At age sixteen he joined the Polish Socialist Party (P.P.S.), later becoming involved in a circle surrounding Hillel Tsaytlin.  In 1910 he left for the United States where he became active among the Labor Zionists.  He published stories in: Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) and Nyu-yorker vokhenblat (New York weekly newspaper).  In book form: Amolike doyres (Bygone generations), stories (New York, 1955), 358 pp.; In gerangl mit goyrl, roman fun der sheyres hapleyte (In a struggle with fate, a novel of survivors) (New York, 1964), 343 pp.; Gevunen dray din-toyres (Winning three rabbinical lawsuits) (New York, 1964), 12 pp.; Fun velt tsu velt, dertseylungen (From world to world, stories) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1974), 251 pp.

Sources: Y. Varshavski (Bashevis), in Forverts (New York) (January 29, 1956); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (August 3, 1956); E. Naks, in Forverts (March 30, 1975); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen