Tuesday, 20 November 2018


            A poet, prose writer, and dramatist, he was born in the town of Vasilkov (Vasylkiv), Kiev district, Ukraine.  He studied in a Russian school and at an art studio.  He mastered Yiddish on his own.  Until 1968 he was living in Floresht (Florești), Bessarabia.  He graduated from the department of theatrical direction at the state institute for culture in Leningrad.  Until 1986 he worked as a painter, porter, stonemason, and musician at Jewish weddings.  He was the artistic director of the local Jewish theater studio “Menoyre” (Menorah) in Belz.  From 1986 he was a lecturer at the Belz pedagogical institute.  In 1991 he made aliya to the state of Israel.  He debuted in print with poems and stories in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), and in 1992 he published his first book in Tel Aviv.  He worked successfully in the field of playwriting.  His work has been translated into Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, and German.  He was the 1989 winner of the Kubi Vohl Prize, given by the association of Yiddish writers and journalists in Israel, the 1995 Hershl Segal Prize, and the 1999 Dovid Hofshteyn Prize.  His books include: Es kumt der tog (Day arrives) (Jerusalem, 1992), 80 pp.; A libe-regn (Rain of love) (Tel Aviv, 1994), 31 pp.; Der nakht malekh (The night angel) (Tel Aviv, 1996), 227 pp.; Un itst ikh bin dayn nign (And now you mock me) (Tel Aviv, 1998), 55 pp.; Shabesdike shvebelekh, roman (Sabbath matches, a novel) (Tel Aviv, 2004), 237 pp.; A shotn baym fenster (A shadow by the winder) (Tel Aviv, 2015), 174 pp.

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), pp. 294-95.


            He was born in Pshevorsk (Przeworsk), Galicia.  His earliest years were spent in Central Asia and Russia.  In 1948 he made aliya to Israel, and there he studied in high school along with supplementary religious subjects.  He worked in various trades and in the evenings studied literature at Tel Aviv University.  In 1962 he became a sailor and traveled through Europe aboard ship.  More recently he was working in a bank in Lod and was one of the editors of the local Hebrew-language, weekly newspaper, Hazman (The times).  He published a series of poems in Yiddish in Di yidishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  He was last living in Lod, Israel.
Yankev Kahan


            He was born in Naystot-Shaki (Kudirkos Naumiestis), Lithuania.  He was a Hebrew-Yiddish poet and a doctor of philosophy.  Over the years 1922-1940, he served as director of the Hebrew senior high school in Kovno.  Together with Dr. A. Elyashev (Bal-Makhshoves) and engineer I. Y. Aynhorn, he edited Folks-universitet (People’s university), “systematic courses of education” (Warsaw: Levin-Epshteyn, 1920).  In the years of the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Vilna ghetto, edited Geto yedies (Ghetto news), and gave talks about Perets, Mendele, and others.  He wrote essays about H. Leivick and Avrom Sutzkever.  He was deported by the Germans to Estonia.  He died in the Dautmergen concentration camp.

Source: Shmerke Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947).
Leyb Vaserman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 449.]

Monday, 19 November 2018


            He was born in Brisk Delite (Brest).  In 1900 he settled in Warsaw.  He was a very active Zionist.  For a time he edited the humor division of Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He often published humorous sketches in the newspapers on Polish social affairs.  He used the pen name: Reb Moyshe.  Other details remain unknown.  He died in Warsaw.

Sources: American Jewish Year Book (New York, 1933), pp. 121, 138; Dr. A. Mukdoni, In varshe un in lodzh (In Warsaw and in Lodz) (Buenos Aires, 1955).
Leyb Vaserman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 449.]


LEYB FELDSHTEYN (d. June 27, 1945)
            Known by the name Leybke, he belonged to the first leaders of the Jewish Socialist Party, the Galician Bund, in Torne (Tarnów).  Early on he assumed a prominent place among the first literary critics in Galicia.  He was a regular contributor to Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper).  After WWI he moved to Switzerland, where he was active in supporting Jewish culture.  He also contributed to YIVO.  He died in Zurich.

Source: Torne, kiem un khurbn fun a yidisher shtot (Tarnów, the existence and destruction of a Jewish city) (Tel Aviv, 1954), p. 928.
Leyb Vaserman


RUVN FELDSHUH (February 28, 1900-September 1, 1980)
            Well-known by his Hebraized surname of Ben-Shem, he was born in Buczacz, eastern Galicia.  He was a descendant in the line of Komarno rebbes.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and middle school, received a bachelor’s degree as an external student, and received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1913 he was one of the first member of Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard).  He was a refugee in Vienna during the years of WWI.  In 1919 he made aliya to the land of Israel as part of the third aliya, was a pioneer, worked on the land, and served as a guard.  In 1920 he was selected to be a delegate to the first “Asupat hanivḥarim” (parliamentary representation of the Yishuv).  With the death of his father (murdered by a Ukrainian soldier), Feldshuh returned to Europe, studied psychology in Vienna, received his doctoral degree, and graduated from rabbinical seminary there.  He settled in Warsaw and worked as a teacher in a series of high schools and seminaries.  At that time he founded “Hashomer haleumi” (The national guard), and at the end of the 1920s, he joined the Revisionist-Zionist organization.  After it split in 1933, he switched to the Yidnshtot (Jewish city) Party, and he served as its chairman.  He survived WWII in Warsaw.  In 1945 he made aliya once again to Israel.  Over the course of his Warsaw years, Feldshuh wrote a great deal in Yiddish.  He wrote for virtually the entire Yiddish press in Warsaw.  Together with M. Lipman, he edited the Revisionist monthly Der emes (The truth), and later he brought out a number of publications of the Yidnshtot Party.  In book form: Erets-yisroeldike nekht (Nights in the land of Israel) (1925); Royte neshomes (Red souls), 2 vols.; Poyln brent (Poland burning) (Buenos Aires: Association of Polish Jews, 1960), 364 pp., Hebrew edition as Ben ḥomot hageto (Between the walls of the ghetto) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 132 pp.; Komediya bamidbar (Comedy in the desert) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), 327 pp.  He edited in Yiddish: Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), 926 pp.  He also authored a number of Hebrew books on psychology and other subjects.  His pseudonyms included: Rabash and R. Feld.  He died in Givat-Shmuel, Israel.

Sources: Ts. Kaspa, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (Sivan 29 [= June 24], 1960); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol.11 (Tel Aviv, 1961), pp. 3821-22.
Yekhiel Hirshhoyt

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 449.]


YANKEV FELDRAYZ (b. May 25, 1887)
            He was born in Mezritsh (Międzyrzecz), Shedlets (Siedlce) district, Poland.  For a time he lived in London.  In 1907 he emigrated to the United States.  He published stories, novellas, and correspondence pieces in: Der arbayter fraynd (The workers’ friend) in London (1905-1906); the journal Der baginen (The dawn) (1925-1926), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), and Forverts (Forward) in New York; Dr. Yitskhok Unterman’s weekly newspaper Der shtern (The star) and Morgenshtern (Morning star) in Newark; and Hodson-nayes (Hudson news) in Paterson; among others.  He was living in Newark until 1950, moving to Florida thereafter.
Khayim Leyb Fuks