Thursday, 20 June 2019


            He was the author of Der toyt bay der khupe, oder tsurik fun katorga (Death at the wedding canopy, or back from penal labor) (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1927), 26 pp.
Berl Cohen


RIFOEL RAYZNER (January 15, 1894-April 6, 1953)
            He was a print shop worker, born in Bialystok.  He survived the Bialystok ghetto.  After the war he was among the survivors in Rome, and from 1948 he was living in Melbourne, Australia.  In book form: Der umkum fun byalistoker yidntum (The mass murder of Bialystok’s Jews) (Melbourne: Bialystok Center, 1948), 335 pp.  He died in Melbourne.
Moyshe Ayzenbud


SHIYE RAYZNER (ca. 1860-winter 1915)
            He was born in Lodz.  He traveled over the fields as a blind singer.  A number of his songs, which were examples of primitive wedding-entertainer or street-singer “poetry,” were published, such as Tsvey tayere lieder, Di amerikaner shif, Vi zi iz untergegangen (Two beloved songs, the American ship, how it sank) and Dos tsveyte lied, Di shreklikhe teg in lodz (The second poem, the fearful days in Lodz) (Warsaw: Leyb Morgernshtern, 1911).  He also published a booklet entitled: Badkhonishe lieder (Wedding entertainer songs).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; 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), p. 283; according to Fuks, he wasn’t blind, and according to Reyzen, he died in Warsaw.
Berl Cohen


YITSKHOK-ZELIK RAYZMAN (SIDNEY I. RAIZMAN) (July 15, 1901-August 1, 1976)
            He was born in Sokolov-Podlask (Sokolów-Podlaski), Poland.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1925 he emigrated to Argentina and later to Brazil.  From 1946 he was a teacher in Detroit.  In 1967 he settled in Tsfat (Safed).  He debuted in print with a story in Yidishe arbeter yugnt (Jewish working youth) in Warsaw.  He published stories, historical essays, and translations in: Far groys un kleyn (For big and small), Di pen (The pen), Di prese (The press), and Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires; Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York; Kiem (Existence) in Paris; and in Israeli publications as well.  He edited: Dos naye vort (The new word) in Porto Alegre (six issues, 1927); San-pauler yidisher tsaytung (São Paolo Jewish newspaper); and co-edited Brazilyaner idishe prese (Brazilian Jewish press).  In book form: Idish, ilustrirter hantbukh, ersht bukh (Yiddish, illustrated handbook, vol. 1) (São Paolo: Bukh-prese, 1934), 70 pp.; Geshikhte fun idn in brazil (History of Jews in Brazil) (São Paolo, 1935), 114 pp., Portuguese edition, História dos Israelitas no Brasil; desde o descobrimento até o fim do domínio hollandez (History of the Jews in Brazil, from the discovery to the end of the Dutch dominion (São Paolo: Bukh-prese, 1937), 102 pp.; Lebns in shturem, roman (Lives in turmoil, a novel), a novel of Jewish life in Brazil (Tel Aviv: Measef Yisrael, 1965), 238 pp.; A fertl yorhunderṭ yidishe prese in brazil, 1915-1940 (A quarter of a century of the Yiddish press in Brazil, 1915-1940) (Tsfat: Muzeon leomanut hadefus, 1968), 224 pp.; Yidishe sheferishkayt in lender fun portugalishn loshn, portugal un brazil (Jewish creativity in lands of the Portuguese language, Portugal and Brazil) (Tsfat: Muzeon leomanut hadefus, 1975), 395 pp.  His pen names in journalism: Y. Zelikman, Sokolovski, and Ayarman.  He died in Tsfat.
Rayzman’s wife, BELA RAYZMAN, published stories and sketches in: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal, Tsukunft and Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York), and in Israeli periodicals.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (October 23, 1935); Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem) 4 (1975); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York)
Ruvn Goldberg


ELYE RAYZMAN (E. RAJZMAN) (July 8, 1904-January 1975)
            He was a poet, born in Kovle (Kovel), Volhynia, the son of a poor tanner.  In his youth, he worked in Trisk (Turiysk), Volhynia, as a boot-stitcher and remained in this trade.  He was in the Soviet Union during WWII.  He returned to Warsaw and worked in a Jewish agricultural cooperative.  He wrote poetry for Warsaw’s Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Vokhnshriftn far literatur un kunst (Weekly writing for literature and art), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), and Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), among other serials.  Four of his poems appeared in: Hubert Witt, Der Fiedler vom Getto: Jiddische Dichtung aus Polen (The fiddler of the ghetto, Yiddish poetry from Poland) (Leipzig, 1966, 1978).  Rayzman’s volumes of poetry: Felder grinen, lider (Fields of green, poems) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1950), 31 pp.; Aleyn mit zikh (Alone with oneself) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1959), 74 pp.; Ikh hob zikh oysgetroymt a zun (I dreamed of the sun) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1963), 92 pp.; Di shprakh fun dayne oygn (The language of your eyes) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1967), 190 pp.; Viderklangen (Echoes) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1974), 143 pp.  Rayzman’s later poems, in the words of Yankev Glatshteyn, had “not the least connection to his [earlier] clumsy…steps—neither in language, nor in imagery, nor in thought, nor in their expression of feelings.”  “It’s interesting,” commented Shloyme Beylis, “the smaller the world which seizes the poet’s ideas becomes, the more frequently he derives sentiments with all its feelings from the past, the human dust, and the more he looks for comparisons and metaphors for the vanity and secondary nature of the individual in the world—all the more profound is his thinking, the tenser his feelings, the richer his vision, and the greater and stronger grows the poet within him.”  He died in Shtshetshin (Szczecin), Poland.

Sources: Binem Heler, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (March 17, 1950); Shloyme Lastik, Mitn ponem tsum morgn (Facing the morning) (Warsaw, 1952), pp. 187-90; Arn Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 8, 1960); Yankev Glatshteyn, Mit mayne fartogbikher (With my journals) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963), pp. 405-13; Glatshteyn, Prost un poshet, literarishe eseyen (Plain and simple, literary essays) (New York, 1978), pp. 265-70; Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 3 (1968); Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem) 4 (1974); Yitskhok-Zelik Rayzman, in Yidishe kultur (New York) 8 (1975); Shloyme Beylis, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (May 23, 1976); Beylis, in Folks-shtime (January 19, 1980).
Ruvn Goldberg

Wednesday, 19 June 2019


RUVN REYZIN (1911-1942)
            He was a poet, born in London, England, where his parents had emigrated from Byelorussia, though shortly after his birth, they returned and settled in Minsk.  He wrote his given name as “Ruve.”  In his youth he was left an orphan on both sides.  He traveled through the towns of Byelorussia with an old barrel organ, later growing up in the Slutsk children’s home.  From 1929 he was living in Minsk.  He worked as a painter and studied in an evening “Rabfak” (workers’ department or faculty).  In 1938 he graduated from the Jewish section of the Minsk pedagogical institute which he had entered in 1933.  Drafted in 1940 into the army, he composed an entire cycle of poems.  In 1942 he was killed at the Nazi-Soviet front.  From 1927 he was publishing poetry in: Yunger arbeter (Young worker), Oktyabr (October), and the journal Shtern (Star) in Minsk, among other serials.  His work also appeared in: Atake (Attack) (1934), Sovetishe vaysrusland (Soviet Byelorussia) (1935), and Di bafrayte brider (The liberated brothers) (1939)—all in Minsk.  His work includes: Durkh mi un prates (Through toil and labor), poems (Minsk: State Publ., 1934), 77 pp.; A gezang vegn der groyser khartye, poeme (A song about the great charter, poem) (Minsk: State Publ., 1936); Lider (Poems) (Minsk: State Publ., 1940), 54 pp.; “Mit mayn vzvod” (With my platoon), poetry cycle in the anthology Lire (Lyre) (Moscow, 1985).  His poetry reflects his very difficult childhood years.

Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1962), see index; Heymland (Moscow) 5 (1948); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Khayim Maltinski

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 553; 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. 365-66.]


MORTKHE-ZEV REYZIN (MAX RAISIN) (July 15, 1880-March 8, 1957)
            He was born in Nesvizh (Nesvyžius), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  He joined his father in the United States in 1892.  He graduated from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and in 1913 received his doctoral degree from the University of Mississippi.  He was among the first Reform rabbis to join the Zionist cause.  He mostly wrote in Hebrew and English and published numerous books in the two languages.  In Yiddish he published articles in: St. Petersburg’s Fraynd (Friend); Philadelphia’s Der shtern (The star); and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), and Tsukunft (Future) in New York.  In Yiddish he wrote: Groyse yidn vos ikh hob gekent, eseyen (Great Jews whom I knew, essays) (New York: Tsiko, 1950), 277 pp.  He died in Florence, Alabama.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Yaakov Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (In the footprints of a generation) (Montreal, 1957), index and special supplement; Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 1957).
Yekhezkl Lifshits