Tuesday, 19 February 2019


GEDALYE KOSOY (1903-1991)
            He was born in Khashtshevate (Khoshchevatoye), Ukraine, into a poor family.  At age eleven he was apprenticed to a confectioner.  In 1920, during the Soviet civil war, he emigrated to the United States, and there he developed an inclination for literary work; he even ventured to show his first literary efforts to Morris Winchevsky, the “grandfather of proletarian literature.”  These were only successful efforts and no more.  He later published a memoir of this meeting.  Unhappy on this side of the ocean, he returned in early 1924 and settled in the Jewish colony of “Nit gedayget” (No worries) near Odessa and took part in the collectivization of agriculture.  At the time his first publications—stories and sketches—appeared in the press.  He debuted in print with a story in 1935 and had another in Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature) (Kiev) 7 (1939).  When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, he joined the Red Army to fight.  After the war he settled in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), Ukraine, and worked as a bookdealer.  He had a story published in the almanac Shtern (Star) (Kiev) 2 (1948).  Like many other Yiddish writers, he tried to switch to Ukrainian and got a local publisher to bring out a collection of his stories.  He returned to Yiddish when Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) launched in Moscow.  The heroes of Kosoy’s stories were chiefly old men, pensioners, who recount by themselves their difficult lives, though they remain optimistic even while fate has not spared them.  In book form: In yorn arum (Years later) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985), 63 pp.

Source: Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 11 (1983).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 475, 551; 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. 320-21.


            She was a journalist and prose writer, born in Augustowo, Bialystok district, Poland, into the home of the popular pediatrician and community leader, Yankev Faygenberg.  She moved with her parents to Vilna, where she graduated from Sofye Gurevitsh’s school and the Jewish senior high school.  While still in school, she was a young member of the Jewish poets “Yungvald” (Young forest).  Upon graduating from high school in 1939, she was accepted into the research student program at YIVO.  She was active in an illegal Communist organization and spent half a year in prison.  She contributed to the press and was a correspondent for the Kovno youth journal, Shtraln (Beams [of light]).  Over the years 1939-1941, her first literary efforts appeared in Yiddish and Polish periodicals in Vilna and Kovno.  She was evacuated during WWII to the city of Kuibyshev (Samara), where she worked as a teacher, studied at the pedagogical institute, and wrote for the local press.  From the 1940s she worked in Vilna as a journalist.  From 1966 she published stories, novellas, and sketches in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow.  She made aliya in 1990 and went to work for the Yiddish newspaper in Tel Aviv, Naye tsaytung (New newspaper).  In 1993 her literary work was recognized with a prize from the city of Ashkelon.  In 1996 she published with Leivik Publ. in Tel Aviv her novel Farges-mikh-nit (Forget me not), in which her protagonists live in the violent era on the eve of WWII and are tied to the fateful dramatic events that transpired in Vilna, and the principal heroine of the book stands at the center of the events.  She was honored in 2002 with the literary award named for Borekh Shvartsman.  Other books include: Bletlekh fun a lebn (Pages from a life) (Moscow: Sovietski pisatel, 1984), 63 pp., published as a supplement to Sovetish heymland 12 (1984); Mentshn vos flantsn blumen, dertseylungen, publitsistik (People who plant flowers, stories, journalism) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 2003), 280 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 475; 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. 320.


SHIMEN KANTS (SHIMON KANC) (November 25, 1914-1990)
            He was born in Schönlinde (Krásná Lípa), Czechoslovakia.  He grew up in Cracow.  He studied in yeshivas and worked in a textile factory in Lodz.  He lived in the Soviet Union during WWII and afterward in Poland.  In 1936 he debuted in print with a story in Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper).  He published stories and articles in Kvaln (Springs) and Os (Letter) in Lodz and Foroys (Onward) in Warsaw.  After the war he edited the weekly newspaper Niderslezye (Lower Silesia) in Y. Turkov in Wrocław, and he contributed to Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz-Warsaw, as well as Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) and Yidishe shriftn (Jewish writings).  From 1957 he was living in Israel.  In Tel Aviv he edited Tog-eyn, tog oys (Day in, day out) and Ilustrirte veltvokh (Illustrated world weekly).  From 1960 he served as literary editor of Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  He also published in Israeli (Hebrew) periodical publications, and his work appeared in anthologies.  He edited fifteen remembrance volumes (zikher-bikher).  In book form: Andere himlen (Other heavens) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 75 pp.; Dos lebn ruft (Life calls) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 130 pp.; Mendl dratner, reportazh (Mendl Dratner, reportage) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 52 pp.; Naye teg, noveln un reportazhn (New days, novellas and reportage pieces) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 269 pp.; Koyln greber yisokher turko (Coalminer Issachar Turko) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1953), 79 pp.; Dos lebn hot mir gelernt (Life has taught me) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1954), 57 pp.; Koyekh fun os, eseyen (The power of a letter, essays) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1979), 365 pp.  Among his pseudonyms: Sh. Fyurko, K. Shimen, and A. Shimanovitsh.  Before WWII he also wrote under the name Sh. Hendler.

Sources: M. alamish, Mikan umikarov, antologya shel sipure yidish beerets yisrael (From near and from far away, anthology of stories in Yiddish in Israel) (Meravya, 1966), p. 50; D. Sfard, Shtudyes un skitsn (Studies and sketches) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1955), pp. 154-58; 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), pp. 280-81.
Ruvn Goldberg

Monday, 18 February 2019


JULIUS KANFER (April 24, 1911-summer 1978)
            He was born in Buczacz, Galicia, the son of Dr. Moyshe Shtern, the Polish Jewish literary and theater critic.  He received a degree from the law faculty of Cracow University.  He was active in the Communist movement.  He fled to Czechoslovakia and later to Switzerland and France.  From 1952 he served for twenty years as editor of the Bundist Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris and for several years from 1973 of the Parisian Labor Zionist Unzer vort (Our voice).  He died in Antwerp.
Dr. Noyekh Gris


LEYB KANER (b. Tamuz 1891)
            He was born in Novoselits (Novoseltsa), Bessarabia.  In 1910 he emigrated to Canada.  He wrote humorous sketches and depictions of local personalities in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal (1910-1912).  Yankev Kirshenboym has written that Louis Kremer composed together with Kaner the four-act play Mendl beylis oder aliles dam (Mendel Beilis or a blood libel), but it was advertised on posters as the work solely of Kremer.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969).
Yekhezkl Lifshits


LIBE KANEL (April 17, 1889-1943)
            She was born in Bialystok.  Over the years 1917-1919, she studied in an elite school in Geneva, from which she received a degree in social science and pedagogy.  In 1925 she returned to Bialystok.  Her entire life was connected to the secular Jewish school.  She aspired to adapt the Jewish school to the specific distinctiveness of Jewish children.  She assembled materials for them, ran questionnaires in Jewish public schools in bigger cities (Warsaw, Lodz, Pinsk, and the like), and prepared a lengthy study entitled “Forshungen iber di psikhishe aygnartikeytn fun yidishn kind” (Research on the psychological distinctive features of the Jewish child).  She wrote a great deal on this issue for Naye shul (New school) and several articles in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (1931, 1939); in Bialystok in Dos naye lebn (The new life).  She died in the Bialystok ghetto.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Byalistoker leksikon (Bialystok handbook) (Bialystok, 1935); Lerer yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), pp. 365-66.
Yekhezkl Lifshits

Sunday, 17 February 2019


YANKEV KANE (1898-June 21, 1965)
            He was born in Gonbin (Gąbin), Poland.  In 1925 he arrived in Córdoba. Argentina.  He was editor (with L. Malekh and B. Shekhter) of Der imigrant (The immigrant) in Buenos Aires (1923-1924, two issues) and Kordober lebn (Córdoba life) (1928, twenty issues).

He died in Buenos Aires.

Source: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 933.
Yoysef Horn