Sunday, 26 May 2019


            He was a journalist, born in the village of Gubi, Suvalk (Suwałki) district.  His mother was a cousin of Morris Rozenfeld.  He studied in yeshivas until age seventeen.  He moved to England around 1906.  He was a teacher of Hebrew and other languages.  He sat for the examinations at the University of London.  He was an active Zionist, serving for many years as president of Labor Zionists in England.  His journalistic work began with Morris Meyer’s daily newspaper Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) and later with his daily Di tsayt (The times), of which he was among the main contributors.  He wrote articles on Jewish and literary topics.  He also placed work in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in New York.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


PINKHES ROMANOV (PAUL ROMANOFF) (April 10, 1898-December 12, 1943)
            He was an architect, born in Vilna.  He received a religious Jewish education.  In 1915 he graduated from a state high school in Vilna, later studying architecture and topography at universities in Moscow, Berlin, and Paris.  He moved to the land of Israel in 1920, and in 1925 he received ordination into the rabbinate there.  In 1928 he emigrated to the United States, and in 1930 he received his doctoral degree.  He was director of the museum at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  He wrote articles on art, as well as wrote poetry and stories, for Bodn (Terrain) and Tsukunft (Future) and for Hebrew- and English-language periodicals.  Offprint: “Formen un simboln in der arkhitektur funm beysamigdesh” (Architectural forms and symbols of the Temple), Bodn (1936), pp. 133-58.  He also published: Gots hant, fun tanakh biz mikel andzhelo (God’s hand, from Tanakh to Michelangelo) (n.p., n.d.), pp. 61-72.  He died in New York.

Source: Yitskhok Ribkind, in Tsukunft (New York) 2 (1944).
Berl Cohen

Friday, 24 May 2019


LOUIS ROMAN (1864-1918)
            He came from southern Russia.  In the 1880s he moved to the United States.  He was one of the principal founders on “Pioneers of freedom.”  He co-edited the anarchist weekly newspaper Di varhayt (The truth).  From July 4, 1890, he was for four months the editor of Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.  He authored the pamphlet: Der gezetslikher mord in shikago fun november 1887 (Legal murder in Chicago of November 1887)[1] (New York, 1889).  He died in New York.

Source: B. Raynus (Berl Cohen), in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (February 1, 1971).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 500.

[1] Translator’s note—referring to the hanging of those legally held responsible for the Haymarket Riots. (JAF)


MENUKHE (MENUHA) RAM (March 21, 1916-March 23, 2000)
            The author of stories, she was born Rivke Valdman in Zhetl (Zdzięcioł), Poland.  She studied at the Vilna teacher’s seminary.  She spent WWII in the Soviet Union.  After two years in Lodz, she settled in Paris.  She taught Yiddish at the Institute of Oriental Languages, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Paris.  She published poetry and mostly stories in: Unzer vort (Our word), Unzer shtime (Our voice), and Unzer kiem (Our existence)—in Paris; Letste nayes (Latest news) and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain)—in Tel Aviv; and Tsukunft (Future) and Svive (Environs) in New York; among other serials.  In book form: Vayter fun trakt, dertseylung (Further from the highway, a story) (Paris: Minatur-biblyotek, 1961), 77 pp.; Vintn (Winds) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1964), 176 pp., Hebrew translation as Ruḥot by Mordekhai Amitai (Tel Aviv: Sifriyat poalim, 1977), 182 pp., French translation as Le vent qui passe by Rachel Ertel (Paris: Julliard, 1974), 234 pp.; Arum der verbe, dertseylungen (Around the willow, stories) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1970), 282 pp., Hebrew translation as Betsel ets haarava by Moshe Yungman (Tel Aviv, 1983), 159 pp.; Shteyner, 18 dertseylungen (Stones, eighteen stories) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1981), 188 pp.  In 1984 she received the Manger Prize.  “Ram is an authentic prose writer,” opined Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, “and possesses an observational capacity and an eye for the spiritual condition of her protagonists.”  She died in Aubervilliers, France.

Sources: Y. Rapoport, in Di yidishe post (Melbourne) (July 4, 1961); Shloyme Bikl, Shrayber fun mayn dor (Writers of my generation), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1970), pp. 85-88; Froym Oyerbakh, Af der vogshol, esey (In the balance, essay), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1975), pp. 272-76; Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, Penemer un nemen (Faces and names), vol. 2: Yidishe prozayikers nokh der tsveyter velt-milkhome (Yiddish prose writers after WWII) (Buenos Aires-Tel Aviv, 1977), pp. 304-13.
Dr. Noyekh Gris

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 500.]


MATVEY ROMM (b. ca. 1858)
            A poet, he was born in Vilna.  He was a descendant of the well-known Romm publishing family in Vilna.  He was orphaned at age two.  He wandered a great deal, living in Moscow, London, and New York, but further details remain unknown, even concerning his death.  He began publishing Russian-language poetry in 1893, and the following year Yiddish poetry in the New York press.  He was the author (using the pen name Matmor) of Dos leben, gedikhte un lieder (The life, poetry) (Vilna: Widow and Brothers Romm, 1903), 66 pp.  The motifs in his poems were mostly love, joy, suffering, and vanities of vanities.  Nokhum-Borekh Minkov includes him among the pioneers of Yiddish poetry in America and writes: “Matvey Romm was among the rare two or three poets who took up individualistic poems….  They were melodic, full of feeling and authentic….  [He was a] precursor of ‘Di yunge’ [The young ones].”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Nokhum-Borekh Minkov, Pyonern fun der yidisher poezye in amerike, dos sotsyale lid (Pioneers of Yiddish poetry in America, the social poem) (New York, 1956), pp. 83-116; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


DOVID ROM (DAVID ROME) (August 10, 1910-January 16, 1996)
            He was born in Vilna, and from 1921 he was living in Canada.  He studied literature and philosophy in Vancouver, later in Seattle in the United States.  From 1938 he was living in Montreal where for eighteen years he served as director of the “Jewish Public Library” (1953-1971), and he put together the Bronfman Collection of Canadiana—the largest collection on Jews in Canada.  From 1964 he was professor of Judaica at McGill University and from 1971 professor of religious studies at the Université de Montréal.  His literary and bibliographic work began in Der idisher mayrev-byuletin (The Western Jewish bulletin) in Vancouver (1934-1936).  He contributed articles to: Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Toronto, Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in Winnipeg, and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal, and Forverts (Forward) and Der amerikaner (The American) in New York, among other serials.  He edited: the anthology Lekoved yisroel rabinovitsh (In honor of Yisroel Rabinovitsh) (Montreal, 1954); with Yankev Grosman, Dos biblyotek-bukh (The library book) (Montreal, 1957), 166 pp. (Yiddish) and 114 pp. (English); Dos yoyvl-bukh tsum 200 yerikn yoyvl fun yidishn yishev in kanade (The jubilee volume for the 200th anniversary of the Jewish community in Canada) (Montreal, 1959); Dos yoyvl-bukh fun der yidisher biblyotek, 1914-1964 (The jubilee volume for the Jewish library, 1914-1964) (Montreal, 1964), 87 pp. (Yiddish) and 12 pp. (English).  In the last of these he published a long bibliographic piece on Yiddish books in Canada.  He wrote about Yiddish literature and Jewish history for Anglophone Jewish periodicals in Montreal and brought out several volumes in English on the same topic, among them: The First Two Hundred Years (Montreal, 1962); and Jewish Canadian Literature (1962).  From 1974 he served as editor of the periodical, Canadian Jewish Archives in Montreal.  He died in Montreal.

Sources: Yisroel Rabinovitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 2, 1959); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Pinkes far der forshung fun der yidisher literatur un prese (New York) (1965); Benyomen-Gutel Zak, in Lite (Lithuania), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1965).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was the author of: Di kluge maydil un nokh tsvey sheyne ertsehlungen, dem khodeds nes, der tsvuak (The smart girl and two other lovely stories, the Hassid’s miracle [and] the hypocrite) (1878/1879), 16 pp.; Der eyngilsher general, zeyer asheyne und avunderlekhe ertseylung velkhe hot geṭrofn in dem yor 5307 leyetsire in prag bimedines bihm in der alt nayer zinagoge (The English general, a very beautiful and wonderful story which took place in the 5307th year of creation in Prague in the country of Bohemia in the old-new synagogue) (Vilna: 1878/1879), 48 pp., and (Warsaw: 1884/1885), 42 pp.
Berl Cohen

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 500.]