Tuesday, 13 November 2018


AVROM-HERSH FLAKSER (1896-winter 1942)
            The father of Fishl Flakser, he was born in Zharnev (Żarnów), Kelts (Kielce) district, Poland.  He studied in yeshivas.  Secular knowledge he acquired through self-study.  From 1921 until his death, he lived in Lodz.  He gave private Hebrew lessons.  He debuted in print with poems in Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) in 1921, later switching to prose.  He mainly wrote lyrical miniatures and sketches of familiar Jewish shtetl ways of life.  He contributed work to: Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), Oyfgang (Arise), and Vegn (Pathways), as well as other publications of the young Lodz poets’ group.  He was a regular contributor to Y. M. Vaysnberg’s Inzer hofening (Our hope) in Warsaw (1926-1936).  He published a number of novels there.  In book form: Erev morgn (Day before morning) (Lodz, 1937), 104 pp.  During Nazi rule in the years of WWII, he was confined in the Lodz ghetto and suffered greatly, and not wishing to received assistance from others, he died of hunger.

Sources: Sh. Zaromb, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (December 25, 1937); B. Shnaper, in Foroys (Warsaw) (January 3, 1938); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; Y. Goldkorn, Lodzher portretn, umgekumene yidishe shrayber un tipn (Lodz portraits, murdered Yiddish writers and types) (Tel Aviv, 1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


KHAYIM FLAKS (1883-1940s)
            He was born in Plotsk (Płock), Poland.  Until age fourteen he studied in religious elementary school; later, through self-study he mastered Russian, Polish, and German.  Until seventeen he helped his father in the rag business.  He studied carpentry in a school for artisans in Warsaw.  For two years he concentrated on agriculture on an estate of a relative and played in an orchestra.  In 1904 he made his way to London, worked as a cigarette maker, and engaged in other trades as well.  In 1919 he arrived in the land of Israel and a year later returned to Płock, where he became a wagon driver, later a tailor, raised cows, sold their milk, and from this drew a poor living.  He wrote a great deal and published little.  He contributed, 1905-1906, to London periodicals.  Two of his pieces were published in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) and Arbeter (Laborer) in New York.  He published a series of poems, 1918-1919, in Y. M. Vaysnberg’s anthologies.  He also placed work in: Vilner tog (Vilna day), Shedletser vokhnblat (Siedlce weekly newspaper) under the pen name Avigdor Skalts, Vaysnberg’s Inzer hofening (Our hope), Forverts (Forward) in New York, and Plotsker lebn (Płock life) under the pseudonym Vayznfeld; and he was co-editor of Plotsker vort (Płock word) in 1936.  In book form: Mit zikh (With myself), stories (Płock, 1928), 69 pp.  He evinced a particular mastery in depicting animals.  He died during the Nazi occupation.

Sources: Sh. Kruk, in Płock (Płock) (Buenos Aires, 1945), pp. 137-38; Sh. Grinshpan, in Oyfsnay (New York) (Summer 1959); Grinshpan, in Yidn in plotsk (Jews in Płock) (New York, 1960), pp. 140-47.
Leyb Vaserman


YANKEV (JACOBO) FLAPAN (July 12, 1897-March 23, 1936)
            He was born in Grodzhisk (Grodzisk), Warsaw district, Poland.  His father was a teacher, and Yankev studied Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Polish, and Russian with him.  In his youth he lived in Kovno.  In 1923 he attended an institute for German language and literature in Berlin.  His literary work began in Kovno, and in 1922 he debuted in print in K. Zingman’s journal, Vispe (Islet) and in Di idishe velt (The Jewish world); in 1924 he emigrated to Argentina and became a hairdresser.  He was a cofounder, leader, and director of the Yiddish experimental theater “Idrams” (Idishe dramatishe studyo [Yiddish dramatic studio]) in Buenos Aires.  He published poems and stories of life in Argentina in: Far groys un kleyn (For big and small), Di prese (The press), Di pen (The pen), Nay-velt (New world), Dorem-amerike (South America), and Oyfgang (Arise), among others, in Buenos Aires.  A story of his also appeared in Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944).  In book form: In lager (In camp) (Kovno, 1923), 99 pp.; Trep, dertseylungen (Steps, stories) (Buenos Aires: Nay-velt, 1930), 175 pp.  He belonged to the leftist Argentinian writers’ group.  He died in Córdoba, Argentina.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; A. Pomerants, in Hamer (New York) (June 1931); Y. Botoshanski, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1931); Argentine, fuftsik yor idisher yishev, tsvantsik yor di prese (Argentina, fifty years of the Jewish community, twenty years of Di prese) (Buenos Aires, 1938), pp. 82, 84-85, 115; Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 382; Botoshanski, in Shtriker zamlbukh (Knitters’ collection) (Buenos Aires, 1961), pp. 287-88; obituary notice in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 15, 1936) and in Signal (New York) (May 1936); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 136, 162-63, 249; V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944); P. Kats, Shriftn (Writings), vol. 7 (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 83-84; G. Sapozhnikov, in Unzer vort (Buenos Aires) (July 20, 1964).
Benyomen Elis


            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a public school, later becoming a laborer.  Until 1921 he was active in proletarian cultural work in Lodz, principally in drama circles and theater.  In 1922 he moved to Argentina.  He became active there in the leftist movement.  For many years he was secretary of the association of fellow Lodz natives and of “IFT” (Idisher folks teater [Yiddish people’s theater]) and other leftist institutions.  He published articles and memoirs in: Landsmanshaftn (Native-place associations), Haynt (Today), and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) in Buenos Aires, among other publications.  Over the years 1950-1957, he was co-editor of the annuals of Unzer lodzh (Our Lodz), and aside from materials for the history of Jewish Lodz, he also published there a long work entitled “Epizodn fun der ershter velt-milkhome” (Episodes from WWI) which concerning the suffering of Lodz Jewry under the German authorities during WWI.  He was last living in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Yidishe kultur (New York) (January 1955); Y. Gar and F. Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


KHAYIM-NOSN FISHERMAN (March 18, 1905-December 6, 1975)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1921 he came to the United States.  He attended high school and the Yeshiva of Yitskhok Elchonon in New York.  For a time he lived in Paterson, New Jersey.  From 1934 he was director of the Yiddish press division of the New York Jewish “Tsedaka Federation.”  He published and edited (with A. Tabatshnik, Abe Shtotsenberg, and M. Shtiker) a periodical publication Fayln (Arrows), three issues (New York, 1928-1931); he himself published a mimeographed publication Sekond evenyu (Second Avenue) in 1932, and Garmiza, six issues, without any collaborator (New York, 1945-1946).  He published essays, articles, polemics, and feature pieces in Fayln, Bafrayung (Liberation), Garmiza, and Sekond evenyu—and in New York.  His pen name: Nosn Praner.  He contributed to the research work: Arkhiv far der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archive for the history of Yiddish theater and drama) (Vilna and New York, 1930), 536 pp.

Source: Yefim Yeshurin, 100 yor moderne yidishe literatur, bibliografisher tsushteyer (100 years of modern Yiddish literature, bibliographical contribution) (New York, 1966).
Benyomen Elis

Monday, 12 November 2018


            She was born in Horodek (Haradok), Byelorussia.  In 1908 her family moved to Kopitshinets (Kopyczyńce, Kopychyntsi), Poland.  In 1931 she emigrated to Argentina.  She was a Yiddish teacher in Mozesville and Buenos Aires, later director of kindergartens for the Educational Council of Buenos Aires.  She contributed work to Argentiner yivo-bleter (Argentinian pages for YIVO).  From 1978 she was living in Israel.  She compiled and edited many published volumes for Yiddish kindergartens in Argentina, published by “Central Education, Argentina” in Buenos Aires: Heym un mishpokhe (Home and family) (1948), 157 pp.; Lider un shpiln farn kinder-gortn (Songs and games for kindergarten) (1956), 106 pp.; Shpiln far shprakh-antviklung, finger-shpiln, baṿeglekhe (Games for language development, finger games, comfortable) (1959), 90 pp.; Peysekh-heft (Passover booklet) (1959), 24 pp.; Shabes-heft (Sabbath booklet) (1959), 16 pp.; Repertuar farn kinder-gortn, algemeyne temes (Repertoire for kindergarten, general topics) (1960), 66 pp.; Leshono toyvo tikoseyvu (May you be inscribed for a good year) (1962), 16 pp.; A klang, a vort, a gram (A sound, a word, a verse) (1965), 134 pp.; Praktishe verterbukh far der ganenes (Practical dictionary for the kindergarten teacher) in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish (1969), 136 pp.; Amol is geven (It once was) (1971), 60 pp.; and a series of other book in Yiddish and Hebrew.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 446.


            He came from Grosswardein, Hungary.  He was the author in Yiddish of Seyfer hapamon (The book of the bell), containing a consideration of the world’s habits, according to the Torah and sacred scriptures (Satmar, 1935), 72 pp.

Sources: Yosef Z. Cohen, in Kiryat sefer (Jerusalem) (Kislev [= December] 1959); Yivo-beter (New York) (1962), p. 275.
Khayim Leyb Fuks