Sunday, 3 January 2016


ESTER HALPERN (1884-1947)
            She was born in Warsaw, Poland.  Her father, Yekhil-Meyer Perlman, was a well-known Jewish bookseller and a close friend of Hebrew and Yiddish writers of that era in Poland.  She received both a Jewish and a general education.  She moved to Canada in 1926 and until WWII lived in Montreal, where she was active in Jewish community and cultural life.  She was a good friend of the poet Y. Y. Sigal, who introduced her to Yiddish literature.  Her writings on Yiddish writers in Warsaw, published in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal, aroused interest in their living descriptions and folk language.  She also published literary criticism, stories, and feature pieces in Keneder odler, Dos yidishe vort (The Jewish word) in Toronto, and other serials.  Her “Zikhroynes vegn yidishe moykhre sforim un bikher-zamlers in varshe” (Memoirs of Jewish booksellers and book collectors in Warsaw)—publishing in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York (1951), pp. 240-44—elucidated a bit of bygone Jewish life in Poland and was a contribution to the history of the Jewish Enlightenment movement more generally.  During the years of WWII, she settled in Ottawa and died there.

Sources: Information from Ida Maze (Montreal); Yivo-bleter (New York) (1951), p. 311.

Khayim Leyb Fuks

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