YISROEL-BER BEYLIN (July 28, 1883-April 29, 1961)
He was born in Novarodok, Byelorussia. He studied in religious primary school and yeshiva. For a number of years he lived in Lodz. He was early on drawn to the revolutionary movement, spent time in prison, and in 1908 was exiled to Astrakhan. In 1911 he emigrated to the United States, studied history and literature in Valparaiso, Indiana. Over the years 1918 to 1925, he was educational director of the Workmen’s Circle. From his youth he was a Bundist, but in 1925 he switched to the Communists. He began writing in the illegal Bundist publications in Lodz: Flug blat (Leaflet), Der frayhayts glok (The bell of freedom), and later Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper) and Veker (Alarm)—in Warsaw. He wrote sketches, stories, literary criticism, poems, biographies, and current events pieces in the American newspapers and periodicals: Idishe arbayter velt (Jewish workers’ world), Idishe sotsyalist (Jewish socialist), Forverts (Forward), Signal (Signal), Hamer (Hammer) of which he served on the editorial board, Ikor-almanakh (Annual of IKOR [Yidishe kolonizatsye organizatsye in rusland (Jewish colonization organization in [Soviet] Russia)]), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Tsukunft (Future), and Di vegetaryer velt (The vegetarian world); from 1939 until his death, he wrote for Morgn frayhayt (Morning freedom) and other leftist publications. He edited Der fraynd (The friend) from 1918 to 1925, Kooperative velt (Cooperative world) from 1912 to 1921, and was co-editor of Kinderland (Children’s land) from 1920 to 1925 and for a short time Di naye velt (The new world)—all in New York. In book form: Ayer kheylek ashires un vi ir kent oyfmonen (Your bit of wealth or how you can recover it) (New York, 1918), 32 pp.; Karl marks (Karl Marx) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 192?), 32 pp.; Di yidishe arbeter-shul (The Jewish labor school) (New York, 1925); Ferdinand lasal (Ferdinand Lassalle) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1926), 45 pp.; Der birger-krig in shpanye (The Civil War in Spain) (New York, 1937); Yapan’s ongrif af khine (Japan’s assault on China) (New York, 1937), 30 pp.; Yankev sheyfer, zayn lebn un shafn (Jacob Schaefer, his life and work) (New York, 1938), 332 pp.; Di milkhome in dem pasifik (The war in the Pacific) (New York, 1942), 32 pp.; Dos lebn fun ema lazarus (The life of Emma Lazarus) (New York, 1946), 39 pp.; Perzenlekhkeytn in der geshikhte fun amerike (Personalities in the history of America) (New York: IKUF, 1955-1965), 2 vols.; Ale in eyn lebn, oytobyografye (All in one life, an autobiography) (New York, 1970), 392 pp. Among his pseudonyms: Y. B. Tamuz, Dr. Y. B. Salamandra, Y. Salamon, Y. Son, and Y. Ber-n. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; A. Pomerants, Proletpen (Proletarian pen) (Kiev, 1935), pp. 198-99; Kh. L. Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystike un derhoybene lodzh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz) (Tel Aviv, 1972), pp. 297-99.
Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 81-82.