Friday, 25 March 2016


YISROEL HELFMAN (October 5, 1886-January 30, 1935)
            He was born in Rezine (Rezina), Bessarabia.  He studied in religious primary school, later devoting himself to self-education.  In 1906 he emigrated to Argentina and worked in a shoe factory in Buenos Aires.  He also worked for a certain amount of time as a teacher.  He was active among the first Labor Zionists in Argentina.  He debuted in print in 1909 with a sketch in Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, and for many years thereafter was a regular contributor to the newspaper, later moving over to Di prese (The press), also in Buenos Aires, and became a member of the latter’s editorial board cooperative.  He additionally published stories and sketches in the monthly magazines: Shtraln (Beams [of light]) in 1913 and Argentina in 1921 (of which he was co-editor); in the children’s magazine Blimelakh (Little trees) in 1922; and other Argentinian publications.  The Argentine anthology, Af di bregn fun plata (On the banks of the Plata) (Buenos Aires, 1919), included a series of four of his stories, and he also wrote treatises on Spanish-language writers.  In 1917, together with P. Kats, he brought out Di naye tsaytung (The new newspaper)—six issues appeared.  He also used the pseudonym, “A reziner” (A man from Rezine).  In book form: Fun mayn gemit (From my disposition), stories (Buenos Aires, 1929), 208 pp.  He died in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; M. D. Giser, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (February 3, 1933); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort un teater in argentine (The published Yiddish word and theater in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 81, 96, 98, 127; Volf Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 277-98; Y. Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), pp. 175, 176, 189, 194, 196, 199, 200, 202; Y. Yagurski, in Yorbukh (Annual) (Buenos Aires, 1946/1947); Yortsayt notice in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (February 27. 1955).
Borekh Tshubinski

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