Friday, 8 April 2016


YEHUDE-LEYB VOHLMAN (I. L. WOHLMAN) (November 29, 1880-May 5, 1955)
            He was born in Konske-Volye (Końskowola), Lublin district, Poland, son of the Hebrew writer Mendl Vohlman.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshivas, and with private tutors.  At age sixteen he received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1900 he moved to the United States where he became a bookkeeper, later a manufacturing merchant.  He was a Zionist leader and speaker.  In 1925 he left for Israel where he was active in the community life of Tel Aviv.  He was a cofounder of the Association of Polish Jews in Israel and a member (1927-1928) of the Tel Aviv city council.  He was a cofounder of the Hebrew journalists’ union in Israel.  He spent the years 1939-1948 in New York, and there he worked in editing Hadoar (The mail) and for Histadrut.  After the founding of the state of Israel, he returned to Tel Aviv.  He was the author of stories, current-events essays, and plays in both Yiddish and Hebrew.  From 1903 he published features and stories in: Hatsfira (The times), Hatsofe (The spectator), Hayom (Today—edited by Y.-Ḥ. Zagorodski and later Y. Heftman), Der veg (The way), Tsayt (Time—edited by F. Margolin), Sokolov’s Telegraf (Telegraph), Haynt (Today), and Moment (Moment)—in Warsaw; Hazman (The times) in Vilna; Tog (Day—edited by Leon Rabinovitsh) in St. Petersburg; Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper); Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; Tog, Hadoar, Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), and Forverts (Forward)—in New York; and Haarets (The land), Doar hayom (Today’s mail), and Haboker (This morning) in Tel Aviv; among others.  In book form: Di letste khashmenoim oder kenig hurdus, historishe drame in fir aktn (The last Hasmoneans or King Herod, a historical drama in four acts) (Warsaw, 1907), 48 pp.; Dos brenende hoyz (The burning house), four acts (Warsaw, 1909), 50 pp. (performed in Lodz in 1908); Der shtroyener almen, operete in dray aktn (The straw widower, operetta in three acts) (Pietrkov, 1919), 98 pp. (performed in Warsaw, 1919-1920); Elyohu, misterye in zeks stsenes (Elijah, a mystery in six scenes) (Warsaw, 1922), 99 pp.  In the last years prior to his death, he wrote: Der shturem (The storm), a play set in Israel, Veronika, a historical drama, and Leregle hagilboa (At the foot of [Mt.] Gilboa), a play in Hebrew, which were performed in Tel Aviv.  After his death his daughter Miriam Shir brought out (with the publisher: “Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina”) his book Poylishe yidn, roman fun yidishn lebn in amolikn poyln (Polish Jews, a novel of Jewish life in Poland of past times) (Buenos Aires, 1959), 276 pp.  He left behind in manuscript a Biblical poem Rut (Ruth) for which the composer Yosef Rumshinski composed music.  He also wrote under the name “Almoni,” among others.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (with a bibliography); Y. L. (Perets), in Yudishe vokhnshrift (Warsaw) 2 (February 17, 1909); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 1; A. Taytelboym, Varshever heyf, mentshn un geshenishn (Warsaw courtyard, people and events) (Buenos Aires, 1947), p. 144; E. Almi, Momentn fun a lebn (Moments in a life) (Buenos Aires, 1948), p. 151; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), p. 1742; Miriam Shir, in Der amerikaner (New York) (June 10, 1955); Shir, preface to Vohlman’s Poylishe yidn (Buenos Aires, 1959), pp. 7-21; Sh. Ernst, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 6, 1955); Hadoar (New York) (Iyar 21 [= June 13], 1955); Yoyel Matsboym, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (Iyar 11 [= April 22], 1956); M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 173-74
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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