Friday, 20 May 2016


            He was born in Pinsk, Byelorussia.  He studied in religious elementary school, Talmud-Torah, a Russian senior high school, and two semesters in the engineering school in Hainichen, Germany.  In 1924 he moved to Cuba, where he worked laying railroad tracks in the town of Camagüey, later turning to work in a business in Havana, and finally opening his own shop there.  He was one of the most active and prominent community leaders among the Jewish population in Cuba.  He was a member of the presidium of the Jewish Center, the Joint Distribution Committee, ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), the writers’ and journalists’ circle, and one of the administrators of the autonomous Jewish school at the Jewish Center.  He was a delegate to the conference that established the Jewish Culture Congress in 1948 in New York.  He debuted in print in Yiddish with a poem and a sketch in Yunge shprotsungen (Young sprouts), a one-off publication of a youth group (Havana, 1928), and in the same year in Spanish with poetry in the oldest daily newspaper in Havana, Diario de la Marina.  He later contributed poems and articles to such Havana publications as: Oyfgang (Arise), 1928-1930; Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word), 1936-1937; Havaner lebn (Havana life), newspaper and almanac; Hemshekh af kubaner erd (Continuation of Cuban soil), 1951; and the like.  He co-edited the anthology Undzer shul (Our school) in 1941, and published a Spanish-Yiddish anthology Mitn ponem tsu der zun, lekhvoyd di fayerungen fun hundert yor khose marti (Facing the sun, to honor the celebration on the centenary of José Martí)—Martí was the apostle of Cuban freedom and independence—(Havana: Yidish-Kubaner kultur krayz, 1954), 56 pp. in Yiddish and 12 pp. in Spanish.  His pseudonyms: Avrom Menakhemzon in Yiddish and A. Vinopiedra (“Vaynshteyn” in Spanish) in Spanish.

Sources: Y. Reznik, in Havaner lebn, almanac (Havana, 1943), pp. 304-5; Leyzer Ran, in Hemshekh af kubaner erd (Havana) (1951); Ran, in Der gruntshteyn (The foundation stone) (Havana, 1951).
Leyzer Ran

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