MOYSHE VAYSMAN (August 20, 1885-January 11, 1971)
He was born in Semyatitsh (Siemiatycze), Grodno district, Byelorussia, into a poor family. He studied in religious elementary school and synagogue study hall. At age twelve he became a worker in a cigarette-paper factory, later joining the Bund and being arrested. He moved to the United States in 1913 and worked in a barbershop in Chicago. From 1922 he was living in Los Angeles, California. He published his first correspondence piece in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Vilna (1906). Subsequently, in America, he contributed (using the pseudonym “Ben-Khayim”) articles, stories, and tales to: Di yidishe arbayter velt (The Jewish worker’s world) and Der idisher kuryer (The Jewish courier) in Chicago; Di tsayt (The times), Der teglekher shtern (The daily star), Zunland (Sun land), Kalifornyer idishe shtime (California Jewish voice), Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), Idisher byuletin (Jewish bulletin), and Idisher biznesman (Jewish businessman)—in Los Angeles; Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto; Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language), Nyu yorker vokhblat (New York weekly newspaper), Tog (Day), Tog-morgn zhurnal (Day morning journal), and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok)—in New York; and Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv. He authored the following books: Fun brisk biz semyatitsh (From Brisk [Brest] to Siemiatycze) (Ontario, California, 1952), 136 pp.; Fun nekhtn un haynt (Of yesterday and today) (Ontario, 1955), 156 pp., a volume of memoirs about the first Russian Revolution (1905) and about the Jewish labor movement and the people who were active on the Jewish street at that time. In the latter book he included some of his literary work and several of his articles about Yiddish writers. He also wrote: A halber yorhundert in amerike (A half-century in America) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1960), 212 pp. He died in Los Angeles.
Sources: G. Aronson, in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1953); D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (October 11, 1953); A. Kheyt, in Byalistoker shtime (New York) (Passover issue, 1953).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 244.]