MALKE KHEYFETS-TUZMAN (MALKA HEIFETZ TUSSMAN) (May 1896-1987)
She was born in a small village in Volhynia, where her father had an estate. She studied initially with private tutors whom her father employed for his eight children, and later she was sent to study in Russian schools in the neighboring cities of Norinsk and Korosten. In 1912 she made her way to the United States, where she continued her studies and in 1924 became a teacher in a secular Jewish school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while at the same time studying at the University of Wisconsin. She later moved to Los Angeles, California. There she worked as a teacher in an elementary and middle school. In 1949 she became an instructor of Yiddish language and literature at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (a division of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York). While quite young, she began writing poetry in Russian. In Yiddish literature, she debuted in print with a short story in Der fraynd (The friend) in 1918 and a poem in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in 1919—both in New York. Thereafter, she published poetry, stories, and essays as well in: Di vokh (The week), Idish (Yiddish), Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper), Studyo (Studio), Oyfkum (Arise), Inzikh (Introspective), Brikn (Bridges), Tsukunft (Future), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Vayter (Further)—in New York; Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna; Tint un feder (Ink and pen) in Toronto; and others as well. She contributed in English to the anarchist journal Alarm (Chicago, 1914). Her books include: Lider (Poems) (Los Angeles, 1949), 124 pp.; Mild mayn vild, lider (Gentle, my wild, poems) (Los Angeles, 1958), 116 pp.; Shotns fun gedenken, lider (Shadows of remembrances, poems) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1965), 90 pp.; Bletlekh faln nit, lider (Leaves do not fall) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel bukh, 1972), 76 pp.; Unter dayn tseykhn (Under your sign), poetry (Tel Aviv: Yisroel bukh, 1974), 115 pp.; Haynt iz eybikh, lider (Today is forever, poems) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel bukh, 1977), 147 pp.. She died in Berkeley, California.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. Y. Shatski, in In Jewish Bookland (New York, 1949); A. Leyeles, in Tog (New York) (June 25, 1949); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (July 1, 1949; March 17, 1957); R. Feldman, in Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (Johannesburg) (July 8, 1949); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (November 1949); Kazdan, in Lebns-fragn (Tel Aviv) (December 1959); Y. Ts. Shargel, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (November 1949); Shargel, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (April 1959); Aba Gordin, in Oyfsnay (New York) (March 1954); N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955); S. Kahan, in Di shtime (Mexico City) (January 1, 1959); M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 5, 1959); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (January 9, 1959); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (March 22, 1959); L. Domankevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (April 11, 1959).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 272.]