Friday, 26 May 2017


            He was born near Kobrin, Grodno district, Russian Poland.  He was a religious judge in Kobrin, Ivenits (Iwieniec), and other towns.  From 1897 until WWI, he was a preacher initially in Vilna and later in Warsaw.  In 1914 he returned to Kobrin.  He authored a number of religious texts in older Yiddish.  Among his writings: Binyan yerusholayim (Building up of Jerusalem), “tales from the Jerusalem Talmud that are not carried in the Ein Yaakov” (Warsaw, 1864); Asara maamarot (Ten essays) (Königsberg-Kobrin, 1864), 22 pp.; Kol demama daka (A small voice of silence) (Pyetrikov, 1905), 48 pp.; Mashieḥ ben yosef (The Messiah, son of Joseph) (Pyetrikov, 1905), 32 pp.  In Yiddish: Seyfer am sgule (A chosen people), “in this volume will be demonstrated with genuine proofs based on Thirteen Principles in which a Jew must believe.  The author has written this text, drawn from his other works, in Yiddish to show grace to all wives and children, who now need that their father heed the health of the house that it remain firmly along the lines of Torah and faith” (Warsaw, 1889), 124 pp.; Der idishe luft balon, migdal haporeaḥ beavir (The Jewish air balloon), with a preface in Hebrew, improved with notes by Ben-Tsien Alfes (Warsaw, 1912), 40 pp.; Emes veemune (Truth and belief) (Warsaw, 1908), 47 pp.  All of these religious texts and booklets were signed “Noyekh-Khayim Ben-Moyshe from Kobrin,” and may be found now at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  He died in Kobrin.

Sources: Set eked sefarim, p. 111; N. Sokolov, Sefer zikaron (Volume of remembrance) (Warsaw, 1889), p. 64; Evreiskaia entsiklopediya (Jewish encyclopedia), vol. 10.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MESHULEM LEVIN (b. March 15, 1903)
            He was born in Loyvitsh (Lovich, Łowicz), Warsaw district, Poland.  He was a grandson of the Polish Jewish musician Shloyme-Arn Shtift and a nephew of the composer and playwright Herman Shtift.  He attended religious primary school and a Polish Jewish high school in Lodz, later studying at a conservatory and university in Nancy, France, where (in 1928) he graduated as a lawyer.  He then returned to Lodz, and in 1937 once again came and settled in France.  He was a member of the central committee of the Labor Zionist-Hitaḥdut (unity) party in France, a member of the central committee of the Jewish community federation, and a member of the executive of the Parisian bureau of the World Jewish Culture Congress, among other posts.  He began writing articles on economic issues in the monthly Der soykher (The merchant) in Lodz (1934-1935).  From 1946 he was a regular contributor to the daily newspaper Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris, in which he was also in charge of a column entitled “Yuridishe opteylung” (Legal department).  He contributed to: Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) and Kultur-yedies (Cultural information) in Paris (1949-1951); Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York (1952), pp. 364-68; Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber (Almanac of Yiddish writers) (Paris) 1 (1955), an enlarged treatment of Shtift; “Der natsyonaler oyfn fun unzer negine” (The ethnic manner of our music), Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber 2 (1960); and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) (Buenos Aires); among others.  He wrote the music for a number of poems by Yiddish poets.  His cantata to a text by Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), “Hayinu keḥolemim” (We were like dreamers) was performed in 1953 in Paris at the Palais de Chaillot.  His compositions “Khsidishe rapsodye” (Hassidic rhapsody) and “Elegye nokhn shtetl” (Elegy for a town) were recorded on record albums.  He served as editor of Tygodnik handlowy (Business week) in Lodz (1935); co-editor of Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber (Paris, 1955).  He was last living in Paris.

Sources: Y. Kornhendler, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 23, 1955); Y. Zilberberg, in Unzer vort (October 8, 1955); Y. Stepler, in Tsienistishe shtime (Paris) (July 1, 1956).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in a town near Kovno, Lithuanian, into a rabbinical household.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshivas.  In 1890 he came to Canada and until 1903 was a school teacher in the Talmud Torah of Rabbi M. A. Oshinski.  At the same time, he was a Zionist orator.  He worked as a teacher and later an administrator of the Montreal Talmud Torah.  Over the years 1907-1912, he published (under the pen name Ish Naami) in Keneder older (Canadian eagle) in Montreal a series of articles “Vegn kinder-dertsiung” (On children’s education) and on the “Sod fun undzer eksistents” (Secret of our existence).  He was the author of Kinder ertsiung bay iden, a historishe nokhforshung (Children’s education with Jews, a historical study) (Montreal, 1910), 128 pp., with a Hebrew preface by the author and prefaces by Rabbi Yofe, A. Sh. Isaacs from New York, Rabbi Tsvi Hakohen from Montreal, Ruvn Brainin, and others.  He died in Pittsburgh.

Sources: Y. Rabinovitsh, jubilee volume for Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) (Montreal, 1932); Keneder odler (October 30, 1959).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOYSHE LEVIN (1897-May 16, 1943)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  Over the years 1918-1920, he studied humanities at Warsaw University.  He was politically active initially with the left Labor Zionists, later with the Communist Party.  From late 1920 until the summer of 1928, he lived in the land of Israel.  He was a cofounder of the local Communist Party and its representative at the Gezerd (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR) in Moscow in 1925.  When the British police subsequently deported him from Israel, he lived in Warsaw (ca. 1935).  He was a member of the central bureau of the Polish Communist Party and among the leadership of the leftist Jewish writers’ group.  He was arrested and sentenced to a long prison term.  At the time of the German invasion of Poland (September 1939), he escaped from Rawicz Prison, made his way to Bialystok where until June 1941 he was active in the union of former Polish prisoners and a proofreader for the Russian-language newspaper for the railway; he later lived for a short time in a collective farm in Novouzensk.  He went on to live in Tashkent, where he worked in a coal mine in Karaganda.  He was a contributor and co-editor of Yiddish-language Communist publications in Israel.  He authored the pamphlets: Der tsienizm, tsu der 17tn kongres (Zionism, at the seventeenth congress) (Lemberg, 1931), 74 pp., using the pseudonym M. Yakubovitsh; Der nayer tsienistisher tararam un zayn badaytung (The latest Zionist fuss and its significance) (Pyetrikov, 1933), 63 pp., using the pseudonym H. Itskovitsh; Di vortslen fun peretses shafn, a pruv fun a marksistisher baloykhtung (The roots of Perets’s creative work, an effort at a Marxist elucidation) (Warsaw, 1934), 110 pp., using the pseudonym P. Diner.  He translated from Russian and German a series of works by Karl Marx and others.  There are two versions of the story of how he died: (1) that he died by drowning in the coal mine in Karaganda; and (2, the official story) that he drowned while standing guard by a river in Leninabad, serving as a soldier in a labor battalion.  Portions of his translations (with M. Mirsky) of the second volume of Marx’s Kapital and of Kant’s Prolegomena and The Critique of Pure Reason were saved and may be found in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.  He also published under such pen names as: Moyshe Batlan, Levi Doresman, Sh. Dorman, P. Diner, and P. Sheli.

Sources: Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 10.1-2 (1936); Dos naye lebn (Warsaw) 1 (1945); Folksshtime (Lodz-Warsaw) (May 14, 1948); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), p. 17; D. Sfard, in Unter der fon fun p. k. p. (Under the banner of the Polish Communist Party) (Warsaw, 1959), pp. 124-30; Y. Sheyn, in Unter der fon fun p. k. p., pp. 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 336, 338; Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Ksovim fun varshever geto (Writings from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1961), p. 264.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Thursday, 25 May 2017


MOYSHE LEVIN (BER SORIN) (1907-March 2, 1942)
            He was born in Vilna, Lithuania, into a family of a poor glazier.  During the years of WWI, he wandered homeless through Russia, before returning to Vilna.  In 1922 he graduated from the seven-class secular, Jewish public school of L. Gurevich, worked for a time as a touch-up man in a photography studio, and later (in 1928) graduated from the Vladimir Medem Teachers’ Seminary.  Until 1934 he worked as a teacher in Jewish secular schools in the Vilna region, and later the police (because of his revolutionary activities) revoked his right to continue teaching.  From his early youth he was blessed with a painter’s talent, and he thus took up painting portraits, drawing posters, and making illustrations for Yiddish-language books.  He worked with a publisher of children’s literature, while at the same time becoming a member of the literary group “Yung-vilne” (Young Vilna).  While in his school years, he published poems in Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw (1922) and in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw.  From 1927 he also published stories and novellas in: Vilner tog (Vilna day) (1927-1939); Yung-vilne (1934-1935); Etyudn (Studies) in Vilna (1935-1937); Zibn teg (Seven days) in Vilna (1935-1936); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Folkstsaytung, Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), Foroys (Onward), and Der fraynd (The friend), among others—in Warsaw; and Forverts (Forward) in New York, from which he received a prize in 1937 for his story “Dray shpiglen” (Three mirrors).  In book form: Friling in kelershtub, noveln un humoreskes (Spring in the basement, stories and humorous sketches), with drawing by Bentsye Mikhtam (Vilna, 1936), 110 pp.; and children’s stories in verse: A denkmol baym taykhl (A monument by the brook) (Warsaw, 1937), 16 pp.; Der vagon (The railroad car) (Warsaw, 1938), 14 pp.; and Di kats dertseylt (The cat recounts) (Warsaw, 1939), 16 pp.—all with his own illustrations.  Using the pen name Ber Sorin, he published from his own press in Vilna kindergarten booklets: Makhn mir a shneymentsh (Make me a snowman) (1937), 8 pp.; A mayse vegn mayzelekh vayse (A tale of little white mice) (1937), 8 pp.; and Kitsi un murele (Kitsi and Murele) (1938), 9 pp.—all with colored illustrations.  Until the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, he was living in Vilna, where he was politically active in the leftist labor and cultural movement.  He was the Vilna delegate to the first conference of Yiddish writers in the Lithuanian Soviet Republic in Kovno (May 1941).  In those years he placed work in Vilner emes (Vilna truth), Kovner emes (Kovno truth), the weekly Shtraln (Beams [of light]), and the anthology Bleter (Leaves) in Kovno.  When the Nazis were approaching Vilna, he fled on foot to Minsk, and then was confined in the Minsk ghetto, serving as a liaison between the partisan movement in the forest and the underground resistance organization in the ghetto.  He forged fake Nazi documents and passports.  On March 2, 1942 when the Nazis led the prisoners from the Minsk jail out to be shot, the commandant wanted to let him live (Levin was a painter in the Minsk jail), but Levin had no wish to be exceptional and declined.  He was thus shot to death with his comrades in the prison courtyard.  His unpublished stories and poems, his novel Revolutsye 1905 in smargon (The 1905 Revolution in Smargon [Smorgon]), and his play Dos farnumene ort (The occupied place) were all lost during the Holocaust years.  In 1958 a collection of his children’s stories and verses was published in Warsaw: Kh’vil dertseyln a mayse (I’d like to recount a story), 80 pp., with his own illustrations, in which was included portions of his published and unpublished items.  In Di goldene keyt (Golden chain) (Tel Aviv) 42 (1962), his novella “Shmulyes shtub fort avek” (Shmulye’s household runs off) was published with notes by A. Sutskever.

Sources: Sh. Katsherginski, in Vilner tog (Vilna) (October 20, 1936); Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947); Sh. Kahan, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (February 26, 1937); M. Taykhman, in Literarishe bleter (April 2, 1937); A. Y. Grodenski, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1937); Sh. Lastik, in Foroys (Warsaw) (March 4, 1938); Shtraln (Kovno) 20 (1941); M. Mozes, in Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew), yearbook (New York, 1944); Elye Shulman, in Yung-vilne (Young Vilna) (New York, 1946), pp. 16, 28-29; H. Smolyar, Fun minsker geto (From the Minsk ghetto) (Moscow, 1946), pp. 27, 71; A. Golomb, in Yivo-beter (New York) 30 (1947), pp. 155-56; Y. Y. Trunk, Di yidishe proze in poyln in der tekufe tsvishn beyde velt-milkhomes (Yiddish prose in Poland in the era between the two world wars) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 154; Lerer-yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), p. 230; D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), A litvak in poyln (A Lithuanian in Poland) (New York, 1955), p. 36; A. Vogler, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 23 (1955), pp. 177-78; A. Sutskever, in Di goldene keyt 42 (1962); Yoysef Gar and Philip Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York: YIVO and Yad Vashem, 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOYSHE LEVIN (b. 1900?)
            He was born in Vilna.  He was the author of Fun vilne keyn yohanesburg (From Vilna to Johannesburg) (Johannesburg, 1966), 178 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 348.


            He came from Verzhbalove (Virbaln, Virbalis), Lithuania.  He was a small-scale merchant and follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He was also among the first local Ḥoveve-tsiyon (Lovers of Zion).  He published stories in Kol mevaser (Herald) in Odessa and Hamagid (The preacher) in Lik, among other serials.  He wrote pamphlets in Yiddish with a moral, such as: Reb moyshele der tsadek, oder der tsugetrofener shidekh (Reb Moyshele the saintly man, or the desired match), a “beautiful story” (Vilna, 1881), 68 pp.; Shnay akhim, oder a mayse shehoye in der lite (Two brother, or a story that transpired in Lithuania) (Vilna, 1883), 54 pp.  He also published under the pen name MM”L.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


LIPMAN LEVIN (1877-April 25, 1946)
            He was born in Mohilev, Byelorussia, the great-grandson of the Mohilev rabbi, R. Khayim Smolyaner.  While quite young he demonstrated enormous diligence in his studies, and at age ten he was holding forth from the synagogue pulpit.  As he grew older, he began to consult secular books, learned a great deal of Hebrew, and turned his attention to pedagogy.  At that time, he began writing in Hebrew, and under the influence of Dovid Pinski, he took to writing in Yiddish as well.  He moved to Warsaw in 1900.  On the first Sabbath there, he read before Perets, Nomberg, and Avrom Reyzen a monologue (“Der oytser” [The treasure]), which was a big hit.  Bal-Makhshoves saw in him a major literary talent and recommended him to Dr. Yoysef Lurye, editor of Der yud (The Jew), in which Levin debuted in print with a story entitled “Dos yoseml” (The little orphan).  He also contributed to Hatsfira (The times), while publishing stories in: Der yud, Di velt (The world), and Di yudishe folks-tsaytung (The Jewish people’s newspaper) which was edited by M. Spektor and Levin’s brother-in-law Kh. D. Hurvits, as well as in the Hebrew language Hashiloa (The shiloah), Luaḥ aḥiasef, and Hazman (The time), among other publications.  In 1904 he moved to St. Petersburg and became a regular contributor to Fraynd (Friend), for which he took charge of the provincial division.  In 1908 he settled in Vilna.  For the Vilna publisher Sh. Y. Fink, he compiled the holiday magazines: Khanike-blat (Hanukkah newspaper), Lekoved peysekh (Honoring Passover), Zangen (Stalks), and Nay-yor (New year), among others.  He also edited: F. Margolin’s Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper); Der holtshendler (The timber merchant) (from 1909), a trade newspaper of the timber business and timber industry; and Vilner vokhenblat (Vilna weekly newspaper) (1909-1914).  He also penned journalistic articles under the pen names: Antik, Dekadent, Der Eygener, A Fremder, and Even Saadya.  During WWI he worked with F. Margolin’s daily Der fraynd (The friend) and with Had hazman (Echo of the times).  Later, after these newspapers ceased publication, he left for St. Petersburg where he was plenipotentiary for Yekopo (Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”) for Mohilev and Smolensk districts.  He was drafted in early 1916 into the Tsarist army, and until the March Revolution (1917), he was living in Smolensk, later coming to Moscow where he was hired as a secretary for the Jewish community.  As a writer of the pre-revolutionary generation, for many years Lipman Levin was unable to adapt to the new conditions under the Soviet regime and wrote next to nothing.  He went on to write original work, mainly is memoirs from the era of the early twentieth century through WWI, memories of Y. L. Perets and the writing environments in Warsaw and Vilna, but not all of these works were published.  In book form he published: Shriftn (Writings), vol. 1 (Vilna: Shreberk, 1909), 208 pp.; vol. 2 (entitled Elende [Miserable]) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1914), 178 pp.; Or vatsel, sipurim vetsiyurim (Light and shadow, stories and paintings) (Warsaw: Tushiya, 1903), 85 pp.  He also wrote (in Hebrew) a three-volume novel which he also translated into Yiddish, and it dealt with the epoch from before the first Russian Revolution, between the two revolutions of 1917, and then after October 1917.  This work provided the basis for his novels: Doyres dervakhte (Generations awaken), vol. 1 (Moscow: Emes, 1934), 135 pp., vol. 2 (Vilna, 1934), 373 pp.; and Dem shturem antkegn (Into the storm) (Moscow: Emes, 1939), 310 pp.  From these same novels he published the pieces: Di zorg-bank, proklamatsye (Bank of worries, proclamation) (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 45 pp.; and Der ershter shtrayk (The first strike) (1935), 36 pp. (both in the series “Masn-biblyotek” [Library for the masses], nos. 47 and 48); Merke di pyonerke (Merke, the pioneer) (Moscow, 1939), 14 pp.; Di konstitutsye oysnveynik (The constitution memorized) (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 15 pp.; Teg fargangene, noveln (Days gone by, stories) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 198 pp.  He translated among other works: Maxim Gorky, Der lezer (The reader [original: Chitatel’]) (Warsaw, 1902); Dzhuzepo garibaldi, der folks-held un befrayer fun italyen (Giuseppe Garibaldi, the folk hero and liberator of Italy) (St. Petersburg, 1905), 48 pp.; Lev Osipovich Levanda’s two novels, In shturm (In turbulent times [original: Goryachee vremya]) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1912), 435 pp., and A groyser remiz (A huge fine [original: Bol’shoi remiz, roman iz kommercheskoi zhizni evreev (A huge fine, a novel from the commercial life of Jewry)]) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1914), 331 pp.  He also published a translation of Levanda’s Der poylisher magnat (The Polish magnate [original: Pol’skii magnat]) (Vilna), 63 pp., and other works as well.  He did not write for fifteen years under the Soviets.  Finally, in 1932 he surfaced and began to publish in Soviet journals.  During the years of WWII, he was much weakened and out of date.  In 1946 his seventieth birthday was marked with articles in the Soviet Yiddish press.  He died shortly thereafter in Moscow.  His body was cremated on April 26.  At his funeral, L. Kvitko, Y. Dobrushin, and Y. Nusinov gave addresses.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; Avrom Reyzen, in Tsukunft (New York) (1920), pp. 506-8; A. Reyzen, Epizodn fun mayn lebn (Episodes from my life), part 2 (Vilna, 1929), pp. 13017; A. Reyzen, in Forverts (New York) (April 25, 1931); B. Orshanski, in Emes (Moscow) 144 (1935); A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materyaln (Studies and materials) (Kharkov, 1934), p. 25; D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Tsukunft (October 1935); Charney, Vilne (Vilna) (Buenos Aires, 1951), pp. 174-76; N. Mayzil, Doyres un tkufes in der yidisher literatur (Generations and epochs in Yiddish literature) (New York, 1942), pp. 17, 81, 86; Y. Nusinov, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (April 1947); obituary notice signed by many Soviet Yiddish writers, in Eynikeyt (April 27, 1946); B. Mark, in Dos naye lebn (Warsaw) 96 [377] (1949); Y. Likhtenboym, ed., Hasipur haivri (The Hebrew story) (Tel Aviv, 1955), p. 520; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 216-17.]


LILKE LEVIN (d. 1945)
            She was born in Vilna, the daughter of a paper merchant.  She was deported from the Vilna ghetto to concentration camps in Latvia and later in Germany.  She was killed in the days of the camp liberation by rampant Soviet soldiers.  In Lider fun getos un lagern (Songs of the ghettos and camps), p. 261, Sh. Katsherginski makes note of her song “In dinaverk” (In Dinaverk), a camp in Latvia.  She died in the Dinaverk concentration camp.

Source: Sh. Katsherginski, Lider fun getos and lagern (Songs of the ghettos and camps) (New York, 1948), p. 261.
Yankev Kahan

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 348.]


LEYZER LEVIN (December 2, 1891-1967)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  In 1906 he joined the Labor Zionist party, was later active in the left wing of the party, and from 1922 was part of the right Labor Zionists.  From 1926 he was a member of the Labor Zionists-Zionist Socialists in Poland and chairman of their Lodz committee.  He was one of the builders of the Borokhov School and the Borokhov Collective in Lodz.  Until 1939 he lived in Lodz, and thereafter he was one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and one of the group that was rescued by using the underground canals to make it to the Aryan side.  He published in: Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper) (1909-1939); Arbeter-tsaytung (Labor newspaper), Bafrayung (Liberation), and Dos vort (The word)—in Warsaw.  He contributed to the underground Labor Zionist-Zionist Socialist press in the Warsaw Ghetto.  After liberation he placed work in: Bafrayung and Der morgn (The morning) in Munich (1947-1950).  In the collection Varshever geto-oyfshtand (Warsaw Ghetto uprising) (Landsberg, 1947, pp. 29-36), he published portions of his memoirs under the title “In di teg fun oyfshtand” (In the days of the uprising), which was reprinted in the Yiddish press throughout the world.  He lived in Israel from 1945 until his death in Kibbutz Yagur.  He was blind during his last years.

Sources: M. Nayshtat, Khurbn un oyfshtand fun di yidn in varshe (Holocaust and uprising of the Jews in Warsaw) (Tel Aviv, 1948), p. 326; L. Tarnopoler, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (December 12, 1961); M. A., in Davar (Tel Aviv) (January 19, 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


LEYZER LEVIN (1889-August 1940)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  Until age seventeen he studied in a religious primary school, in the yeshiva of the Chofetz-Chaim in Radin (Raduń), and in the Lomzhe yeshiva, and through self-study he acquired secular knowledge.  In his youth he became active in the illegal Bundist organization in Warsaw, was arrested several times by the Tsarist authorities, spent time in Warsaw and Radom prisons, and was also exiled to Siberia.  Over the years 1912-1916, he lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, working in various trades, and then he returned, lived in Paris, and from there in 1917, after the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, he made his way to Russia, lived for a time in Minsk, and appeared on stage to speak at Bundist meetings.  When the Bolsheviks later took power in Russia (late 1917-early 1918), Levin returned to Warsaw where he was active in trade unions and political work of the Bund.  He was a member of the central bureau of the Jewish trade unions.  He began his journalistic activities with reportage pieces on workers’ lives in Der tog (The day) in Buenos Aires (1913).  In 1917 he wrote from time to time in Der veker (The alarm), a daily newspaper of the Bund in Minsk.  In Warsaw he was a regular contributor to the Bundist daily Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), in which he edited the city’s reportage, the news of the trade union movement, and also published “Bilder fun der yidisher provints” (Images from the Jewish hinterland).  In early September 1939, he fled Poland, lived for a time in Vilna and Kovno, where he wrote a series of description of the first weeks of the war in Poland for Idishe shtime (Jewish voice), which was republished in New York’s Forverts (Forward) and other Yiddish newspapers throughout the world.  He died of a heart attack in Kovno.

Sources: H-t, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (April-May 1941); M. Manes, in Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew), yearbook (New York, 1944); Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrentn nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of scorched yesterdays) (Buenos Aires, 1946), pp. 156-57; P. Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Collected writings), vol. 4 (Buenos Aires, 1946); B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index; P. Shvarts, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 427; B. Shefner, Novolipye 7, zikhroynes un eseyen (Novolipye 7, memoirs and essays) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 77; Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), pp. 291-92, with a bibliography; Rokhl Oyerbakh, Beḥutsot varsha, 1939-1943 (In the streets of Warsaw, 1939-1943), trans. Mordekhai Ḥalamish (Tel Aviv: Am oved, 1954), p. 357.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


LEYBU LEVIN (May 5, 1914-February 7, 1983)
            He was a composer, born in Kimpeling, Bukovine.  From 1919 he was living in Czernowitz.  He studied there in a teachers’ seminary.  In 1942 he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.  From 1972 he was living in Israel.  He translated from German: Finf lider (Five songs) by the poetess Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger who was murdered at a young age (Tel Aviv, 1977), 22 pp.; and Lider (Poems), also by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger (Tel Aviv, 1978), 88 pp.  He authored: In der velt fun gezangen, lider af yidish un in ivrit, Beolam hazemer (In the world of song, songs in Yiddish and in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv, 1980), 99 pp., in Yiddish and Hebrew with Levin’s melodies.  He also translated from Romanian and Russian.  He died in Hertzliya. 

Sources: Chaim Gininger, in Di vokh (Bucharest) (January 31, 1935); Y. Gelman, preface to In der velt fun gezungen; M. Vinkler, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (July 31, 1983); F. Vayninger, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (March 4, 1983); Leybu Levin, Shtrikhn tsu der geshtalt fun a vortkinstler (Traits of the figure of a wordsmith) (Tel Aviv, 1981).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 347.


            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He received a middle school education.  He was an instructor for ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades).  During WWI he was refugee in Russia and was sent to a camp.  In 1950 he came to Australia.  He was contributor to Melburner bleter (Melbourne pages).  In book form: Tribe himlen, lider un poemes (Gloomy skies, poetry) (Melbourne, 1962), 197 pp.; Di sage fun di zeks teg, poeme (The saga of the six days, a poem) (Melbourne, 1974), 134 pp.
Moyshe Ayzenbud

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 347.


            He came from Warsaw, Poland.  He was the founder of the first modern religious elementary schools in Poland—in Warsaw, at Nalewki 24, Wałowa 11, and elsewhere.  He was the author of textbooks in Hebrew and stylized Yiddish, among others: Bet sefer ḥadash (New library), “an altogether new method to teach beginning children in ninety-three lessons, Hebrew and ethics as well and proper behavior, with songs” (Warsaw, 1894), first edition; Ḥinukh hanearim (Education for young people) (Warsaw, 1896), 120 pp., in Yiddish; Ḥinukh hayeladim (Education for children) (Warsaw, 1897), 67 pp., in Yiddish; and Gidl-bonim (Raising children) (Petrikov, 1898), 12 pp., in Yiddish; among others.  Further biographical details remain unknown.

Source: N. S. (Nokhum Sokolov), in Hatsfira (Warsaw) 64 (1896).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YISROEL LEVIN (ISRAEL LEVINE) (b. December 15, 1878)
           He was born in a village in Minsk district, Byelorussia.  In 1895 he arrived in the United States, lived in various cities, worked as a teacher in Talmud Torahs, and was secretary for Mizrachi in the town in which he lived, Malden, Massachusetts.  He debuted in print in 1904 in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York with a poem entitled “Funken shpritsn” (Sparks fly), and from that point he went on to contribute poetry and translations from Tanakh and from ethical books to: Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Forverts (Forward), Dos yudishe folk (The Jewish people), Di varheyt (The truth), and Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter)—in New York; Idishe shtime (Jewish voice) in Boston; and more.  He published in book form: Lider fun a volontir (Poems of a volunteer) (Malden, 1919), 16 pp.; Sefer naim zemirot, tehilim (Naim Zemirot on Psalms), translated into a poetic form, with short prefaces by Dr. Meir Vaksman and Aharon Kaminska (Jerusalem, 1934), 19 pp.

Sources: D. B. Tirkel, Pinkes fun yivo (Records of YIVO) (New York, 1927-1928), p. 261; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), p. 200; Dr. Y. Markus, in Der idisher kuryer (Chocago) (October 22, 1934); Mevaker, in Di idishe shtime (Philadelphia) (November 12, 1934); Pinkas slutsk uvenoteha (Records of Slutsk and its builders) (Tel Aviv-New York, 1962), p. 395.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YERUKHEM LEVIN (1899-March 31, 1959)
            He was born in Bialystok.  He attended religious elementary schools and acquired secular subject matter privately.  He was an administrator for Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists) in the democratic Jewish community council.  He worked as a teacher in the Gnessin School in Bialystok and contributed to the Bialystok newspaper Undzer lebn (Our life) and Gut morgn (Good morning), as well as to Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok) in New York.  Made aliya to Israel in 1922 and died in Afula, Israel.

Sources: Dos naye lebn (Bialystok), jubilee issue (April 4, 1929); Gut morgn (Bialystok) (November 15, 1933); Byalistoker leksikon (Bialystok handbook) (Bialystok, 1935); Byalistoker shtime (New York) (September 1939; September-October 1949; April 1959); Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 1959).
Yankev Kahan


YITSKHOK LEVIN-SHATSKES (August 10, 1892-December 15, 1963)
            He was born in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia.  He attended religious elementary school, and he had private tutors for secular subjects.  He passed the level eight high school examinations in 1913 as an external student.  In 1912 he joined the illegal circle of the Bund in Dvinsk, and the next year with a group of fellow Jewish high school students, he founded the first secular Jewish school with Yiddish as the language of instruction in Dvinsk.  Over the years 1915-1919, he served in the Russian army, and after undergoing a year in prison and in the prison-of-war camp in Hafelsberg, Germany, he was later mobilized in the Red Army.  From 1920, after Latvia became independent, he was active as a member of the central bureau of the revived Bund, a member of the Dvinsk city council, secretary of the Dvinsk Jewish community administration, chairmen of the trade unions of Latgale, and a deputy member of the Dvinsk fund for the sick.  He began writing in Russian in 1913.  He published journalistic articles in the Dvinsk Russian-language daily newspaper Dvinskaya ekho (Dvinsk echo) and in the weekly Dvinskaya zhizn’ (Dvinsk life).  He began writing in Yiddish in 1921, as a regular contributor to the Riga daily Dos folk (The people).  In 1926 he began writing also for the Yiddish daily newspaper Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga.  He placed works as well in the Riga Bundist weeklies Unzer vort (Our word) and Naye tsayt (our time), as well as in the Bundist youth publication Arbeter-yugnt (Laboring youth).  He also contributed to the Riga satirical journal Ashmodai (edited by H. Aktsin) and in the Warsaw Bundist weekly Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper).  Between 1926 and May 1934, he served as editor of the Russian-language Latgal’skaya misl’ (Latgale idea) in Dvinsk.  At the time of the fascist putsch in Latvia (1934), he was arrested and spent a year in prison and a concentration camp in Libave (Liepāja).  In 1936 he came to New York, where in 1938 he became head secretary of the Jewish Socialist Union in America and editor of its organ Der veker (The alarm).  With journalistic articles and features, he also placed work in: Tsukunft (Future), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), Der fraynd (The friend), and Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), among other serials, in New York.  He was a member of the Forward Association and of the Workmen’s Circle; an executive member and vice-chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee; and executive member of the World Jewish Culture Congress; and a deputy member of Tsiko (Tsentrale yidishe kultur-organizatsye, Central Yiddish Cultural Organization).  He also wrote under such pen names as: Shli (a pseudonym he used especially for his features column “Haklal” [In sum] in Der veker), Ivin, Der Gelinkter, D. Odin, Y. Markov, L. Evin, Elsha, and Levsha.  He died in New York.

Sources: Jubilee collection for the Dvinsk Bund, branch 75 of the Workmen’s Circle (New York, 1939); Yahadut latviya (Judaism in Latvia) (Tel Aviv, 1953), see index; A. Golomb, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (December 1957); L. Lehrer, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (April 25, 1958); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Workmen’s Circle builders and activists) (New York, 1962), pp. 222-23.


YITSKHOK LEVIN (ISAAC, IZAK LEWIN) (January 14, 1906-August 24, 1995)
            He was born in Wieliczka, near Cracow, western Galicia (Poland), the son of the Reyshe (Rzeszów) rabbi, R. Arn Levin, and the grandson of the Lemberg rabbi, R. Yitskhok Shmelkis.  He studied Jewish subjects with his father and with the Nayshtat rabbi, and later he received ordination into the rabbinate from the Krasin rabbi.  He received his secular education in a Polish state high school in Sambor (Sambir).  He studied philosophy, history, and law in the Universities of Lemberg, Vienna, and Vilna.  In 1932 he graduated from the philosophy department in Vienna and in 1937 received his law degree from the University of Vilna for his dissertation on the history of the legal profession in premodern Poland.  From his student years forward, he was an active leader in Jewish community life, primarily in Agudat Yisrael, and was a member of its central world council.  In 1936 he settled in Lodz where he served as a member of the city council (1937 and 1939), representing Orthodoxy.  At the beginning of WWII, he was in Warsaw on a community assignment and, not knowing if he could return to Lodz, headed for Vilna, where until late 1940 he remained active in the relief work for the refugees from Poland.  In March 1941 he made his way to the United States via Russia and Japan.  He was the founder and leader of the Research Institute for Religious Matters in New York.  From 1944 he was professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University in New York, and from 1948 principal of the central yeshiva high school for girls in Brooklyn.  As one of the main leaders of Vaad Hatsala (The Rescue Committee), he visited (1945-1946) displaced persons’ camps in Germany and Austria, as well as in Eastern Europe.  He was in Israel on several occasions.  From 1948 he was the Agudat Yisrael representative and councilor on the economic and social council at the Union Nations.  He was an active leader with the Joint Distribution Committee, at the Claims Conference (a member of the executive), and with other institutions of American Judaism.  He began writing in 1922, publishing journalistic essays in the Polish-language Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg and Nowy dziennik (New daily) in Cracow, as well as in the Yiddish-language Togblat (Daily newspaper) and Der morgen (The morning) in Lemberg.  He went on to contribute articles, travel narratives, and scholarly treatments to: Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), Beys yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal), and Miesięcznik żydowski (Jewish monthly)—in Lodz; Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Ortodoksishe yugend-bleter (Pages of Orthodox youth), Darkhenu (Our path), Deglanu (Our banner), Echo żydowskie (Jewish echo), Promień (Ray), Nowe życie (New Life), and Yidn in bafraytn poyln (Jews in liberated Poland)—in Warsaw; Pamiętnik Historyczno-Prawny (Hisorical-legal notebook) in Lemberg; and Monatschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums (Monthly journal of history and Scholarship on Judaism) in Breslau; among others.  After WWII he contributed work to: Tog (Day), Tsukunft (Future), Der amerikaner (The American), Di idishe shtime (The Jewish voice), Poylisher yid (Polish Jew), Hapardes (The orchard), Nasha tribuna (Our tribune), and Peysekh almanakh (tshkh”a) (Passover almanac for 1960/1961)—in New York; Di vokhentsaytung (The weekly newspaper) in London; Landsberger lager-tsaytung (Landsberg Camp newspaper); and various publications of Agudat Yisrael in the camps.  He ran a column entitled “Fun vokh tsu vokh” (From week to week) in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  In book form: Rozwód wiedeński, dzieje sporu o ważność rozwodu warunkowego wedle prawa żydowskiego w Polsce w XVII wieku (Viennese divorce, the history of the dispute concerning the validity of conditional divorce according to Jewish law in Poland in the seventeenth century) (Lemberg, 1931), 47 pp.; Udział Żydów w wyborach sejmowych w dawnej Polsce (Jewish participation in parliamentary elections in former Poland) (Warsaw, 1932), 20 pp.; Kla̜twa żydowska na Litwie w XVII i XVIII wieku (Jewish clergy in Lithuania in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) (Lemberg, 1932), 150 pp.; Prawo rozwiązywania ciał ustawodawczych, studjum z prawa konstytucyjnego (Law of dissolving legislative bodies, a study of constitutional law) (Lemberg, 1933), 87 pp.; Przyczynki do dziejow i historii literatury Zydow w Polsce, Beitrage zur Geschichte und Literatur der Juden in Polen (Contribution to the history and literature of the Jews in Poland) (Lemberg, 1935), 87 pp.; Palestra w dawnej Polsce (The legal profession in former Poland) (Lemberg, 1936), 124 pp., his doctoral dissertation; Fun amol un haynt, gezamlte maymorim (From then and now, collected essays), historical essays, holiday features, travel impressions, and speeches before the Lodz city council (Lodz, 1939), 170 pp.; The Protection of Jewish Religious Rights by Royal Edicts in Ancient Poland (New York, 1943), 23 pp.; Religious Freedom: The Right to Practice Shehitah, Kosher Slaughtering (New Yor, 1946), 290 pp.; Nokhn khurbn, gezamlte maymorim (After the Holocaust, collected essays), articles and U. N. speeches (New York, 1950), 304 pp.; Religious Jewry and the United Nations: Addresses before the United Nations (New York, 1953), 136 pp.; In the Struggle Against Discrimination: Addresses before Various Organs of the United Nations and the Congress of the United States (New York, 1957), 148 pp.; In Defense of Shehitah (New York, 1958), 34 pp.; Late Summer Fruit: Essays (New York, 1960), 174 pp.; Tsu der geshikhte fun agudes yisroel (Toward the history of Agudat Yisrael) (New York: Orthodox Library, 1964), 158 pp.; War on War (New York, 1969), 188 pp.; Ten Years of Hope (New York, 1971), 105 pp.; The Jewish Community in Poland: Historical Essays (New York, 1985), 247 pp.; and many more.  He edited: Ela ezkera (These I remember), monographs on murdered religious Jewish leaders and writers during the years of the Holocaust (New York, 1957-1960), 5 vols., each roughly 320 pp., including a monograph he wrote about his father, Toldot hagaon rabi aharon levin (Biography of the brilliant Rabbi Aharon Levin), which also appeared separately in print (New York, 1957), 32 pp.; Ḥomer lesheelat hitkonenut ṿesidur hamedina hayehudit al-pi hatora (Material for the question of preparation and arrangement of the Jewish state according to the Torah) (New York, 1948), 32 pp.; with Jacob Apenszlak, The Black Book of Polish Jewry: An Account of the Martyrdom of Polish Jewry under Nazi Occupation (New York, 1943), 343 pp.; Yidn in altn poyln, historishe eseyen (Jewish in ancient Poland, historical essays) (Buenos: Poylishe yidn, 1962), 184 pp.

Sources: Dr. M. Balaban, in Chwila (Lemberg) (July 12, 1937); Balaban, in Nasz Przegląd (Warsaw) (July 18, 1937); Dr. M. Alter, in Miesięcznik żydowski (Lodz) 3 (1937); Z. Zilbertsvayg, in Der amerikaner (New York) (August 15, 1947); Dr. Philip Fridman, in Der amerikaner (July 1, 1949); Sh. Rotshteyn, in Der amerikaner (July 28, 1950); Sh. D. Leder, Reysher yidn (Rzeszów Jews) (Washington, 1953), pp. 289-91; M. Prager, in Talpiyot (New York) (Tevet 3-4 [= January 1-2], 1952), pp. 873-74; Hilel Zaydman, in Talpiyot (Iyar [= April-May] 1955); M. Shvartsman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 6, 1958); Y. Fridnzon, in Dos idishe vort (New York) (December 1960); Y. Mishael, in Hadoar (New York) (Iyar 8 [= April 24], 1961); Rabbi Arn Ben-tsien Shurin, in Forverts (New York) (November 25, 1960); Sh. Izban, in Der amerikaner (August 18, 1961); Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (August 25, 1961); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York: YIVO and Yad Vashem, 1962), see index; Rabbi Meyer Shvartsman, in Keneder odler (May 13, 1963); Ts. Kohen, “Pilpul af yidish” (Casuistry in Yiddish), Forverts (May 19, 1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 347.]

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


YANKEV (-LEYB) LEVIN (JACOB LEON) (August 6, 1884-December 6, 1958)
            He was born in Tolochin (Talachyn), Byelorussia.  His father was an elementary schoolteacher.  Until age fourteen he attended his father school and at the same time a Russian private school.  In 1898 he came to Minsk and attended yeshiva there, but he was also concerned with secular subject matter.  In 1900 he left for Warsaw, and as an external student he prepared for the entrance examinations into senior high school.  In 1903 he joined the local Minsk Labor Zionist group and soon thereafter switched to the just formed Zionist Socialist Party.  For organizing a self-defense group in Tolochin (after the pogrom in Homel [Gomel] in August 1903), he was arrested and spent four months in prison.  In 1906 he published for the first time an article in the organ of Zionist socialism, Der nayer veg (The new way), in Vilna.  He later departed for St. Petersburg, passed the exams for the eighth class of high school, received a teacher’s certificate, studied agronomy for three years, and at the same time attended the Institute for Oriental Languages (founded by Baron Günzburg) where the professors included Shimon Dubnov, Lawyer Sliozberg, and Mark Vishnitser.  The police banished him from St. Petersburg in 1911.  Levin then left for Israel and went on to publish in Fraynd (Friend) a series of articles entitled “Di lage fun di yidishe arbeter in palestine” (The condition of Jewish workers in Palestine) and a longer work entitled “Di yidishe kolonizatsye in palestine” (Jewish colonization in Palestine) which appeared later in the monthly journal Di yudishe velt (The Jewish world) in Vilna.  On the eve of WWI, he was living in Warsaw where he was one of the pioneers of secular Jewish schools, participated in establishing the first program for the school with Yiddish as the language of instruction, and served as the first teacher of Yiddish in the private seven-class high school for girls of Mrs. Koletski.  He also took part in compiling a Yiddish school reader.  At the start of WWI, he was mobilized into the Russian army, fled from there because of the frightful anti-Semitism on the part of the officers, and in late 1915 reached the United States via Japan.  In New York he was active in the Socialist Territorialist Labor Party and contributed to (and later served as editor of) the party organ Undzer vort (Our word), in which he incidentally published fragments of his utopia of a Jewish socialist land: “Nayland” (New land).  In 1918, after the Zionist socialists in New York united with the Labor Zionists, he withdrew from political work and turned his attention thoroughly to building the secular Yiddish school in New York.  He was the manager of the first Workmen’s Circle school in Harlem and director of the first Workmen’s Circle middle school and of the Workmen’s Circle’s courses for preparing teachers for its schools.  He compiled a series of books for teachers and students.  He edited: Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Kinder-land (Children’s land), Ertsiung (Education) together with L. Lehrer and K. Marmor, Unzer kind (Our child) together with Dr. Merison and L. Lehrer, and Shul un lerer (School and teacher).  In the 1920s, when a struggle between right and left flared up within the Workmen’s Circle, Levin strove to keep the Workmen’s Circles school neutral before the political fight.  After the split, he succeeded in keeping seventeen of twenty-three Workmen’s Circle schools as impartial Yiddish schools.  The left with its propaganda quickly seized the majority of the “impartial” schools.  For a short time, he continued to administer a small number of “Jewish labor schools” which ultimately returned to the Workmen’s Circle, and Levin once again became a teacher in a Workmen’s Circle middle school.  In 1928 he was among the founders and the first secretary of the Yiddish Culture Society.  Over the course of thirty years, he was director of the children’s colonies: “Kinderland” (Children’s land), “Nayvelt,” and “Zumer-land” (Summerland).  He published articles on pedagogical and general community issues in: Di tsukunft (The future), Fraynd (a publication of the Workmen’s Circle), Der tog (The day), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Naye velt (New world), and Sotsyalistishe shtime (Socialist voice), among others, in New York.  In book form: with Y. Lukovski and Sh. Hurvits, Unzer naye shul, a khrestomatye far kinder fun 2tn un 3tn lernyor mit bilder in tekst (Our new school, a reader for children in the second and third school year with pictures in the text) (Warsaw, 1913), 230 pp.; Di naye idishe shul, a lern-bukh far yidishe onfangers (The new Yiddish school, a textbook for Yiddish beginners) (New York, 1916), 150 pp., with numerous reprints; Der emes vegn palestina (The truth about Palestine) (New York: American Jewish Socialist Federation, 1917), 157 pp.; Perets, a bisl zikhroynes (Perets, a few remembrances) (Warsaw, 1919), 64 pp.; Di naye yidishe shul, part 2 (New York, 1920), 194 pp.; Kultur-geshikhte (Cultural history), part 3 (Warsaw, 1920), 305 pp.; Di idishe arbayter-ring-shul, ir tsil un program (The Yiddish Workmen’s Circle school, its goal and program) (New York, 1920), 64 pp.; Blumen, ṭeksten fun lider tsu zingen in di idishe shulen (Flower, texts of songs to sing in the Yiddish schools) (New York, 1920), 127 pp.; Der onfanger, lernbukh tsu lernen kinder leyenen un shraybn idish (The beginner, textbook to teach children to read and write Yiddish), six parts (New York, 1922-1928); Mayses un legendes fun der yidisher geshikhte (Tales and legends from Jewish history), 3 parts (New York, 1928-1934), 407 pp.; Dos naye bukh, literarishe un historishe khrestomatye, leyenbukh far dem eltern klas fun der elementarer shul un dem ershtn klas fun mitlshul (The new book, literary and historical reader, textbook for the older class in elementary school and the first class in middle school) (New York, 1929), 400 pp.; Ken idish, lernbukh tsu helfn di kinder oyslernen zikh rikhtik shraybn un redn idish (Know Yiddish, a textbook to help children master proper writing and reading of Yiddish) (New York, 1933), 117 pp.; Der nayer onfanger, lernbukh tsu lernen kinder leyenen, shraybn un redn yidish (The new beginner, textbook to teach children to read, write, and speak Yiddish) (New York, 1945); Yidishe geshikhte far kinder (Jewish history for children) (New York, 1946).  In his last few years, Levin edited and brought out a mimeographed publication, Afn veg (On the way), in which he tried to create a kind of “Shulḥan Arukh” [a complete guide] for secular Jews, with instructions for how to carry on Jewish traditions.  He died in New York.

Sources: M. Golding, in Forverts (New York) (March 25, 1931); A. Kh. Heler, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1931); B. Fridman, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (December 28, 1931); Z. Yefroykin, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (May 1955); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, Fun kheyder un shkoles biz tsisho (From religious and secular primary schools to Tsisho) (Mexico City, 1956), see index; B. Y. Byalostotski, in Forverts (December 17, 1958); Y. B. Beylin, in Morgn-frayhayt (December 21, 1958); M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (December 30, 1958); B. Shefner, in Forverts (January 17, 1959); Yudel Mark, in Yidishe bukh-almanakh (Yiddish book almanac) (New York, 1960), pp. 43-48; obituary notices and appreciations in the Yiddish newspapers of New York after Levin’s death; Leybush Lehrer, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (March 8, 1963).
Borekh Tshubinski


YOYSEF LEVIN (b. ca. 1870)
            He was raised in Zlotopol (Zlatopil), Ukraine.  He attended religious elementary school.  By trade he worked as a tailor.  Just before WWI he came to the United States.  His books include: Fun der khasene (From the wedding), a life story (Brooklyn, 1932), 167 pp.; Fun nokh der khasene (From after the wedding) (New York, 1933), 184 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 346-47.


YEḤEZKEL LEVIN (1898-July 1941)
            He was born in Rohatin (Rohatyn), Galicia, into a rabbinical family.  He graduated from the philosophy department of Cracow University.  In 1926 he was accepted as rabbi in Katowice, and in 1928 he was rabbi in Lemberg.  He was a cofounder and lecturer at the Hebrew Teachers’ Institute (“Pedagogium”).  From 1924 he wrote for the Polish Jewish and Yiddish press in Galicia.  He contributed journalistic articles and literary essays in the Polish-language Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg and Nowy dziennik (New daily) in Cracow, as well as the Yiddish-language Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper) and Der morgen (The morning) in Lemberg; he also wrote for Zionist party periodicals in Yiddish, Polish, and German.  For a time he was editor of the Polish-language, Zionist weekly Opinia (Opinion) in Warsaw (in which he published editorials signed “L”), and for the publishing house “Tsufim.”  On July 1, 1941, the second day of Nazi rule in Lemberg, Ukrainian militiamen dragged him to the Brygidki Prison.  He was murdered with Lemberg Jewry.

Source: Dr. Hilel Zaydman, Ela ezkera (These I remember) (New York, 1961), pp. 65-69.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Monday, 22 May 2017


YEHUDA-LEYB LEVIN (1921-December 20, 1978)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland, the son of the Orthodox leader, Itshe-Meyer Levin.  He attended religious primary school and the Gerer Rebbe’s small synagogue, and he had private tutors as well.  Until 1940 he lived in Warsaw, later making his way through Italy to Israel.  He contributed work to: Haderekh (The pathway) in Vienna; Kol yisrael (Voice of Israel) in Tel Aviv; Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in New York; Di idishe vokh (The Jewish week) in London; and Hamodia (The herald) in Jerusalem, of which he was editor-in-chief.  He was the author of: Torat ḥidushe harim (The Torah novellae of the Rim [Rabbi Yitsḥak Meir Rotenberg]) (Jerusalem, 1949); the two-volume Ḥasidim mesaprim (Hassidim recount); and other works as well.  He was editor of Entsiklopedye fun poylishn identum, megilat polin (Encyclopedia of Polish Jewry), in Yiddish and Hebrew—vol. 5, part 1 entitled Khurbn (Holocaust) (Jerusalem, 1961), 351 pp. has appeared.  He published under such pen names as: Arye, Hamashkif, and Haorekh.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Sefer hashana shel haitonim (Newspaper yearbook) (Tel Aviv, 1957/1958-1960/1961); information from R. Avrom Zemba in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YANKL LEVIN (1882-1938)
            He was born in Homel (Gomel), Byelorussia, the son of a carpenter.  Until age thirteen he studied in religious elementary school and later became a carpenter himself.  He early on joined the illegal socialist movement and was a cofounder of the “little Bund” in Homel.  Subsequently, in the years of reaction before WWI, he traveled on illegal assignment for the Bund’s central committee through the cities and towns of the Jewish Pale.  He was arrested on several occasions and spent time in Tsarist prisons, and he took an active part in the first Russian Revolution of 1905.  He served as a Bundist party functionary in Warsaw, 1913-1914.  He was active in the Bund in Ukraine during WWI and took part in 1916 in the Kharkov conference of the Bund.  During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he was among the leadership of the Bund in the western regions.  He traveled about on party assignments through Byelorussia.  At the eleventh conference of the Bund in Minsk (March 1919), he moved to the pro-Soviet majority and was coopted onto the central committee of the party.  At the conference in which the party split in 1920, in Moscow, he went with the leftist majority which formed the Kombund (Communist Bund), and thereafter joined the Russian Communist Party, in which he assumed positions of responsibility in the Gezerd (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR) movement, in the campaign for Jewish colonization in Crimea, and in proclaiming Birobidzhan as a Jewish national center.  Very active in the 1920s, he lived the first half of the decade in Minsk and did much to advance Yiddish culture in Byelorussia.  He went to Birobidzhan in 1929, served as secretary of the Birobidzhan regional committee of the Communist Party, and in its name appeared at meetings of Gezerd in Birobidzhan.  He published (using the pseudonym Yanklzon) correspondence pieces from Warsaw to the Bundist Tsayt (Times) in St. Petersburg (1912-1914), and later from time to time he wrote for Veker (Alarm), the Bundist organ in Minsk.  He served as one the editors of Veker (1917-1925), and when Shtern (Star) was founded in Minsk in 1925 as a literary-artistic journal he joined the editorial collective.  In his Communist period, he wrote much more.  He published memoirs of the first Russian Revolution in Emes (Truth) in Moscow, which appeared later in a separate publication entitled Fun yene yorn, “kleyn-bund” (From those years, the “Little Bund”) (Minsk, 1924), 40 pp., as well as articles on colonization in Crimea and in Birobidzhan, which later appeared separately as: Fragn un entfern vegn der yidisher kolonizatsye in ratnfarband (Questions and answers concerning Jewish colonization in the Soviet Union) (Moscow, 1928), 20 pp., second printing (Buenos Aires, 1928) and Vi azoy ken men ibervandern in krim un birobidzhan? (How can one immigrate to Crimea and Birobidzhan?) (Moscow, 1930), 14 pp.  Levin also contributed to: Shtern in Minsk, which he co-edited (1925-1926) with Sh. Ogurski, B. Orshanski, A. Osherovitsh, and V. Nodel; Di royte velt (The red world) in Kharkov; publication for youth and children, such as Yungvald (Young forest), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Yunge gvardye (Young guard)—in Moscow (1923, 1928); and Zay greyt (Get ready) in Kharkov (1928-1937).  He also placed writings in Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star) (1930-1937).  In the publication Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan), “collection of materials and documents” (Moscow, 1932), pp. 20-42, he published “A yor arbet in birobidzhan” (A year’s work in Birobidzhan).  He translated from Russian into Yiddish: Dmitrii Stonov, Bolshevikes (Bolsheviks [original: Bol’sheviki]) (Moscow, 1927), 40 pp.  At the All-Ukrainian Conference of Yiddish Proletarian Writers in Kharkov, he was selected to serve in the top management of Yiddish writers in the All-Ukrainian Writers’ Union.  From 1925 he was involved with the leadership of the Jewish section of national minorities in the Ukrainian government.  In the autumn of 1937, during the liquidation of Gezerd and the repression of former leaders of the Bund, Levin was arrested on the charge of being a Japanese spy, and thereafter nothing more was heard of him.  According to information from one of the oldest of Birobidzhan residents, named Tshernobrod, Yankl Levin (together with the first secretary of the Birobidzhan Party Committee) was sent to do hard labor in a camp in Kolyma, and later (until the German attack on Russia in June 1941), he worked in a shoemaker’s workshop in Magadan.  In late July 1941, when thousands of Polish deportees were murdered, Levin was shot as a “Japanese spy.”  Another account has it that he was shot in Khabarovsk in 1938.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; A. Kirzhnits, Di yidishe prese in vaysrusland, 1917-1927 (The Yiddish press in Byelorussia, 1917-1927) (Minsk, 1929), nos. 14, 229, 337; A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materyaln (Studies and materials) (Kharkov, 1934), pp. 250-51; Volf Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 931; Y. Sh. Herts, Di geshikhte fun a yugnt (The history of a youth) (New York, 1946), pp. 64-65; Herts, Di geshikhte fun bund in lodz (The history of the Bund in Lodz) (New York, 1958), pp. 233-34; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 108; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; oral information from Y. Emyot and Y. Birnboym in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 215-16.]


KHANE LEVIN (May 16, 1900-January 19, 1969)
            She was born in Ekaterinoslav (now, Dnepropetrovsk), Ukraine, the daughter of a gravedigger. She studied in a Russian and a Jewish school, later working as a tailor and a clerk in a shop.  After the 1917 Revolution, she graduated from a pedagogical institute and worked for a time as a teacher in Jewish schools.  In her youth, she began writing poetry in Russian, though under the influence of the poet Leyb Naydus who was in Ekaterinoslav in 1915, she switched to Yiddish.  In 1918 she published her first poems in the weekly Folks-blat (People’s newspaper), the anthology Kunst-ring (Art circle), and F. Haylpern’s collection Vinter (Winter).  In the years of the Russian civil war, she served in the Red Army—this period in her life was later reflected in her poem “Eyne vi a sakh andere” (One like many others).  Beginning in the 1920s, her poems and stories were published in various Yiddish publications.  Over the years 1921-1935, her poems appeared in such serials as: Trep (Stairs), Di royte velt (The red world), Vusp (Ukrainian Proletarian Writers Group), Prolit (Proletarian literature), Shlakhtn (Battles), Almanakh fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Almanac of Soviet Yiddish writers), Der shtern (The star), and Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature)—some of her poems appeared in Ezra Korman’s anthology, Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928).  In 1929 her first collection of poems, entitled Tsushtayer (Contribution) was published in Kharkov (142 pp.)—its principal motifs were among the best of women’s lyrical poetry, and later she created an original poetry of maternal figures.  Children’s poetry which she wrote throughout her life constituted the second major layer of her work.  Until Hitler’s attack on Russia, she was living in Kharkov, and she was evacuated from there in 1941 to Buzuluk, Chkalov district.  In 1945 she was in Moscow, and she published work in Eynikeyt (Unity), Heymland (Homeland), and in the Ukrainian literary-artistic almanac Der shtern.  In her last volume of poetry, entitled In a gute sho (At a good time) (Kiev-Lvov, 1940), 99 pp., is included effectively the best work that she wrote over a long period of time for children: on animals (“Der ber” [The bear], “Di kats hot moyre far a frost” [The cat fears freezing weather]), nature stories (“A regn” [A rainfall]. “Feygl flien” [Birds fly]), children’s ways (“Mariane helft der mamen” [Mariane helps her mother], “Broyges” [Anger], “A shtile shpil” [A quiet game]).  She also composed prose; in 1943 her collection of stories, Af shrit un trit (Every step of the way) (Moscow: Der Emes, 44 pp.) appeared, and it included stories from the war years.  Other books include: Kleynikeytn (Trifles), poetry (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1933), 239 pp.; Oyg af oyg (Vis-à-vis) (Kharkov, 1933), 147 pp.; Di yingere fun mir (Those younger than me), poetry (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1934), 175 pp.; A mayse vegn a feld-gandz, a lerkhe un a suslik (A story about a wild goose, a skylark, and a gopher) (Kharkov-Odessa, 1937), 19 pp.; Vilenke un maye (Vilenka and Maya) (Warsaw: Kinder Fraynd, 1937), 16 pp.; Af der zuniker zayt (On the sunny side) (Kharkov-Odessa, 1938), 52 pp.; Eygns (One’s own), poetry (Kiev, 1940), 90 pp.  She also prepared for publication a work of prose entitled Ksenye lopatinska dertseylt (Ksenye Lopatinska recounts).  Her poems were reissued in various Yiddish journals outside Russia, as well as in the IKUF (Jewish cultural association) almanac Af naye vegn (On new paths) (New York, 1949).  She died in Kharkov.
            As N. Oyslender noted, “In the Soviet Union, Khane Levin was the first poetess in the Soviet Union who began to seek out her own terrain for the development of a woman’s poetry….  The distance was not so great separating the Soviet poetess from the woman of the past in the basement, and Khane Levin carried forth to our own time this beautiful folk heritage: the lyrical sincerity, the authentic language of genuine human feeling, which over the course of the generations both caressed and tempered the Jewish woman of the people.”  Her poems were included as well in the first issue of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) (Moscow, 1962).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1928; February 1930); Y. Dobrushin, in Di royte velt (Kharkov) (November-December 1929); Dobrushin, ed., In iberboy, literarishe kritishe artiklen (Under reconstruction, literary critical articles) (Moscow, 1932); N. Mayzil, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (May 24, 1929); Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; Mayzil, Tsurikblikn un perspektivn (Retrospectives and perspectives) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index; Literaturnaia entsiklopediya (Literary encyclopedia) (Moscow, 1932), p. 134; V. Vitkin, in Shtern (Minsk) (January 1934); R. Nevardovska, in Tsukunft (December 1934); H. Beryazkin, in Shtern (April 1936); A. Holdes, in Sovetishe literatur (Kiev) (September 1939); A. Pomerants, A meydl fun minsk (A girl from Minsk) (New York, 1942), p. 73; I. Fefer, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (February 7, 1943); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); N. Y. Gotlib, Sovetishe shrayber (Soviet writers) (Montreal, 1945), pp. 31-34; B. Mark, in Folks-shtime (Lodz) 49 (1947); Mark, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) (November 1960); Y. Yanasovitsh, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (October 22, 1953); N. Oyslender, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (October 1960); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Ernest I. Simons, Through the Glass of Soviet Literature (New York, 1953), pp. 146-48.
Benyomen Elis

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 346; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 214-15.


KHAYIM LEVIN (1907-1942)
            He was born in Homel (Gomel), Byelorussia.  His father Sholem Levin took part in the revolutionary movement and was arrested and deported.  In the early 1920s, Khayim studied in the Jewish pedagogical technical school in Homel and later in the Minsk teachers’ seminary.  He debuted in print in Minsk with poems and stories in the Yiddish press.  In the very first issue of Shtern (Star) in Minsk, he published a story entitled “Fertsn” (Fourteen), and in the second issue he continued with excerpts from a long poem entitled “Hirsh lekert” (Hirsh Lekert).  In the fourth issue (1926) of the journal, he published his poetry cycle “Fun shvartsn band” (From the black book), dedicated to the Russian poet Sergei Yesenin who had committed suicide the previous year.  When the anthology Nayerd (New earth), edited by Y. Dobrushin, was published in Moscow, Levin’s work appeared side by side with a number of other beginners in Soviet Yiddish literature.  He went on to travel through cities and towns, living in Homel, Minsk, Birobidzhan, Odessa, and Leningrad.  In 1937 he made a trip to the Arctic on the icebreaker Yermak and published a series of reports from the expedition in the Yiddish and Russian press.  A heroic chapter in his life and work took place in Birobidzhan, whence he arrived with the first echelons of Jewish immigrants.  In the first issue of Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star), dated October 30, 1930, he placed a poem dedicated to the nature of the Taiga.  He did not, though, remain in Bironidzhan.  WWII found him in Leningrad where he was working as a journalist for the local newspaper Sovetskaia Baltika (Soviet Baltic).  In 1941 he graduated by correspondence from the literature department of the Herzen Pedagogical Institute.  In 1942, according to some information, he died during the siege of Leningrad in a military hospital.  His poetry also appeared in: Der yunger arbeter (The young laborer), Oktyobr (October), and Shtern (Star)—in Minsk.  It also was included in Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1936).

Sources: M. Litvakov, In umru (In anxiety), vol. 2 (Moscow: Shul un bukh, 1926), p. 207; B. Orshanski, in Tsaytshrift (Minsk) 5 (1931), pp. 38. 45, 47; Y. Bronshteyn, Problemen fun leninishn etap in der literatur-kentenish (Problems of the Leninist stage in literary knowledge) (Minsk, 1932), p. 92; A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materyaln (Studies and materials) (Kharkov, 1934), p. 236; N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 15, 1955); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Sh. Gordon, in Sovetish heymland 6 (1978).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 346; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 214.]