Thursday, 12 July 2018


            He was the author of Zhargonishes fremd verter-bukh, erklert di algemeyn-eyropeishe daytshe un hebreishe verter velkhe kumen for in der zhargonisher literatur (Book of strange Yiddish words, explained in general-European German and Hebrew words which exist in Yiddish literature) (dated 1907 and 1910, Vilna for both).  It is possible that the name A. N. Pinski is a pseudonym.
Benyomen Elis


KOPL SH. (KOPPEL) PINSON (February 11, 1904-February 5, 1961)
            He was born in Pustave (Pastavy), Vilna district, Lithuania [now, in Belarus].  In 1907 he came with his father to the United States.  He studied in yeshiva, Gratz College in Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York in 1934.  From 1937 until his death, he was connected to Queens College, initially as an instructor and from 1949 as a full professor of history.  He penned a number of English-language works on history generally and specifically in the field of Jewish history, among them: Essays on Anti-Semitism (New York, 1946), 269 pp.; Shimon Dubnow, Nationalism and History: Essays on Old and New Judaism (Philadelphia, 1958), ed. Pinson. 385 pp.; and A Bibliographical Introduction to Nationalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1935), 70 pp.  He served as UNRRA’s cultural director (1945-1946) for Jewish affairs in the displaced persons’ camps for Holocaust survivors and helped rescue valuable Yiddish books for YIVO in New York.  From 1946 until his death, he was a member of the director’s council of YIVO.  He published in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York a number of important articles in the field of Jewish history, among them on Sh. Dubnow’s theories in light of our times: Yivo-bleter 34 (1950), pp. 9-20.  His Yiddish works were translated from English.  For several years he edited Yivo Annual and the Encyclopedia for the Social Sciences, among other works.  He died in New York.

Sources: S. Regensberg, in Forverts (New York) (May 20, 1956); Yivo-biblyografye (YIVO bibliography), part 2, 1942-1950 (New York, 1950), see index; Yedies fun yivo (New York) 78 (April 1961); D. Shub, in Forverts (November 5, 1966); obituary notices in the press.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Telenești, Bessarabia.  Until age sixteen he received a fervently religious education, and thereafter he studied in the yeshiva of Khayim Tshernovitser (Chaim Czernowitzer) in Odessa.  In 1912 he left Russia and traveled on a vessel (on which he worked in the steam room) carrying merchants to Hamburg.  From Hamburg he made his way to Argentina.  He lived there until 1920.  He worked initially as an unskilled laborer in Buenos Aires, for a short time as a teacher in a Jewish colony, and later (until mid-1921) he wandered around the Argentinian pampas, the Brazilian wasteland, and the uninhabited domains of South America with his friend Abe Kliger, also a poet.  He later returned to Europe, lived for a time in Germany, Belgium, Romania, and Bessarabia, and from there in late 1922 he arrived in the Soviet Union, where he initially settled down in Moscow but soon moved to Kharkov and from there to Kiev.  His first published writings (under the pen name Ben-Sara) were Hebrew-language children’s poems in Sh. Levner’s Haperaim (The fruits) in Lugansk (1911) and in Sh. Ben-Tsiyon’s Moledet (Homeland) in Odessa (1912).  In Argentina he switched to Yiddish.  He debuted in print in Yiddish with a poem in the collection Shtrahln (Beams [of light]) in Buenos Aires (1913), and he went on to publish articles, stories, feature pieces (also using the pseudonym Telenester Avezhera) in such serials, among others, as: Unzer vort (Our word) (1913), Tog (Day) (1914), Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), and Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires; Di feder (The pen) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York; Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Varshe (Warsaw), in a poetry competition of 1922 he received first prize for his “Lid fun soykher” (Song of the businessman)—in Warsaw; in the Soviet Union his first poems and children’s stories appeared in Pyoner (Pioneer) in Moscow and Yunge gvardye (Young guard) in Kharkov, and he later contributed to numerous Yiddish publications there.  His true métier was as a playwright.  In book form: Tsvit, lider (Blossom, poetry) (Buenos Aires, 1918), 131 pp.; Farfalen (Doomed), stories (Buenos Aires, 1919); Fir poemes (Four poems) (Kharkov, 1930), 213 pp.; Far kinder (For children), poems and stories (Kharkov, 1930), 97 pp.; Far der bine (For the stage), one-act plays (Moscow, 1930), 112 pp.; Gedekte kortn (Covered cards), three-act review (Kharkov, 1930), 96 pp., which played for two years in the Kharkov State Yiddish Theater; Git dem forhang, komedye in eyn akt (Get the curtain, a comedy in one act) (Berdichev, 1931), 30 pp.; Lider fun tog (Poems of the day) (Kharkov, 1932), 131 pp.; Undzere kinder, lider (Our children, poems) (Minsk, 1933), 97 pp.; Dos lebn un der toyt fun vilyam sven, poeme (The life and death of William Sven, a poem) (Kiev, 1935), 270 pp.; Der botshan (The stork), a play-story for very young children (Kharkov, 1935), 43 pp., from which the Bolshoi Theater created a children’s ballet which became part of its repertoire for over two decades; Eldorado, a pyese-maysele far kinder vegn (El Dorado, a play-story for children), six scenes (Kiev, 1936), 51 pp.; Kolya (Kolya), a play (Kiev, 1937), 80 pp., which played in the Kiev State Yiddish Theater; Fun friling biz friling (From spring to spring), poetry (Kharkov, 1938), 174 pp.; Di gliklekhe, vos hobn derlebt (The happy ones who survived), stories (Kiev, 1938), 130 pp.; Geklibene lider, poemes un mayselekh (Selected poems and stories) (Kiev, 1940), 300 pp.; Di legende vegn di sokoln (The legend of the falcons), poetry (Kiev, 1941), 158 pp.; Dos lenin-bliml, mayselekh far kleyn un far groys (The Lenin flower, stories for young and old) (Kiev, 1941), 103 pp.; Ikh leb (I am alive), a drama in three acts (Moscow, 1947), 96 pp., performed in the war years at the Kiev State Yiddish Theater, in Kokand (1946-1948), and in the survivors’ camps in Germany; Der lets (The clown), a play; and the tragi-comedy Traybt aroys der sheyd (Expel the devil), which played in Yiddish theaters.  He was also the author of Kinder-balet (Children’s ballet), performed first in the Moscow academy theater in 1933, and until the war in Yiddish children’s theaters in the Soviet Union.  When the mass arrests began in 1937 he too was arrested, but a year later he was allowed to return home.  Following the Nazi invasion of the USSR, he was evacuated to Alma-Ata in Soviet Central Asia, where he lived until 1944.  He then returned to Ukraine.  He lived in Romania and Bessarabia (1945-1946)—among other items, he wrote at this time the Holocaust poems: “Klog-lid af telenetsh” (Dirge for Telenești) and “Der besaraber yid” (The Bessarabian Jew).  He then returned and settled in Kharkov again and, during the murderous Stalinist actions against Yiddish writers and the liquidation of Jewish culture, in 1948 he was arrested and exiled to a forced labor camp in the Far East, where he suffered terribly.  He was released from the Gulag in 1955, spent physically and spiritually, and returned to Kiev where he died that year.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (February 1930); Y. Botoshanski, in Tsukunft (August 1931); Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1957), p. 379; M. Khashtshevatski, in Royte velt (Kharkov) (August 1931); Yashe Bronshteyn, Sheferishe problemen fun der yidisher sovetisher poezye (Creative problems in Soviet Yiddish poetry) (Minsk, 1936); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), see index; A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945), pp. 39-42; Nakhmen Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Y. Gar and F. Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962); Sovetish heymland (Moscow) (March 1964).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 430; and 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. 280-82.]

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


            He came from Poland.  Until WWII he was living in Warsaw.  He published poetry and stories for children and school youngsters in Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna and Kleyne folkstsaytung (Little people’s newspaper) in Warsaw, among other serials.  He was the author of the children’s booklet: Feygele un rakele (Feygele and Rakele)—the other story in this little book was entitled: Vi vevik un beylke hobn ongehoybn leyenen dem kinder fraynd (How Vevik and Beylke began reading Kinder fraynd [Children’s friend]) (Warsaw, 1935), 16 pp.  Further details remain unknown.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MIMI PINZON (PINZÓN) (April 25, 1910-December 1975)
            The pen name of Adela Vaynshteyn-Shlyapotshnik, she was born in Belaya Tserkov (Bila Tserkva), Kiev district, Ukraine.  As a four-year-old child in 1914, she moved with her parents to Argentina.  She studied with a private tutor and in evening courses; one of her teachers was the poet Moyshe Pintshevski.  Subsequent education she acquired in Spanish-language institutions of higher learning.  Although she grew up in Argentina, like every authentic writer, she preserved and cared for her first childhood impressions of the old, beloved country, that traditional Jewish home in Bila Tserkva whose Yiddish name was “Shvarts-tume” (Black impurity).[1]  In Buenos Aires, the Argentine Paris, her family settled into one of the hugely overcrowded conventillos, a courtyard with numerous neighbors, where the city’s poor lived.  “Shvarts-tume” and the conventillos formed in her a writer’s figure for this young woman from Bila Tserkva.  She later put this down in writing in her book Der hoyf on fenster (The courtyard without windows).  The main protagonist Etl—socially and environmentally—is a blood relation of Sholem Aleichem’s Motl, the cantor Peysi’s son, and of Dovid Bergelson’s Penek.  Even the sound Motl-Etl (and one might also add in this instance Adela’s own name) ring back and forth between them both ethnic children’s figures.  Pinzon was the first in Yiddish literature to introduce the character of a Jewish girl at the center of a broad artistic canvas.  Using the name Mimi Pinzon, she published in the newspaper Di prese (The press) a fictional reportage piece concerning salesgirls in the Buenos Aires fashion shops.  The sharp social illumination of her theme, her vigorous descriptions in Yiddish, and her pseudonym Mimi Pinzon (“Mimi Pinson” being the name of the French protagonist and title character in Alfred de Musset’s novel of a Parisian seamstress who is seduced) aroused a sensation in Yiddish writing circles.  Her second story—more artistic than the first—“Di legende fun baranka-belgrano” (The legend of Baranca Belgrano), was held up in the editorial board for over a year.  The editor could not believe that a sixteen-year-old girl, raised in Spanish-speaking Buenos Aires, would be able to write such an artistic work in idiomatic Yiddish.  She was “interrogated” and after several conversations they were persuaded that she was the actual author.  In her subsequent creative years, she turned her attention to essay writing, but she also wrote fictional work.  Being an essayist, it would appear, was the continuation of her reading.  For many years she worked as a teacher in the Zhitlovsky School and in the dramatic studio of the theater “IFT” (Idisher folks teater [Yiddish people’s theater]); she was in charge of the Perets Middle School and gave public lectures on literary topics.  She contributed to many Yiddish and Spanish periodicals, such as: Di prese, Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), Haynt (Today), Der veg (The way), Ikuf (IKUF [= Jewish Cultural Association]), Oyfsnay (Afresh), Nayvelt (New world), Nay-lebn (New life), Kinder tribune (Children’s tribune), Unzer fraynt (Our friend), In gang (In progress), and Di yidishe froy (The Jewish woman); in Spanish, Judaica (Judaica) and Renovación (Renovation).  She had charge of regular columns—such as “Fun do un dort” (From here and there) and “Di nol fun zak” (The awl in the bag).  She co-edited the journals Ikuf and Di yidishe froy and the newspapers Tribune, Undzer lebn (Our life), and Renovación.  In book form: Der hoyf on fenster (Buenos Aires, 1965), 317 pp.  She translated into Spanish works by Der Nister, Grosman, Marshak, and others; Dovid Bergelson’s Baym dnyeper (By the Dnieper); and Yoysef Rabinovitsh’s three volumes of stories.  Into Yiddish she translated works by Jorge Luis Borges, Alfonsina Storni, and Horacio Quiroga, among others.  Other pseudonyms she used include: Ad-Sum and Yidl Kotoynti.  She died in Miami Beach, Florida.

Sources: V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 561; Pinye Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 103-5; Kats, foreword to Mimi Pinzon’s book, Der hoyf on fenster (Buenos Aires, 1965), pp. 7-10.
Yankev Birnboym

[1] Translator’s note.  “Bila Tserkva” literally means “white church”; in Yiddish the idea of a pristine or pure church is anathema, hence the euphemism “Shvarts-tume” or “black impurity” (or stain). (JAF)


            He came from Poland and worked as a home tutor in Yiddish and Hebrew in Warsaw and Lublin.  He author storybooks and novels, among them: Di elende familye, oder di feryogte kats fun milkh (The wretched family, or the cat driven away from milk), a novel with an introductory poem to each chapter (Warsaw, 1884), 57 pp.; and Getrey biz dem toyt (Faithful until death) (Vilna, 1895), 2 parts, 96 pp., with a foreword by the author.

Source: The Weiner materials at Harvard University.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He authored the novels: Tikn leybele oder di rebetsn shrayt, a zehr interesanter roman (Kudos to Leybele or the rabbi’s wife screams, a very interesting novel) (Lemberg, 1894), 94 pp.; and Di tsavoe oder a malekh mit tsvey shlikhesn (The will or an angel with two assignments) (Lemberg, 1894), part 1, 92 pp., part 2, 72 pp.  Both novels with prefaces were published by Yisroel Dovid Zisgal.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.
Yankev Kahan


YANKEV PILOVSKI (December 29, 1898-June 6, 1969)
            He was born in Kalelishok, near Vilna, Lithuania, into a rabbinical family.  He studied in religious elementary schools and in the yeshivas of Vilna, Shtutshin (Shchuchyn), and Slobodka.  In 1918 he completed the pedagogical course of study in Kovno, and he then left for Russia.  In 1920 he returned to Lithuania and worked as a teacher in the Kultur-lige (Culture League) school.  In 1924 he made his way to Argentina, lived in Buenos Aires for a time, and then wandered around Latin America with a traveling troupe of Yiddish actors.  In late 1924 he settled in Chile.  He debuted in print in 1920.  He published articles and stories in Vilner tog (Vilna day); Letste nayes (Latest news) in Kovno; Di prese (The press), Di vokh (The week), Der veg (The way), and Ikuf (IKUF), among others, in Buenos Aires; Der veg in Mexico City; Unzer fraynt (Our friend) in Montevideo; Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Morgn frayhayt (Morning freedom) and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), among others, in New York; Dos yidishe vort (the Yiddish word) and Tshilener yidish vokhnblat (Chilean Jewish weekly newspaper) in Santiago de Chile.  Over the years 1934-1936, he also contributed to and edited the weekly newspapers Idishe prese (Jewish press) and Unzer lebn (Our life), and with M. Rizenberg edited six issues of the literary monthly Bay di andn (Near the Andes).  He also published in: Hatsofe (The spectator), Haomer (The word), and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain).  In book form: Fun tshile, tipn un bilder fun tshilener lebn (From Chile, characters and impressions from Chilean life) (Santiago, 1937), 168 pp.; Iber vegn, dertseylungen un rayze-fartseykhenungen (Along pathways, stories and travel notes) (Santiago, 1949), 362 pp.; Trit af der erd (Step on the ground) (Santiago, 1959), 220 pp.; In gang (In progress) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1967), 230 pp.; A yid af der velt (A Jew in the world) (Tel Aviv: L. Kanay, 1970), 2 volumes.  In 1963 he made aliya to Israel.  He died in Bat Yam.

Sources: Kh. Yofe, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 4, 1958); D. Ilivitski, in Dos yidishe vort (Santiago) (November 13, 1959); M. Shenderay, in Dos yidishe vort (December 4, 1959); A. Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (March 30, 1959); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (May 29, 1960); Sh. Rozhanski, in Di yidishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (September 4, 1963); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (September 5, 1963; June 5, 1964); Pinkes (New York) (1965). p. 307; M. alamish, Mikan umikarov, antologya shel sipure yidish beerets yisrael (From near and from far away, anthology of stories in Yiddish in Israel) (Meravya, 1966).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 430.]


ARYE-LEYB PILOVSKI (b. February 1, 1940)
            He was born in Santiago de Chile.  He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Santiago.  In 1962 he made aliya to Israel.  His studied Yiddish literature and Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  In 1980 he received his doctoral degree for a dissertation on Yiddish and Yiddish literature in the land of Israel, 1907-1948.  He was a lecturer on Yiddish and Yiddish literature at Haifa University.  He published research work in: Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) in Tel Aviv (1977); Katedra letoldot erets yisrael veyishuva (Cathedra, toward the history of the land of Israel and its yishuv) in Jerusalem (1978/1979, 1981/1982); Tarbits (Academy) in New York (1982/1983); and in English-language journals as well.  In book form: Tsvishn yo un neyn (Between yes and no) (Tel Aviv: World Council for Yiddish, 1986), 384 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 430.


            He came from Vitebsk, Byelorussia.  He studied economics and demography at St. Petersburg University.  From his student years he was active in the revolutionary movement.  After the October Revolution, he was active in the Vitebsk region.  He was chairman of the regional committee of Yidgezkom (Jewish Social Committee [for the Relief of Victims of War, Pogroms, and Natural Disasters]).  He visited Birobidzhan several times.  He published in the field of Jewish demography following the October Revolution in Byelorussia—among other places, in: Royter shtern (Red star) in Vitebsk (1920-1923) of which he was a member of the editorial board; Yedies fun idopteyl baym vitebsker idgezkom (News of the Jewish department at the Vitebsk Jewish Social Committee) (Vitebsk, 1922) of which he was also editor; Oktyabr (October) and Shtern (Star) in Minsk; Emes (Truth) in Moscow; and others.  In Tsaytshrift (Periodical) 4 (1930), pp. 147-97, he published his work: “Eynike sakhaklen fun der demografisher tseylung fun 1926” (Some figures on demographic counts for 1926).  During the years of WWII, he lived in Moscow and was a member of historical commission with the Anti-Fascist Committee, and he was a regular contributor to Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow.  At the time of the arrests in 1948, he was exiled to an unknown camp and, it seems, there he died.  Further biographical information remains unknown.

Sources: Eynikeyt (Moscow) (March 2, 1946); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            She was born in Shadove (Šeduva), Kovno district, Lithuania.  From late 1913 she had come to South Africa.  She lived in Cape Town, Transvaal, and Johannesburg.  For thirteen years she wrote Russian poetry.  In 1914 she published Yiddish poems in: Der afrikaner (The African), Der tsienist (The Zionist), Dos naye vort (The new word), and the monthly Dorem afrike (South Africa)—in Johannesburg.  She contributed periodically to Di tsayt (The times) in London and to the Yiddish newspapers in Lithuania.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YISROEL MORTKHE PEYPERT (b. January 18, 1851)
            He was born in Vilkomir (Ukmergė), Kovno district, Lithuania, into a family that drew it lineage back to the Vilna Gaon.  He received a fervently religious education, and he later became a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  Although a businessman, he played an important role on behalf of modern Jewish education and for “ibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion) in Lithuania.  He was a popular speaker.  In 1880 he immigrated to England and in 1896 to South Africa, and there he became one of the most prominent community leaders and Zionist activists.  He published articles, poems, and parts of his book Yalkut hapeninim, oder geklibene perl (Bag of pearls, or selected pearls), a series on human habits, in: Der afrikaner (The African), Der telegraf (The telegraph), and Haor (The light), among others, in Johannesburg.  He contributed to Hamelits (The advocate), to Hatsfira (The siren), and to other Hebrew and Yiddish publications in Poland and England.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


Y. Y. PAYN-TVERSKI (PINE TWERSKY) (1895-June 1944)
            He was born in Makarov (Makariv), Kiev district, Ukraine.  In 1912 he came to the United States, living initially in New York and later settling in Chicago.  He began writing in Russian and in 1913 switched to Yiddish.  He wrote poetry, stories, literary essays, and translations from American poetry (among other items, “Negro poetry” by Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes) in: Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; the anthology Ineynem (Altogether) and Milers vokhnshriftn (Millers’ weekly writing) in Chicago; Di tsayt (The times), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Tsukunft (Future), Tog (Day), Di feder (The pen), Kundes (Prankster), Frayhayt (Freedom), and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), and others, in New York.  He also placed work in: Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Kalifornyer idishe shtime (Jewish voice of California) in Los Angeles; and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; among others.  His books would include: Alt-nay, lider (Old-new, poems) (Chicago, 1930), 96 pp.; Arbeter un masndeklamatsyes, far shuln, kemps un dramtsirklen (Labor and mass declamations, for schools, camps, and drama circles) (New York, 1935), 32 pp.  A number of his poems are included in the anthologies Midvest-mayrev (Midwest-West) (Chicago) and in N. Mayzil’s Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish work) (New York, 1955).  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Leye Mishkin, in Pinkes (Chicago, 1952), p. 93; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), nos. 4710, 5062.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MAKS PAYN (MAX PINE) (April 30, 1866-March 2, 1928)
            His Jewish given name was Mendl, and he was born in Libavitsh (Lyubavichi), Mohilev Province, Byelorussia.  He was orphaned on his father’s side at age three.  At age nine, his mother sent him to Velitsh, and there he was apprenticed to a printer.  After many years of wandering, he arrived in the United States in 1888.  There he worked unloading coal, later in tailoring and printing.  In 1897 he was one of the founders of the Forverts (Forward).  In 1911 he helped organize tailors and led the famous tailors’ strike of December 30, 1912 (a strike involving 100,000 workers).  After WWI he was active in relief work for Jewish victims of war and pogroms.  He was one of the founders of the People’s Relief Committee, one of the three delegates sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to provide relief work in Russia, and he assisted in the establishment of Yidgezkom (Jewish Social Committee [for the Relief of Victims of War, Pogroms, and Natural Disasters]).  He was a candidate on many occasions on the Socialist slate.  He was secretary of the united Jewish unions and among the principal founders and chairman of Union Campaign for the Histadruth in the land of Israel.  For two terms (1922-1924) he served on the national executive committee of the Workmen’s Circle.  He exhibited a huge interest in Yiddish theater.  His journalist activities were mainly confined to Forverts, for which he served as editor for a certain period of time.  He influenced the Jewish trade union movement in the United States to take a positive stance toward Jewish workers in Israel.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); L. Fogelman, in Forverts (New York) (March 4, 1928); Rumshinski-bukh (Rumshinsky volume) (New York, 1931), pp. 60-61; Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike, 70 yor sotsyalistishe tetikeyt, 30 yor yidishe sotsyalistishe farband (The Jewish socialist movement in America, seventy years of socialist activity, thirty years of the Jewish Socialist Union) (New York, 1954), see index; Sh. Vays, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1957), p. 279; H. Lang, in Forverts (May 24, 1960); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), pp. 298-99.
Leyb Vaserman


MOYSHE-LEYB PITSHENIK (M. L. PETSHENIK) (December 23, 1895-March 1941)
            He was born in Zlotshev (Złoczów), eastern Galicia.  He attended religious elementary school and a small synagogue study hall.  He worked as a bank employee in Vienna.  He lived (1918-1919) in Złoczów, was active in the Jewish Folks-partey, and edited its newspaper Folksblat (People’s newspaper).  Over the years 1920-1922, he lived in Katovits (Katowice), where he graduated from a Polish teachers’ seminary.  From 1923 until his death, he lived in Loyvitsh (Łowicz), where he was a teacher and director of the local Jewish high school.  He debuted in print in 1914 with poetry in Lemberg’s Togblat (Daily newspaper).  Thereafter, he published poetry, stories, articles on literature, and translations from the classical poetry in: Togblat and Der morgn (The morning) in Lemberg; Dos yudishe vort (The Jewish word), Tog (Day), and Di prese (The press), among others, in Cracow; Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—among other items, a detailed biography of Berl Broder—Foroys (Onward), and Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature) in Warsaw; Inzl (Island) and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), among others, in Lodz; Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in Vilna; and others as well.  He contributed to Dr. Siegfried Bernfeld’s German-language Lexikon (Handbook) on topics of Jewish folklore and biographies of Jewish writers in Galicia.  He translated from Ukrainian Di naye vahl-ordnung tsu der yudishe folks-gemeynde in mizrekh-galitsye (The new election rules for the Jewish people’s community in eastern Galicia) (Lemberg, 1918), 24 pp.; from German, Dr. Rubin’s Ver darf forn keyn erets-yisroel (Who should go to the land of Israel) (Złoczów, 1919), 24 pp.; and from the Greek original, Homer’s Odiseye (Odyssey), with a preface by Shloyme Shaynberg and with commentary and annotations by the translator (Warsaw, 1937), 471 pp., for which he received an award from the Yiddish Pen Club.  His novels include: Seyfer r’ kalmen inui (The book of R. Kalmen’s suffering), written in the manner of the Yiddish language at the time R. Yisroel Bal Shem-Tov; and Seyfer moyshe kabtsn (The book of Moyshe the pauper), from the era of the Jewish Enlightenment—neither have emerged since WWII.  He wrote under such pen names as: Nekhed-Mohel, A Zaytiker, A Lets, and Meshl-Nahayke.  When the Nazis seized Poland, he was for a time confined in the Łowicz ghetto; he was then led into the Kazimierz forest near Chełmno, and there he was murdered.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; N. Shtif, Di eltere yidishe literatur (The older Yiddish literature), a literary reader (Kiev, 1929), pp. 195-208; Peysekh Kaplan, in Unzer lebn (Bialystok) (April 15, 1937); Zishe Bagish, in Inzl (Loidz) 3 (1937); Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) (1946); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4929.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


KHAYIM PIZHITS (1897-ca. 1940)
            He was born in Mlave (Mława), Poland, into a wealthy Hassidic family.  At age seventeen he passed the baccalaureate examination as an external student.  During WWI he was active in the Bundist movement in Mława.  In the 1920s he studied economics and social science at the University of Vienna and received his doctoral degree there.  He then moved to Warsaw and for many years was head of the Bundist emigration office and active in the leadership of the Kultur-lige (Culture League).  He was one of the initiators and editors of the anthology Sotsyalistishe bleter (Socialist sheets), 96 pp., which appeared as a factional publication of the right wing of the Polish Bund.  Over the course of years, he was the editor of Arbeter sportler (Laborer sportsman), monthly organ of the worker-sports association in Warsaw.  For a time he edited the Bundist Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) and contributed to the Bundist newspaper Walka (Polish for “struggle”) in Cracow (1924-1928) and to Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw.  At the time of the Nazi occupation, he fled to Vilna in the summer of 1940 and attempted in a secret manner to get to Sweden, but he was arrested by the Soviets and was killed.

Sources: H. Gelernt, in Forverts (New York) (August 19, 1949); E. N-ski, in Pinkes mlave (Records of Mława) (New York, 1950), pp. 293-99; Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 1 (New York, 1956), pp. 321-24.
Leyb Vaserman


AVROM-MORTKHE PYURKO (March 18, 1853-June 11, 1933)
            He was born in Lomzhe, Poland.  For a time he worked as a Hebrew teacher, and later he owned a print shop.  He published poetry and stories in: Hamelits (The advocate), Haboker or (The morning light), and Hatsfira (The siren), among others.  In Yiddish in: Kol mevaser (Herald) and Yidishes folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper), among others.  His books include: A fulshtendiger brivenshteler (A complete letter writer) (Grajewo, 1891).  He edited the children’s magazine Gan shaashuim (Garden of delights) (1899-1901); and he also authored several Hebrew books.  He placed work in Unzer velt (Our world) in Warsaw, and in 1935 there appeared in Haynt (Today) in Warsaw his memoirs of Jewish life in Lithuania and Poland and of Yiddish and Hebrew writers in the nineteenth century.  He died in Grayeve (Grajewo), Poland.

Sources: Sefer zikaron (Remembrance volume) (Warsaw, 1889), p. 85; Lomzhe (Lomzhe) (New York, 1957), p. 246; Zalmen reyzen-arkhiv (Zalmen Reyzen archive) (YIVO, New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


ARN PYUDIK (b. ca. 1907)
            He was born in the town of Kiselin (Kysylyn), Volhynia.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1917 he studied at the Zhitomir Yeshiva.  In 1923 he moved to Bialystok and there began writing poetry and stories in Hebrew.  He later took up writing in Yiddish.  He debuted in print with a poem under the pen name P. U. Dik in Dos naye lebn (The new life).  In 1925 he moved to Vilna.  He was among the founders of “Yung Vilne” (Young Vilna).  In 1930 he immigrated to Uruguay, was active there in the Communist Party, and helped to create the party newspaper Unzer fraynt (Our friend) in Montevideo, in which he published poetry and features under such pen names as A. Pik and Arke Proletl.  In 1939 he left the Communist Party, and in 1944 he moved to Argentina.  There he participated in the founding of Mapam (United Workers’ Party), and he helped create and edit the party newspaper Bleter (Sheets), in which he wrote articles, reviews, and features in its roughly thirty issues.  In 1961 he began publishing a journal Problemen (Problems)—four issues appeared in print.  In 1963 he made aliya to Israel.  He wrote feature pieces for Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel) in Tel Aviv, and over the years 1977-1983, he contributed to Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.

Source: Information from V. Yunin in New York.
Leyb Vaserman

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 429.


ANYUTA PYATIGORSKAYA (1893-February 1943)
            Her Jewish given name was Khane (Hannah), born in Zhitomir, Ukraine.  Her grandfather and father descended from the Caucasus Jews who had been driven from the Caucasus region.  Both parents were teachers.  She grew up in an assimilated family of intellectuals.  At age sixteen she graduated with a medal from the Zhitomir state high school.  She worked in the Jewish craft school in Russian.  She initially wrote Russian poetry at age nineteen.  She learned Yiddish, studied Yiddish literature, and began to write in the language.  She taught Yiddish in the Jewish schools of Zhitomir, Kiev, and Malakhovka (near Moscow).  In 1915 she debuted in print with children’s stories in Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna.  In 1925 she published her first Yiddish poem in Di royte velt (The red world) in Kharkov.  She placed work in the Soviet Yiddish publications: Yunge gvardye (Young guard), Yidish poyer (Jewish peasant), Shtern (Star), and Prolit (Proletarian literature), among other serials.  Also, in such anthologies as the following: Far der bine (For the stage), Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber af ukraine (Almanac of Yiddish writers in Ukraine) (1926), and Shlakht (Battles).  Her work is included in Ezra Korman’s Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928).  In book form: In gang, lider (In progress, poetry) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1930), 78 pp.; Breyt iz mayn land (Far-reaching is my country), poetry (Kharkov, 1934), 55 pp.; Af der vakh (On guard), stories (Kiev, 1935), 32 pp.; In oyfshtayg, lider (In ascent, poetry) (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 63 pp.  In the years just before WWII, she lived in Leningrad, worked as a teacher, actively took part in literary life, and visited Birobidzhan.  She lived through the first two besieged winters in Leningrad.  Thereafter, she was evacuated, extremely ill and emaciated, to the Ural Mountains to the town of Zlatoust where she died soon afterward.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 325, 330, 351; A. Druker, in Shpanye in der yidish-sovetisher literatur (Spain in Soviet Yiddish literature) (Kiev, February 1938)?; N. Y. Gotlib, Sovetishe shrayber (Soviet writers) (Montreal, 1945); Nakhmen Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961).
Yankev Kahan

[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), p. 280.]


            He was born in Grodno, Poland.  Until WWII, he worked as a private Hebrew teacher in Warsaw.  He published articles, puns, and humorous sketches in Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He authored plays (published on tablets) and booklets of anecdotes and jokes, among them: Yudishe shpas-fragn mit entfers (Jewish jokes, questions and answers), a collection including a rich batch of materials for home and business (Warsaw, 1926), 26 pp.; Humoristisher verterbukh, an oyster fun humor (Dictionary of humor, a treasury of humor) (Warsaw, 1926), 26 pp.; Yudishe vitsen un anekdoten (Jewish jokes and anecdotes) (Warsaw, 1928), 64 pp.  He was killed by the Nazis in the years that they occupied Poland.

Source: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Mrozy, near Warsaw, Poland.  He graduated from a Hebrew high school and studied humanities and literature at Warsaw University.  From 1910 until September 1939 he lived in Warsaw.  He was active in “Tseire-tsiyon” (Young Zionists) and the Labor Zionist party.  He initially wrote poetry in Polish and after 1919 in Yiddish.  He debuted in print in Befrayung (Liberation) in Warsaw (1919) with a lyrical poem; later, he published poetry as well as articles on painting and literature.  He translated Russian and Polish poetry, and published journalistic work in: Befrayung, Bafrayung-arbeter shtime (Liberation-voice of labor), Unzer frayhayt (Our freedom), Folk un land (People and country), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Fraye shriftn (Free writings), Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writings for literature), and Foroys (Onward), among others, in Warsaw; and over the years 1933-1939, he was a regular contributor to Dos vort (The word) in Warsaw.  For a time he was the Warsaw correspondent for: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Di tsayt (The times) in London; and Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; among others.  He also wrote for the Polish Jewish serials: Nasz Przegląd (Our overview) in Warsaw; Nowe życie (New life) in Cracow; and Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg; among others.  A number of his poems were translated into Polish by M. Shimel.  In book form: Un azoy vet nisht zayn (It won’t be that way), poetry (Cracow, 1932), 46 pp.; Fun harbst biz harbst, lider (From fall to fall, poetry) (Warsaw, 1933), 62 pp.; Daytshland, daytshland! A tog-bukh fun a dikhter (Germany, Germany! Diary of a poet) (Warsaw, 1934), 63 pp.; Oyb ir vilt, iz dos glik, lider (If you wish, it’ll be happy, poetry) (Warsaw, 1935), 79 pp.; Urloyb in tatren (Vacation in the Tatra [Mountains]) (Warsaw, 1938), 45 pp.  From October 1939 to 1940, he was in Bialystok, employed doing physical labor, and later, together with other Jewish refugees, he was deported to a camp in a far-off region of Soviet Russia.  He was living to see liberation.  The entire time he was preparing to be taken to the land of Israel, but he never received an answer.  Out of desperation he committed suicide.

Sources: Y. Rapoport, in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (May 31, 1934); Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (Autumn 1934); H. Gutgeshtalt, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (September 27, 1935); B. Shnaper, in Foroys (Warsaw) (April 28, 1939); Yoysef Volf, Kritishe minyaturn (Critical miniatures) (Cracow, 1939); Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 7, 1944); Meylekh Ravish, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945), pp. 162-64; M. Grosman, Heymishe geshtaltn: reportazhn, portretn, dertseylungen, minyaturn (Familiar images: reportage, portraits, stories, miniatures) (Tel Aviv, 1953), pp. 178-85; Yisroel Sheyn, Bibliografye fun oysgabes aroysgegebn durkh di arbeter-parteyen in poyln in di yorn 1918-1939 (Bibliography of publications brought out by the workers’ parties in Poland in the years 1919-1939) (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1963), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks