FAYVL-YOYNE SANDLER (August 28, 1905-December 23, 1981)
He was born in Zosle (Žasliai), Vilna district, Lithuania, into a working-class family. Until age ten he attended religious elementary school. In 1915, during WWI, he wandered with a multitude of homeless children across Russia, lived in children’s institutions, and studied in Jewish and Russian public schools and in labor schools. In 1923 he came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia. In his first years there he worked in tailoring and studied in the evening. He graduated from a Baron Hirsch evening school, an English-language high school, and the Jewish teachers’ seminary in New York. He studied child psychology in the New School for Social Research in New York. Until 1941 he lived in Philadelphia where he was active in Communist institutions, was a cofounder of the leftist tailors’ union, of IKOR (Yidishe kolonizatsye organizatsye in rusland [Jewish colonization organization in Russia]), of IKUF (Jewish Cultural Association), and of the International Labor Order, and he was also a teacher in the latter’s schools and a lecturer at its labor university. In 1941 he settled in New York. After the murder of the Yiddish writers in Soviet Russia, he left the Communist Party and joined the Workmen’s Circle, founded and chaired the Dovid Bergelson branch of the Workmen’s Circle, and was active in YIVO and the Y. L. Perets Writers’ Association. He worked as the Philadelphia correspondent to Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York (1926); he was later an internal contributor to the newspaper and published reportage pieces, children’s stories, literary essays, criticism of books, and the like. Over the years 1941-1950, he was the news editor of the newspaper. For many years he was in charge of the ‘Fun gezelshaftlekhn lebn” (From community life) page for the Philadelphia edition of Morgn-frayhayt. He was the American correspondent for Shtern (Star) in Kiev and for Forpost (Outpost) in Birobidzhan. He also contributed in New York to: Funken (Sparks), Zamlungen (Anthologies), Ikor-almanakh (IKOR almanac) (1943), Ikor (IKOR), Eynikeyt (Unity), Unzer vort (Our word, organ of the International Labor Order), Nay lebn (New life), Proletarishe dertsiung (Proletarian education), and Heym un dertsiung (Home and education), among others. In Di yidishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia, he published a series of reportage pieces concerning Birobidzhan. In Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York, he published monographs and original works of research on the history of Jews in America, surveys of books on Jewish and general history, children’s stories, biographies of Jewish personalities, a bibliography of the Yiddish press in Europe, and journalistic articles. From 1956 he was writing for: Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Tsukunft (Future), Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), and Der fraynd (The friend)—in New York; and Kheshbn (The score) in Los Angeles; among others. He was a regular contributor (and from 1961 the news editor) for Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal) in New York (among other items, he published here portions of a monograph about Herbert H. Lehman). He also place work in: Haynt (Today) and Landsmanshaftn (Native-place associations) in Buenos Aires; and Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; among others. He was the author of Stalin in folks-lid (Stalin of folksong) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1950), 29 pp. Among his pen names: N. Vagner, Yoyne Shuster, Shrage Shuster, and P. Perets. In his last years he was a contributor to the Forverts (Forward) in New York. He died in New York.
Sources: A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Kiev, 1933), pp. 224-25; Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (May 1955); Yedies fun yivo (New York) (April 1960); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1962), pp. 262-63; B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (New York) (July 27, 1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 395.]