NOKHUM SUMER (NAHUM SUMMER) (b. April 15, 1912)
He was born in Bzhezhin (Brzeziny), Lodz district, Poland, to a father who was a tailor. He studied in religious elementary school and secular subjects privately. At age three he was orphaned on his mother’s side. In 1920 his father immigrated to the United States and left him in the care of his stepmother in Brzeziny. He came to America in 1927 and studied in secular schools, later in the Jewish teachers’ seminary in New York. Under the influence of his teacher, Dr. Yankev Shatski, he debuted in print with a piece on Kalmen Marmor’s book Klasnkamfn in altertum (Class conflict in antiquity) in Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), and from that point he went on to published articles and essays also in: Tog (Day), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), among others, in New York; Moment (Moment) in Warsaw; and other serials. He co-edited: the Revisionist monthly Unzer veg (Our path); the quarterly Oyfsnay (Afresh); one issue of Bitaḥon (Security); Dos brzhezhiner zamlung (The Brzeziny anthology) (New York, 1946), 200 pp.; Dos groyse brzhezhiner yizker-bukh (The Brzeziny remembrance volume) (New York, 1961), 228 pp.; and Yoyvl-zhurnal (Jubilee magazine), on Y. Dovid Berg’s turning sixty years of age, 50 pp. In book form, he published: Maks nordoy, monografye (Max Nordau, monograph) (New York, 1937), 31 pp.; Ekhod hoom, pruv fun a kharakteristik (Aḥad Haam, an attempt at a characterization) (New York, 1941), 60 pp.; Vladimir zhabotinski, der mentsh un zayn arbet (Vladimir Zhabotinsky, the man and his work) (New York: Biderman, 1947), 175 pp.; Mentsh un vort, eseyen (Man and word, essays) (New York: Biderman, 1950), 158 pp.; Af zaytike vegn, eseyen (Along side roads, essays) (New York: Oyfsnay, 1963), 192 pp., with assistance from the Vinyetski Fund of the Yiddish Pen Club in New York. “This is a book,” wrote A. Leyeles about Af zaytike vegn, “which reads beautifully. It is a book which presents us with a thinking and creative Jewish man who has something to say and knows how to say it.” He was last working in a tailor’s shop in New York.
Sources: G. Preyl, in Erets-yisroel-flamen (New York) (1937); Di tsukunft (New York) (April 1942); Sh. Lonsheyn, in Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York) (July 25, 1947); M. Dantsis, in Tog (New York) (July 19, 1947); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 4, 1948); Mukdoni, in Di tsukunft (April 1955); Dr. H. Gordon, in Morgn-zhurnal (August 8, 1948); Der Lebediker, in Morgn-zhurnal (April 23, 1950); E. Almi, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 6, 1955); A. Pat, in Oyfsnay (New York) (Autumn 1955); Sh. Rozenberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (new York) (April 4, 1962); B. Blum, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 11, 1962); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (July 31, 1963); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (December 8, 1963).