BERL SIGAL (February 7. 1897-September 7, 1980)
He was born in Orinin, Podolia, to a father who worked as a ritual slaughterer. He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva. He went through military service during WWI. He attended the teachers’ course of study at the “Kultur-lige” (Culture league) in Odessa. He studied at a Kultur-lige school in Kamenets-Podolsk. In 1922 he came to the United States. That same year he published in New York’s Labor Zionist organ, Tsayt (Times), a series of stories drawn from Jewish life, entitled “Unter petlyuras memshole” (Unter Petliura’s domination). He published poems and stories in Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) and Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper) in New York and contributed as well to Kundes (Prankster) in New York. He placed work and was later assistant editor of Shabes-post (Sabbath mail), a weekly periodical in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the years 1924-1940, he worked as a teacher in the Workmen’s Circle schools in Rochester, New York. He graduated from Brown and Rochester Universities. He later settled in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked in a hospital laboratory. He published in book form: Dray kinder-shpiln (Three children’s plays) (New York: Ḥavig, 1930), 46 pp.; A simkhe in shul (A joyous celebration in school), a children’s play (New York, 1939), 21 pp.; Moyshe mendelson, 1729-1786 (Moses Mendelssohn, 1729-1786) (New York: “Kinder-ring,” Education Committee of the Workmen’s Circle, 1941), 46 pp.; Kinder-lider (Children’s poems) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1970), 32 pp. The children’s plays were staged at children’s concerts and celebrations at many schools. He later published stories from time to time in Kinder-tsaytung. He died in Providence.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 405.]