KHAVE SLUTSKI-KESTIN (CHAWA SLUCKA-KESTIN) (December 24, 1900-March 1, 1972)
She was born in Warsaw, Poland, into the family of a poor craftsman. She received both a Jewish and a general education. She graduated from the Daas High School, the Dinezon teacher’s course of study, and at the same time studied history and pedagogy at Warsaw University where she received her Master’s degree in 1939. Over the years 1936-1938, she worked as a research student in the Tsemakh Shabad research program at YIVO in Vilna. For many years she was a teacher in schools run by Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) in Warsaw and Bielsk Podlaski, as well as organizer of a school for challenged children in Warsaw. She was active in cultural work for the Labor Zionist party in Warsaw. When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, she fled to the Soviet occupied zones, and later worked as a teacher in middle schools in various places in Soviet Russia. In 1946 she returned to Poland and until settling in Israel (1950) was a member of the central committee of the Polish Jewry and of the leadership of the Labor Zionists in Poland, and a school instructor and lecturer in teacher training for Jewish teachers in Lower Silesia, among other tasks. She initially wrote articles on pedagogical topics in Shul-vezn (School system) in Warsaw (1934), later publishing literary criticism, stories, tales for children, and political articles in: Kinder-fraynd (Children’s friend), Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), and Der yunger dor (The young generation)—in Warsaw; Vilner tog (Vilna day) and Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna), in which in vol. 12 (1937), pp. 474-84, she published the piece “Shul-yontoyvim in lebn un in psikhik fun kind” (School holidays in the life and psyche of a child), a portion of her thesis at Warsaw University. From 1946 she was contributing to: Arbeter-tsaytung, Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), and Dos naye lebn (The new life)—in Lodz; Nidershlezye (Lower Silesia) and Nowe życie (New life) in Walbrzych; Nay-velt (New world), Shvel (Threshold), Arbeter-tribune (Workers’ tribune), Kol haam (Voice of the people), and Fray yisroel (Free Israel)—in Tel Aviv—the last three publications of the Communist Party in the state of Israel. She contributed a story to the Israel supplement of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) (Moscow) 10 (1963). Books include: In undzere teg, dertseylungen, minyaturn un skitsn (In our days, stories, miniatures, and sketches) (Tel Aviv, 1966), 374 pp.; Fun mayn notits-bukh (From my notebook), unseen. She also published chapters of a novel in Fray yisroel. From 1950 she was a member of the Communist movement (Maki) in the state of Israel. She died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 12 (1937); Tsveyter yor aspirantur (Second-year research students) (Vilna, 1938); Y. Lipski, in Fray yisroel (Tel Aviv) (December 22, 1960); Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 10 (1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 407.]