Wednesday, 2 May 2018

SHLOYME SLUTSKI (SOLOMON SLUTSKY)


SHLOYME SLUTSKI (SOLOMON SLUTSKY) (March 15, 1877-August 1968)
            He was born in Rovne (Rovno), Volhynia.  He studied in religious elementary schools, the Rovno yeshiva, and later became an external student.  He was active among the Zionist socialists, later with the Labor Zionists.  In 1914 he came to the United States where he worked in various trades.  For a time he worked as a private secretary for Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky.  He was a cofounder of the Jewish teachers’ seminary and people’s university in New York, on whose behalf he traveled (1947-1960) through the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  From 1961 he was working in the library of the Jewish teachers’ seminary.  He helped Mendel Beilis write his memoirs, Di geshikhte fun mayne laydn (The story of my suffering).  He contributed correspondence pieces to Fraynd (Friend) in Warsaw and Di tsayt (the times) in New York.  In book form: Avrom Reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York: Library of Jewish teachers’ seminary and people’s university, 1956), 328 pp.  From Hebrew to Yiddish he translated Reb shloyme alkabets, der shafer fun der yidisher marselyeze (Reb Shloyme Alkabets, composer of the Jewish Marseillaise) by Dr. Sh. Bernstein, with a translation of “Lekha Dodi” by Y. Y. Shvarts, Tsvi Shtok, and Avrom Reyzen (New York, 1958), 31 pp.  He died in New York.
            “Slutski’s Reyzen bibliography,” noted Leyzer Blum, “is entirely the product of a great friendship between a reader and a writer….  This is a book made up of a hefty roster…of Reyzen’s works and his writing activities over the course of sixty years, from 1891 to 1951….  Altogether this constitutes a productivity which gives one the impression of a literature for oneself alone….  One can scarcely appreciate properly how great must have been the admiration to possess such patience, such stamina, and such responsible affection to the literature [at hand] to accomplish such a feat.  The bibliographer linked his name here to the work of the beloved writer.”  “Slutsky’s general knowledge of Jewish literature,” wrote Yankev Glatshteyn, “and the sense of a great, faithful responsibility, led him on the path to create such a book which is, in fact, one of a kind.  Slutski diligently assembled, searched, and verified—until he was finished with the book which is full of important items, as the entries were dubbed by the bibliographer.  These are items of immortality.  The great forest of Reyzen’s manifold work was planted in these items….  The preface to the volume was written by the poet and historian N. B. Minkov, who wrote with great precision: ‘Slutski’s achievement is important in and of itself.  The many years of indefatigable work were not for naught.  The accomplishment is significant for bibliographic literature, for Reyzen in particular, and for our literature in general.’”

Sources: A. Karlin, in Di feder (New York) (1949); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 8, 1956); Y. Bernfeld, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (June 1956); A. Blum, in Di tsukunft (New York) (September 1956); M. Khinoy, in Forverts (New York) (October 21, 1956); Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (Mew York) (December 1956); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (May 3, 1959).
Benyomen Elis


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