MOYSHE ELBOYM (November 16, 1906-January 27, 1969)
He was born in Warsaw, Poland, to Hassidic parents. He lost his parents when quite young and was raised by an older brother. He studied in religious elementary schools, the Radzimin (Radzymin) yeshiva, and the community school “Oświata i Rzemiosło” (Education and craft), as well as with private tutors. At age twelve he traveled to Lodz to another brother who was active in the Bund and exerted a strong influence on Moyshe Elboym’s development and activities. He lived for a time in an apartment with the writer-humorist Yoysef-Shimen Goldshteyn who introduced him to the realm of writers and stimulated him to start writing himself. In 1920 he began publishing humorous sketches and poems on contemporary themes in Lodz’s Folksblat (People’s newspaper), edited by L. Kahan. Over the years 1921-1925, he was living in Lemberg where he co-edited (together with D. Naymark) the Bundist biweekly Arbeter-shtime (Workers’ voice). He traveled through eastern Galicia giving speeches on behalf of the youth Bund “Tsukunft” (Future). Returning to Lodz in 1925, he became a regular contributor to and later night editor of Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), edited by Lazar Fuks, Moyshe Broderson, and Khayim-Yankev Bristovski. He was sent by the newspaper in 1926 to Lemberg to report on the trial against the Jewish student Shloyme Shteyger who had been falsely accused of throwing a bomb at the Polish president Stanislaw Wojciechowski. He was also a news correspondent for the Bundist Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw. In 1928 he helped Moyshe Broderzon in founding the variety theater Ararat [acronym for: Artistic Revolutionary Revue-Theater], for which he was for a short time master of ceremonies and occasionally also author of the texts. Over the years 1932-1939, he was a regular contributor to and for a time night editor of the Warsaw daily Unzer ekspres (Our express), then edited by Arn and Elkhonen Tsaytlin and Lazar Kahan. From Radom he wrote reports on the Pshitik (Przytyk) trial—involving ten Jews charged with creating a self-defense group during the bloody pogrom in the town of Przytyk in Radom strict; he also reported from the appeal trial in Lublin. He contributed as well to the Warsaw-based Polish-Jewish daily Piąta rano (5 a.m.), edited by Shmuel Svislotski. He was the regular Warsaw correspondent for Lodz’s Nayer folksblat. He also remained active in the Dzigan-Shumacher Theater. On September 9, 1939, after the outbreak of WWII, he traveled with a group of Jewish and Polish journalists in a governmental evacuation train through Lublin and Bród to the Romanian border. On September 17, he met up with the Soviet army between the towns of Zbarazh and Kapitshinets (Kopyczyńce) and fled to Vilna where he was reunited with his wife and three-year-old daughter who had been rescued from Warsaw. He worked for a time as a night editor for Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Vilna. On March 18, 1941, following the second Soviet occupation of Vilna, he traveled via Moscow and Vladivostok to Shanghai, and there he created a Yiddish variety theater and also performed in the dramatic theater with Rose Shoshana and others (1941-1945). From August 1945, he and Lazar Kahan co-edited a lithographically published weekly entitled Undzer velt (Our world) and penned correspondence pieces for New York’s Forverts (Forward). He arrived in New York in May 1948 and became a contributor to Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) for which he wrote a weekly column, “Fun alem tsubislekh” (Little by little from everything). In 1954 he became a regular contributor to Forverts, for which he wrote articles and served as assistant night editor and later night editor of the newspaper. Every Wednesday he penned a weekly feature on an issue of the day and Jewish problems. He also wrote under such pen names as: Blem, Elski, A Varshever, and M. Tseder. He served as secretary of the Y. L. Perets Writers’ Association (1949, 1951, 1963-1964) in New York. He made several trips to the state of Israel and to Europe. In April 1963, Elboym’s dramatization of the life of the folk poet Mortkhe Gebirtig was staged in New York. He was a member of the Workmen’s Circle. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); M. Turkov, Di letste fun a groysn dor (The last of a great generation) (Buenos Aires, 1954), p. 236; “Khronik” (Chronicle), in Forverts (New York) (November 1, 1964).