BER-LEYB PETSHENI (August 10, 1902-October 10, 1983)
He was born in Bohopolye (Bogopol), Ukraine. In 1905 he arrived with his parents in Argentina and for many years lived in the YIKO (Jewish Cultural Organization) colony of Santa Isabel. He studied in an YIKO school and also separately with tutors, and he went on to become a colonist. He was an active leader in the Zionist youth movement and in Jewish cultural life first in Santa Isabel and from 1928 in the town of Concordia. In 1925 he began contributing to the Yiddish press in Argentina, initially as a correspondent from the colonies, and he later published poems, stories, and reportage pieces in: Idishe tsaytung (jewish newspaper), Di prese (The press), the children’s magazine Kinderland (Children’s land), and Groys and kleyn (Big and small), among others, in Buenos Aires. He was a regular contributor to Kolonist-kooperator (Colonist cooperative), and for his story “A khasene in kolonye” (A wedding in the colony), he received first prize in a literary competition. In book form: Af argentiner yidisher erd (On Argentinian Jewish soil), stories and poems from the colonists’ life in the YIKO colonies, with a preface by Y. L. Gorelik (Concordia, 1947), 103 pp. He died in Buenos Aires.
Sources: Y. L. Gorelik, preface to Af argentiner yidisher erd (On Argentinian Jewish soil) (Concordia, 1947), pp. 5-6; Tsukunft (New York) (September 1949).
Khayim Leyb Fuks