SHMUEL FAKS (January 31, 1885-May 9, 1956)
He was born in Płońsk, Warsaw region, into a wealthy Hassidic family of grain and timber merchants. He received a Jewish education. He was a close friend of David Ben-Gurion from their days in religious primary school, and he corresponded with him until the last days of his life. In 1903 he left Poland for London, and there he began writing in Hebrew for Yitsḥak Suvalski’s Hayehudi (The Jew). In 1904 he arrived in the United States and worked as a Hebrew teacher in New York. In 1912 he graduated from New York University in dentistry. He wrote stories and poetry. He published in the anthologies: Literatur (Literature), Di naye heym (The new home), and Avrom Reyzen’s Dos naye land (The new country). He also published a series of articles—entitled “Di yunge yidishe literatur” (Young Yiddish literature), concerned with Opatoshu, Ignatov, Mani Leyb, and M. L. Halpern—in Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people). He belonged to the “Yunge” (Young) group. Over the course of many years, he was active in the Yiddish cultural movement. In his last years, he lived in Far Rockaway, New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; D. Ignatov, in Tsukunft (New York) (December 1944); A. Leyeles, in Tog (New York) (May 5, 1956); Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (October 1956).