Monday, 12 November 2018


            She was born in Horodek (Haradok), Byelorussia.  In 1908 her family moved to Kopitshinets (Kopyczyńce, Kopychyntsi), Poland.  In 1931 she emigrated to Argentina.  She was a Yiddish teacher in Mozesville and Buenos Aires, later director of kindergartens for the Educational Council of Buenos Aires.  She contributed work to Argentiner yivo-bleter (Argentinian pages for YIVO).  From 1978 she was living in Israel.  She compiled and edited many published volumes for Yiddish kindergartens in Argentina, published by “Central Education, Argentina” in Buenos Aires: Heym un mishpokhe (Home and family) (1948), 157 pp.; Lider un shpiln farn kinder-gortn (Songs and games for kindergarten) (1956), 106 pp.; Shpiln far shprakh-antviklung, finger-shpiln, baṿeglekhe (Games for language development, finger games, comfortable) (1959), 90 pp.; Peysekh-heft (Passover booklet) (1959), 24 pp.; Shabes-heft (Sabbath booklet) (1959), 16 pp.; Repertuar farn kinder-gortn, algemeyne temes (Repertoire for kindergarten, general topics) (1960), 66 pp.; Leshono toyvo tikoseyvu (May you be inscribed for a good year) (1962), 16 pp.; A klang, a vort, a gram (A sound, a word, a verse) (1965), 134 pp.; Praktishe verterbukh far der ganenes (Practical dictionary for the kindergarten teacher) in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish (1969), 136 pp.; Amol is geven (It once was) (1971), 60 pp.; and a series of other book in Yiddish and Hebrew.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 446.


            He came from Grosswardein, Hungary.  He was the author in Yiddish of Seyfer hapamon (The book of the bell), containing a consideration of the world’s habits, according to the Torah and sacred scriptures (Satmar, 1935), 72 pp.

Sources: Yosef Z. Cohen, in Kiryat sefer (Jerusalem) (Kislev [= December] 1959); Yivo-beter (New York) (1962), p. 275.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            She came from Vilna and was a teacher in the Vilna School for Special Education.  She translated Russian poetry into Yiddish.  She also translated a Soviet Russian novel, and it was published in the 1930s in Vilner tog (Vilna day).  She was murdered by the Germans in the vicinity of Vilna.

Source: Shmerke Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 205.
Benyomen Elis


SAMUEL FISHER (b. March 17, 1887)
            He was an actor, born in Riga.  He performed with a variety of Yiddish theatrical troupes in New York, whence he had come with his parents in 1894.  In addition to 160 sketches, he wrote twenty-four three-act and four complete plays: Siem hatoyre (The completion of the [reading of the] Torah), Loy tartsekh (Thou shall not kill), Tserisene keytn (Broken chains), and Trayhayt fun a froy (Loyalty of a woman).  They were, however, never published.

Source: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 445-46.


MOYSHE FISHER (b. April 20, 1905)
            He was born in Bershad, Podolia, Ukraine.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and in a Yiddish-Hebrew school.  In 1920 he fled from Russia and lived for four years in Bessarabia.  In 1924 he came to the United States, and in 1929 he graduated from the Jewish teachers’ seminary in New York.  In 1926 he began writing for the provincial press in the States and Canada, as well as in Tog (Day) in New York.  He was assistant to the secretary general of the Jewish National Labor Alliance and managing editor of Farband-yedies (Alliance news).  He was last living in New York.

Source: Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 27, 1964; September 19, 1965).
Yankev Kahan


AVROM-LEYZER FISHER (November 4, 1896-January 20, 1968)
            He was born in Tshortkov (Chortkiv), eastern Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school, in a modern Hebrew school, a public school, a high school, and later at the Vienna senior high school for agriculture, from which he graduated as an engineer.  At age sixteen he participated in the founding of the youth organization Hashomer (The guard).  He served as an Austrian soldier in WWI.  In 1917 he published his first story in the Cracow Hebrew weekly newspaper Hamitspe (The watchtower).  In Yiddish he debuted in print in 1923.  In 1926 he emigrated to Argentina and worked for a time with YIVO in Buenos Aires.  He was a member of the local Jewish community administration (1943-1944), and he was active in the right Labor Zionist party.  He published stories, sketches, poems, articles, and essays in: Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Di prese (The press), Di naye tsayt (The new times), Der shpigl (The mirror), Shriftn (Writings), Oyfsnay (Afresh), and Davke (Necessarily), as well as in Hebrew journals, Darom (South) and Atidenu (Our future), all in Buenos Aires; and Kama and Demuyot (Figures) in Jerusalem.  In 1932 his play Nemirover kdoyshim (Martyrs of Nemirov) was staged in Buenos Aires.  His books include: In veg un andere dertseylungen (On the road and other stories) (Buenos Aires, 1934), 176 pp.; Historishe drames (Historical dramas) (Buenos Aires, 1957), 403 pp.—this volume includes the plays: Shoyfet un novi (Judge and prophet), Khevle melukhe (Pangs of state), Shoyel un dovid (Saul and David), Nemirover kdoyshim, and Groyser kheshbn (Great accounting).  He translated a volume by the late president of the state of Israel, Yitzḥak Ben-Zvi: Mit der tsveyter alie, zikhroynes (With the second aliya, memoirs) (Buenos Aires: Kiem, 1956), 260 pp.  He also served on the editorial board of Di naye tsayt and of the Spanish-language monthly of the Jewish National Fund, Vida de Israel (Life of Israel).  He used the pen name: Dayag.

Sources: Y. Botoshanski, ed., Zamlbukh fun di prese (Anthology of Di prese) (Buenos Aires, 1938); Botoshanski, Mame-yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires: Dovid Lerman, 1949); Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 381; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941); V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 921; P. Kats, Shriftn (Writings), vol. 7 (Buenos Aires, 1947); Y. Falat, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (December 2, 1966).
Benyomen Elis


LIPE (LIPA) FISHER (b. April 20, 1905)
            He was born in Yezherne (Ozerna), Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a German public school in Vienna.  He later completed a B.A. as an external student.  In late 1939 he fled to Soviet Russia, where he was sentenced to ten years in a camp in Siberia.  Freed in 1951, he lived in the Urals until 1957.  He returned to Poland, and in 1958 he made aliya to Israel.  He composed poetry in Yiddish and Polish.  He published in: Letste nayes (Latest news), Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), and Nowiny kurier (News courier) in Tel Aviv; Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people) in London; and Ukrainian periodicals in New York and Toronto.  His work also appeared in Yezherner yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for Ozerna) (1971).  In book form: A frizerer in lager, iberlebenishn fun an asir-tsien in sovetishe turmes un lagern (A barber in camp, experiences of a prisoner of Zion in Soviet prisons and camps) (Tel Aviv, Hamenorah, 1975), 384 pp.—Russian translation as Parikmakher v gulage (Tel Aviv, 1977), 258 pp., Hebrew: Sapar bemamlekhet gulag (Tel Aviv, 1979), 341 pp., English: Barber in Gulag (Tel Aviv, 1980), 231 pp.—and Un dokh dergreykht, fartsaykhenungen fun an asir-tsien (In spite of this, I have attained, notes of a prisoner of Zion) (Tel Aviv: Naye tsaytung, 1985), 384 pp.  He also published a collection of poems in Polish (1976) and in Hebrew (1982) under the title Besaarat hazeman (Stormy times), translated from Yiddish and Polish by Aryeh Brauner (Tel Aviv, 1982), 111 pp.

Sources: Y. Shmuelevitsh, in Forverts (New York) (April 2, 1976); Sh. Kants, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 30, 1977; November 7, 1980).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 445, 549.


            She was born in Lublin, Poland.  She came from an artisan family.  She graduated from a Polish high school.  She was active in the leftist labor movement in Poland.  She spent the years 1939-1946 in Soviet Russia.  She returned to Poland and in 1969 emigrated to Sweden.  In book form: Mayn lublin, bilder funem lebns-shteyger fun yidn in farmilkhomedikn poyln (My Lublin, images from the lives of Jews in prewar Poland) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1982), 238 pp.

Sources: M. Saktsyer, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (November 26, 1982); Kh. Zeltser, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 31, 1982).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 444-45.


RUKHL FISHMAN (June 10, 1935-August 24, 1984)
            The sister of Joshua (Shikl) Fishman, she was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Jewish community leaders Aaron and Sonia Fishman.  She received both a Jewish and a general education.  She graduated from a Workmen’s Circle school and the advanced Jewish course of study at middle school in Philadelphia.  She was active for a time in Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard) in the United States.  From 1954 she was a member of Kibbutz Bet Alfa in Emek Izrael.  She began publishing lyrical poetry in the student journal Der nayer dor (The new generation) in Philadelphia (1950), and she edited the periodical herself.  In Israel she was a member of Yung Yisroel (Young Israel) and contributed to the publications of this writers’ group.  She published poetry in: Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Letste nayes (Latest news), Fray yisroel (Free Israel), Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Al hamishmar (On guard), among others, in Tel Aviv; Svive (Environs) in New York; Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) in Buenos Aires; among others.  Among other places, her work was anthologized in: Mortkhe Yofe, ed., Erets-yisroel in der yidisher literatur (Israel in Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1961).  A number of her poems were translated into Hebrew and published in Israeli periodicals.  Her books include: Zun iber alts (Sun over everything), poems (Tel Aviv, 1962), 58 pp.; Derner nokhn regn (Thorns after the rain), poetry (Tel Aviv, 1966), 84 pp.; Himl tsvishn grozn, shamaim beesev (Heaven amid the grass) (Tel Aviv: Alef, 1968), 93 pp.; Vilde tsig, iza peziza (Wild goat), poems (Jerusalem: Kriyat sefer, 1976), 112 pp., winner of the Manger Prize in 1978.  Both books have parallel Hebrew translations by Aharon Aharoni.  She died in Bet Alfa, Israel.
            “I have written about her very first book,” noted Yankev Glatshteyn, “that her poems are those of someone in her twenties, written with the feminine sensibility of a twenty-something.  We do have not have such poems in Yiddish poetry.  Her youth is starkly evident in the poems, and they represent a definite girl’s age, with all the moods, desires, laments, and joy.  This new book, Derner nokhn regn, is a continuation in years, as if Rukhl Fishman were writing entries in a diary.  The poetess has aged in her youth, in her private life, in her own intimacies.  In Rukhl Fishman’s new poetry collection, there is a home, but more than a home there is an outdoors—air, tree, sky, the aroma of growth and bloom, and the sorrow which often comes from its surroundings with beauty….  Around there is good, beautiful, heaven, rain, and even singing, but a young woman in her thirties jots down notes of her feelings; from young familyhood, from nostalgia, which arises from time to time, and inasmuch as one doesn’t know from where it comes, one doesn’t know where it disappears to.  The sadness in her poems, even personal experiences, is in the background of much sunshine and beauty.  There is no such personal torment that a good rain cannot heal and wash away.”

Sources: Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (May 12, 1956); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 483; Ravitsh, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 59 (1967); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 4, 1956); Y. Emyot, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (September 24, 1957); Mortkhe Yofe, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (November 1957); Y. Paner, in Di goldene keyt 44 (1962); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (May 18, 1962); Glatshteyn, Mit mayne fartog-bikher (With my daybreak books) (Tel Aviv, 1963), pp. 133-38; Y. Varshavski (Bashevis), in Forverts (New York) (June 10, 1962); Y. Zelitsh, in Afn shvel (New York) (June-July 1962); Mates Baytsh, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1962); Kadye Molodovski, in Svive (New York) (September 1962); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (November 4, 1962); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (January 31, 1965).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 444.]

Sunday, 11 November 2018


            He was the author of the drama, Di frukht fun der krig (Fruit of the quarrel) (Warsaw: Y. Zhelonets, 1929), 96 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 444.


LEYZER FISHMAN (d. early 1935)
            He was a poet and cultural leader in Soroke (Soroki), Bessarabia.  He accomplished a great deal in spreading Yiddish culture in the Soroki region.  He was the leader and director of a drama circle in Soroki.  For a time he was a contributor to the journal Oyfgang (Arise) in Sighetu-Marmației.
Leyb Vaserman


YANKEV-HIRSH (JACOB HERSH) FISHMAN (June 2, 1891-September 1, 1965)
            He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary schools and yeshivas.  He began writing in his early youth.  In 1910 he published his first story in Dos shedletser vort (The Siedlce word), using the pen name Y. Ts. Lvovitsh.  He left for Warsaw and became a teacher of Hebrew and Yiddish, while publishing stories in Aleksander Farbo’s collection Likhtlekh (Candles) in 1913 and in Yukhvits’s collection Friling (Spring) in 1914.  With the outbreak of WWI, he returned to Siedlce and was active in Hazemir (The nightingale), and in 1916 he joined the Bund.  He was secretary of the trade unions for workers in the food industry.  Over the years 1930-1939, he worked in the administration of Ekspres (Express) in Warsaw.  Before the Nazis invaded Warsaw, he departed for Vilna, where he contributed work to Untervegns (Pathways).  From there he left via Russia for Japan, and one year later for Shanghai, China, where he lived for seven years and wrote for Naye velt (New world), organ of Jewish refugee writers.  In 1948 he came to Montreal, Canada, and in 1950 he made his way to New York.  He wrote for: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; and Tsukunft (Future) and Unzer tsayt (Our time) in New York; among others.  In book form: Zumerdike teg, dertseylungen (Summer days, stories) (Warsaw, 1938), 135 pp.; Farvoglte yidn, dertseylungen (Homeless Jews, stories) (Shanghai, 1948), 66 pp.; Heymishe vegn, dertseylungen (Familiar ways, stories) (New York, 1954), 166 pp.; Frier un shpeter (Earlier and later), stories (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1957), 174 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Y. Z. Lev, in Unzer ekspres (Warsaw) (October 29, 1938); Moyshe Shimel, in Haynt (Warsaw) (January 18, 1939); A. Tsaytlin, in Unzer ekspres (February 3, 1939); Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 8, 1957); Kh. Tiktiner, in Der moment (Warsaw) (February 17, 1939); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 22, 1948); Kh. M. Kayzerman, in Keneder odler (April 25, 1949); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (March 1954); B. Grobard, in Tsukunft (New York) (May-June 1954); A. Volf-Yaski, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (August 13, 1954); A. Glants-Leyeles, in Tog (New York) (January 22, 1955).
Leyb Vaserman


YANKEV (JACOB) FISHMAN (April 10, 1878-December 20, 1946)
            He was born in Radziłów, Lomzhe district, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1890 he came to the United States.  From the years of his youth, he was active in Jewish community, political, and cultural life in America.  For many years he was a member of the central committee of the Zionist Organization in America and a member of the Zionist Action Committee.  He was cofounder and for many years vice-chairman of the Y. L. Perets writers’ association.  He was also active in other institutions.  He was a delegate to Zionist congresses.  In 1927 he took part in the conference for Jewish national rights in Zurich, Switzerland.  Although he was a leading Zionist, he left the conference in protest against those who ignored the Yiddish language and the Yiddish school, which he considered the sole means of warding off assimilation.  He began writing with reportage pieces in Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in New York, later as an editorial board member, and from 1901 until 1914 editor of the news division (and later news editor) for Varhayt (Truth), 1914-1916.  From late 1916 he was managing editor of Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  From 1936, after the death of P. Vyernik, he became editor-in-chief of this newspaper.  He introduced the daily heading “Fun tog tsu tog” (From day to day) which was concerned with Jewish and general issues.  He was the first to publish Herzl’s diary and the memoirs of Rabbi Mazeh in Yiddish.  He also contributed to Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia, as well as in the Yiddish press in Poland.  In book form he published: Der emes vegn di ekonomishe krizisn un vi azoy zikh tsu bafrayen fun zey (The truth about the economic crises and how to be freed from them) (New York, 1934), 95 pp.  He was one of the founders of the world association of Jewish journalists, a leading member of the American Zionist Organization, and among the central figures of American Jewish journalists.  In December 1946 he was among the speakers at the Zionist congress in Basel, and after hearing reports on the Jewish destruction in Poland, he had a heart attack and died on the spot.  He was buried in the land of Israel.
            “Although he was a leading Zionist,” wrote Moyshe Shtarkman, “on Jewish problems, just as on other issues of the day, Fishman comments as an independent journalist, acutely and to the point, in his daily column ‘Fun tog tsu tog,’ published daily on page one.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Froym Oyerbakh, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 30, 1931); Dr. Sh. Bernshteyn, in Tog (New York) (January 14, 1932); Dr. Sh. Margoshes, in Tog (June 4, 1932); Sh. Petrushka, in Tog (October 8, 1932); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (May 9, 1933); Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike, a tsushteyer tsu der 75-yoriker geshikhte fun der yidisher prese in di fareynikte shtatn un kanade (Yiddish letters in America, a contribution to the seventy-five year history of the Yiddish press in the United States and Canada) (New York, 1946), see index; Dr. A. Mukdoni, In varshe un in lodzh (In Warsaw and in Lodz) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 44; Talush, Yidishe shrayber (Yiddish writers) (New York, 1955), pp. 121-22; M. Shushani, in Hadoar (New York) (Nisan 2 [= April 3], 1946); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Hadoar (Sivan 4 [= May 23], 1947); Dovid Shub, in Forverts (New York) (March 20, 1966).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YOYSEF FISHMAN (b. October 5, 1920)
            The son of Yankev-Hirsh Fishman, he was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  From 1920 he was already living with his parents in Warsaw.  His studies in Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) schools and in a high school.  Over the years 1939-1941, he worked for YIVO in Vilna.  During the years of WWII, he escaped with his father to China.  From 1949 he was living in the United States.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1964.  He worked for a time as a teacher in Workmen’s Circle schools and later was professor of sociology at a number of universities.  He was active in the youth Bund and in community life.  In Yiddish he penned stories, reviews of books, and journalistic pieces for: Ekspres (Express) and Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw; and Yugntruf (Call to youth), Undzer tsayt (Our time), and Forverts (Forward) in New York; among others.  In more recent years, he wrote mainly in English-language scholarly journals, using the name Joseph Zulin.  He was last living in New York.
Leyb Vaserman


SHIYE (SHIKL, JOSHUA) FISHMAN (July 18, 1926-March 1, 2015)
            The brother of Rokhl Fishman, he was born in Philadelphia.  He received a secular Jewish and a general education.  He was professor of sociology, psychology, and humanities at universities in Philadelphia, New York, and California.  He took up leading positions in Jewish and general education and research institutes.  He was a contributor and a director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and for research on the role of foreign languages in America.  He composed an important work on the rise and fall of the Yiddish language in the United States.  From his youth he was active in Jewish cultural life.  He was cofounder of the Y. L. Perets youth club, among other institutions, in Philadelphia.  For many years he worked with YIVO and received from it first prize in a scholarly essay contest.  He wrote a long work for YIVO, entitled Amerikaner yidntum vi an obyekt far sotsyaler forshung (American Judaism as an object for social research).  He was the author of important studies of Jewish education, cultural issues, and language problems.  He cofounded and co-edited the publication for youth, Yugntruf (Call to youth), in Philadelphia (1943).  He contributed articles, reviews of books, and fragments of his major work, “Yidish un andere shprakhn in amerike” (Yiddish and other languages in America), in: Tsukunft (Future), Tog (Day), Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), Bleter far yidisher dertsiung (Pages for Jewish education), and Afn shvel (At the threshold), among others, in New York.  He contributed to the jubilee volume honoring Max Weinreich: For Max Weinreich on His Seventieth Birthday: Studies in Jewish Languages, Literature, and Society (The Hague: Mouton, 1964), pp. 44-57.  From 1960 he was associated with Yeshiva University.  He gave important speeches in Yiddish and English at scholarly conferences. 
            From 1966 he was dean of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Sociology at Yeshiva University in New York.  Aside for numerous essays in the field of his specialty, he published many research articles on Yiddish language in Yiddish periodicals: bilingualism in Jewish schools (Bleter far yidisher dertsiung [Pages for Jewish education] in New York, April 1951); ethnic languages in America (Tsukunft [Future] in New York, 1963); the Jewish environment and the international academic environment (in M. Shtarkman, ed., Khesed leavrom [Grace to Abraham], Los Angeles, 1970); the sociology of Yiddish in America, 1960-1970, and thereafter (Di goldene keyt [The golden chain] in Tel Aviv 75, 1972); what can the function of Yiddish in Israel be? (Idisher kemfer [Jewish fighter] in New York, April 1974); Jerusalem “World Conference for Yiddish and Yiddish Culture” (Yidishe shprakh [Yiddish language] in New York, 1976, 35: 1-3, 16-31); and is there hope still for Yiddish in America (Davke [Necessarily] in Buenos Aires, 82: 1981, pp. 62-74); among others.  He also conducted considerable research on Yiddish for English-language publications and a bit in Hebrew as well.  He translated, with Shlomo Nobel, Max Weinreich’s Geshikhte fun der yidisher shprakh (History of the Yiddish language) (Chicago, 1980).  In book form: Never Say Die: A Thousand Years of Yiddish in Jewish Life and Letters (The Hague: Mouton, 1981).  He died in the Bronx.

Sources: Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (August 23, 1960); Sh. Izban, in Der amerikaner (New York) (October 5, 1960); M. Sh. Shklarski, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (January 1961); Khane Miler, in Yugntruf (New York) (June 1965); A. Glants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (April 17, 1966).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 443-44.]

(N.B. For a fuller bibliography of J. Fishman’s numerous writings, see: [JAF].)


ZKHARYE FISHMAN (March 4, 1891-August 22, 1926)
            A scholar and librarian, brother of Rabbi Yude-Leyb Maymun, he was born in Markulesht (Mărculeşti), Bessarabia.  He studied in religious elementary school and on his own.  In 1913 he moved to the land of Israel, graduated from a Hebrew teachers’ seminary, and later was the librarian at Shaare Tsiyon (Gates of Zion) in Tel Aviv.  Over the years 1919-1924, he was in the United States, graduated from the librarian and journalist faculty at Columbia University in New York.  For a time he was secretary to the editorial board of Haḥerut (Freedom), and later he worked as librarian of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and of the university library in Cincinnati.  His literary work began in Haḥerut in Jerusalem (1918), and later with: Hadoar (The mail), Miklat (Sanctuary), Haivri (The Jew), Luaḥ aḥiasef, Ayin hakora (Eye of the reader), and Hatoran (The duty officer); and in Yiddish, Dos idishe likht (The Jewish light) and Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people) in New York, and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; among others—among other items, he wrote about Israel and Hassidic legends.  He used such pen names as: Z. Maymun, A. Cohen, and Tsafran.  He mainly devoted his attention to Hebrew bibliography and throughout his life collected materials for a biographical dictionary of Hebrew literature (from the epoch of Vilna Gaon to recent times).  In book form: Agadot erets hakodesh (Homiletic tales from the holy land) (Jerusalem, 1927).  He died in Jerusalem.  There was published in his memory: Kovets lezikaron zekharya fishman (Compilation to the memory of Zekharya Fishman) (1927).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937), p. 691.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Saturday, 10 November 2018


            He came from Russia.  In 1910 he arrived in the United States.  He was a laborer.  He was active in Workmen’s Circle.  He published poems in: Di feder (The pen), Nay yidish (New Yiddish), Tsuzamen (Together) of which he was also co-editor, Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), and Forverts (Forward), among others.  In book form: Ekhos fun troymen (Echoes and dreams), poetry (New York, 1936), 80 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Forverts (New York) (June 27, 1950); Tsukunft (New York) (July-August 1950).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Keydan (Kėdainiai), Kovno district, Lithuania.  He studied in religious elementary school and in yeshivas in Vilna and Slobodka.  In 1913 he completed the pedagogical course of study in Grodno and became a teacher.  During WWI he turned up in Russia and until 1916 was a teacher in a Talmud-Torah in Starodub.  Later, until the end of 1918, he worked as a teacher in Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd), and from there he came to Poland where he continued his studies and received ordination into the rabbinate.  He lived in Cuba, 1923-1943.  He was president of the Jewish community and a teacher in Yiddish and Hebrew schools in Havana.  From late 1943 he was in Mexico.  He was spiritual leader of the Ashkenazi community and rabbi of the school Nidḥe Yisrael (The dispersed of Israel), while simultaneously teaching at the Yavne school.  He began his literary work with articles on education and ethnic issues in Havaner lebn (Havana life) in 1933, and until 1943 he was a regular contributor to this serial.  From 1944 he was a standing contributor to Der veg (The way) in Mexico City.  In book form in Hebrew: Mivtsar yisroel (The might of Israel), essays (Mexico City, 1959), 489 pp., for which he received the Tsvi Kessel Prize; and in Yiddish, Dos likht fun visn (The light of knowledge), essays (Mexico City, 1965), 359 pp.  He was last living in Mexico City.

Sources: Yoysef Koler, in Der veg (Mexico City) (July 1965); Even Tov, in Di shtime (Mexico City) (July 5, 1965); Khayim Lazdeyski, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 18, 1965); Yefim Yeshurin, 100 yor moderne yidishe literatur, bibliografisher tsushteyer (100 years of modern Yiddish literature, bibliographical contribution) (New York, 1966), p. 479.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Friday, 9 November 2018


            He was born in Zamość in the first half of the nineteenth century.  He lived for a time in Lublin.  He was the author of the anonymous drama “Teater fun khsidim” (Theater of Hassidim), published in the first volume of Historishe shriftn fun yivo (History writings from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1929), pp. 623-93.  Max Erik demonstrated with an acrostic in the play providing Fishlzohn’s surname and personal name that it was his authorship.  Also, in Hamelits (The advocate) 5 (1860), p. 48, a correspondence piece was published and signed “Ephraim Fishlzon from Zamość,” and from this one can see that he was a Zamość native and that the play was written in 1839.  On the title page of the drama, it was noted: “Performed in Lemberg.”  This work consisted of two parts: a long Hebrew preface which was a satire of play; and “Teater” itself, an anti-Hassidic satire written in verse.  This play was first published by Khayim Borodyanski, but without the Hebrew preface.  Borodyanski only provides the contents of the preface.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959), pp. 2129-30; Yisroel Tsinberg, Geshikhte fun literatur bay yidn (History of Jewish literature), vol. 8, part 2 (Vilna, 1936), pp. 230-33; Rifoel Mahler, Der kamf tsvishn haskole un khsides in galitsye in der ershter helft fun 19tn yorhundert (The struggle between Jewish Enlightenment and Hassidism in the first half of the nineteenth century) (New York: YIVO, 1942), pp. 16, 19, 65, 66, 75; Y. Shatski, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 28.1 (1946), p. 44; Shmuel Niger, Dertseyler un romanistn (Story-tellers and novelists) (New York, 1946), p. 48; Sh. Lastik, Di yidishe literatur biz di klasikers (Yiddish literature up to the classic writers) (Warsaw, 1950), pp. 180-82.
Yankev Kahan


AVROM-ALTER (ABRAHAM) FISHZON (1843/1848-January 15, 1922)
            He was born in Berdichev, Ukraine.  He received a fiercely religious education, and he evinced a great love from childhood for song and theater.  He became acquainted with Avrom Goldfaden and A. B. Gotlober, and this led to his fleeing home at age seventeen for Zhitomir.  He wrote songs and miniatures of the wedding entertainment variety for Jewish folksingers in the wine cellars.  He became popular under the name “Alter Badkhn” (Alter, the wedding entertainer) and was an actor and author of comedies and dramas.  He earned a great deal of money and persuaded the Tsarist authorities to give its permission to conduct theater in Yiddish (and not in highly Germanized Yiddish).  From about 1874 until 1917, he directed a Yiddish theatrical troupe in Russia, Galicia, and elsewhere.  He himself played in both the old Goldfaden repertoire and in “Milye repertoire,” and he especially excelled as a comedic actor.  His songs were sung among the wide Yiddish-speaking masses.  The first songs were published in the Goldfaden-Linietski weekly newspaper Yisroelik (Yisroelik) in Lemberg (1875-1876).  Some of them are included in the collections: Der nayer zinger (The new singer), ten songs (Warsaw, 1884), 24 pp., published in a number of editions, the last in Vilna in 1909; Der nayer meshugener (The new madman), a collection of Yiddish folksongs (Warsaw, 1885), 24 pp.; Naye tsvantsik yidishe folkslider (Twenty new Yiddish folksongs), written with the harmony of musical accompaniment, “text and song by the well-known artist A. Fishzon” (Warsaw, 1903), 76 pp.  He also wrote: Dos lid fun emes (The song of truth), written in thanks for the defense in the Beilis trial (Odessa, 1913), 8 pp.  His memoirs concerning the Yiddish theater, entitled “Ksovim fun a yidishn aktyor” (Writings of a Yiddish actor), were published in Russian in Teatr i iskusstvo (Theater and art) and in Sibir-palestina (Siberia-Palestine), a weekly out of Harbin, as well as in Shoyel Hokhberg’s Unzer lebn (Our life) in Odessa—and serially republished in Yidish teater (Yiddish theater) (Warsaw) 5-6 (1922)—and they have enormous value for research into the history of the Yiddish stage.  After his death his memoirs were published in installments under the title “30 yor idish teater” (Thirty years of Yiddish theater) in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) (New York) (1924-1926).  During the civil war in Russia, he departed for Siberia with the intention of traveling to the United States.  He turned up in Shanghai and later in Harbin where he died.

Fishzon’s funeral in Harbin (January 1922)

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3, with a bibliography; Froym Oyerbakh, in Di tsayt (New York) (February 25, 1922); Y. D. Berkovitsh, in Forverts (New York) (Augist 23, 1931).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YANKEV-BENYOMEN FISHHOF (1883-December 26, 1947)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  In 1913 he came to the United States.  He worked as a typesetter and proofreader.  He published occasional articles in: Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Forverts (Forward), and Dos yidishe likht (The Jewish light); and in Hebrew in Hadoar (The mail) and Hatoran (The duty officer), among others, in New York.  He died in New York.

Source: Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 28, 1947).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SALO FISHGRUND (FISCHGRUND) (September 7, 1893-March 4, 1971)
            He was born in Sulkovitse (Sułkowice), near Cracow, Galicia.  From 1908 he was active in the Bund.  In 1939 he left for the Soviet-occupied zone.  He was arrested there.  He returned to Poland in the autumn of 1941, and he remained in Warsaw until liberation.  He was a member of the underground central committee of the Bund and took part in the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto.  During the “unification” of the socialist parties in Poland (1948), he switched to join the Communists.  He was a member of the leadership of the “Jewish Cultural Association” of Poland.  He began writing for Sotsyal-demokrat (Social democrat) in Cracow in 1908.  Over the years 1922-1939, he was the Cracow correspondent for Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper) in Warsaw.  He contributed to the Bundist underground press in Poland.  From 1945 he was publishing articles in: Dos naye lebn (The new life), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), and Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), among others, in Warsaw.  In 1970 he moved to Israel.

Sources: Materials from the Bundist archives, New York; Pinkhes Shvarts, Yidishe prese in varshe (The Yiddish press in Warsaw) (New York, 1956), p. 437.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MAURICE (YUDE-MORTKHE) FISHBERG (August 16, 1872-August 30, 1934)
            He was born in Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine.  He graduated from a Russian high school.  In 1890 he came to the United States.  In his first years there, he worked as an unskilled laborer, while studying at the same time.  In 1897 he completed his medical studies at New York University, where he later, until his death, was a professor in the medical faculty.  He was a researcher and anthropologist, mainly concerned with the Jewish communities of North Africa.  He was the author of a series of book in the field of anthropology and medicine in English.  Over the years 1894-1902, he was a regular contributor to: Abend-blat (Evening newspaper) in New York; and Arbeter fraynd (Workers’ friend) in London.  He contributed scholarly articles to: Tsukunft (Future), Tsayt-gayst (Spirit of the times), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), and other Yiddish socialist publications in America and elsewhere.  In Bleter far yidisher demografye statistik un ekonomye (Jewish demography, statistics, and economics) (Berlin-Vilna) 1 (1923), he published “Di rasn-simonim bay yidn” (The racial markers among Jews).  In book form: Di gefar fun di yidishe natsyonalistishe bavegungen in ire fershedine formen (The danger of Jewish nationalist movements in its various forms), a “polemic with the leaders of virtually all Jewish national parties” (New York, 1906), 94 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Dr. K. Farnberg, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1906); Who’s Who in American Jewry (1926); Yivo-biblyografye, 1925-1941 (YIVO bibliography, 1925-1941) (New York, 1943), no. 707; Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1942), vol. 4, pp. 319-20.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


AKIVE FISHBIN (AKIVA FISZBIN) (b. December 20, 1916)
            He was born in Warsaw.  He graduated from a Jewish high school and studied at Professor Krishtol’s music school in Warsaw.  He spent the war years in Soviet Russia and, from the end of 1947 he was living in France.  He published cultural-historical works in: Unzer shrift (Our writing) in Haifa; Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York); Kheshbn (The score) in Los Angeles; Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel) in Tel Aviv; and Af der vakh (On guard) in Paris.  In book form: A yidisher blik af bethovn (A Jewish look at Beethoven) (Paris, 1984), 268 pp.; and In di ṭrit fun kinsṭler, muziker un plastiker (In the footsteps of the artist, musician, and sculptor) (Jerusalem, 1992), 313 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 443.


BEN-TSIEN FISH (1854-1944)
            He was born in Marmației, Romania.  He was knowledgeable of French, Latin, Germany, Romanian, and Hungarian.  He was the author of books and pamphlets in Hebrew.  In Yiddish he published a medical pamphlet (unseen).  He died in Auschwitz.

Source: Sh. Zamroni, in Hatsofe (Tel Aviv) (Nisan 11 [= April 1], 1966).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 443.

Thursday, 8 November 2018


ALFRED FIRST (b. ca. 1865)
            He was born in Eisenstadt in the former Austria-Hungary.  He lived in Vienna and in Budapest.  He studied philosophy and philology at the University of Vienna and received his doctoral degree.  He authored many works in German and Hungarian in the field of folklore and linguistics, among them one on “ordinary life and customs on the Jewish street in Eisenstadt” (1908), 80 pp.  This work is an important source on the Jewish community, Yiddish language, and the condition of the old Jewish community.  His work “Folkloristish-lingvistishe materyaln fun ungarn” (Folkloric-linguistic materials from Hungary) was published in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 14 (1939), pp. 436-56.

Source: Yivo-biblyografye, 1925-1941 (YIVO bibliography, 1925-1941) (New York, 1943), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SHMUEL FYERT (b. 1911)
            He was born in Proskurov, Ukraine.  In 1923 he made his way to Argentina.  He studied in the Borokhov school in Buenos Aires.  He later worked in a publishing house.  He debuted in print in 1929 in the children’s corner of Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires.  He contributed to: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944).  In book form: Shterndlekh, mayselekh far kinder (Asterisks, stories for children) (Buenos Aires, 1935), 100 pp.; Mentshelekh afn papir, andere shterndlekh mayselekh far kinder (Little people on paper, other asterisks, stories for children) (Buenos Aires, 1937), 96 pp.; In dem land fun di khayes, mayselekh far kinder (In the land of animals, stories for children) (Buenos Aires, 1938), 98 pp.  He was last living in the state of Israel.

Sources: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 140, 174; V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 921; Y. Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957); Botoshanski, in Zamlbukh (Buenos Aires) (1961), p. 294.
Benyomen Elis


            He was born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland.  He lived in Warsaw, and after WWII in California.  In book form: Zikhroynes, geklibene lider (Memoirs, selected poems) (Palm Springs, 1966), 108 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 443.


YUDE FINKELSHTEYN (SHAHAMI) (b. October 30, 1906)
            He was born in Brisk (Brest Litovsk), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, with his father Rabbi Tsvi Finkelshteyn, in a Warsaw middle school, and two years at the University of London.  He made aliya to the land of Israel in 1924.  He worked in the construction of highways and other labor on Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha.  In 1931 he traveled to London to continue his studies.  There he wrote for Naye tsayt (New times).  He later returned to Israel.  In 1935 he went as an emissary of the Israeli Federation of Labor to Poland and Romania, and there he contributed to Dos vort (The word) and Frayhayt (Freedom) in Warsaw.  He returned to Israel in 1937.  He placed work as well in Hapoal hatsair (The young laborer) and published feature pieces in Hebrew and in Yiddish.

Source: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 6 (Tel Aviv, 1955), p. 2466—under the entry “Yehuda Shahami (Finkelshteyn).”
Yankev Kahan


OYZER FINKELSHTEYN (September 20, 1863-September 28, 1923)
            He was born in Kovno, Lithuania.  In roughly 1867, his family moved to Orenburg, and in 1879 he returned with his parents to Kovno.  He graduated as a lawyer (he received the title “jurist” after 1905).  From 1888 he practiced as an attorney in Kovno.  His community activities began in his student days.  He was close to the Bund.  In 1905 he was expelled from Kovno.  During WWI he lived in Moscow.  After the Revolution, he was appointed by Lithuanian Jews in St. Petersburg to the provisional committee to govern Lithuania.  In August 1919 in Kovno, where he played a leading role in Jewish political and community life as a leader in the Folks-partey (People’s party), he represented it in the Lithuanian parliament.  From time to time, he published articles in various Russian and Lithuanian periodicals, using the pen name Z-er.  Particularly in his last years, he published in the Kovno folkist organ Nayes (News).  On the whole his articles were translated from Russian originals.  At age fifty-six, though, he set to learn Yiddish, and several years later he wrote in Yiddish on his own.  He participated in the Zurich conference for Jewish national rights, and with Yoysef Tshernikhov, H. D. Nomberg, and Dr. Tsemekh Shabad, he left the conference for the unfavorable status accorded the Yiddish language and school.  He died in Kovno.  After his death a volume in his honor was published: Tsum ondenk fun oyzer finkelshteyn, geveylte artiklen, zikhroynes, redes, byografye, opshatsungen (To the memory of Oyzer Finkelshteyn, selected articles, memoirs, speeches, a biography, assessments) (Kovno, 1938), 233 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Pinkes fun yekopo (Records of Yekopo [Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”]) (Vilna, 1931); Folks-blat (Kovno) (February 15, 1935); Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 14.1-2 (1939); Dr. Mendl Sudarski, in Lite (Lithuania) (New York, 1951), vol. 1; V. Shulman, in Lite (Lithuania), anthology (Buenos Aires, 1965).
Yankev Kahan


            He was born in Brisk (Brest), Poland.  He received a traditional Jewish education.  He moved to Warsaw, where with his brother Noyekh Finkelshteyn and Sh. Yatskon, he was one of the editor-publishers of Haynt (Today) and a close friend of Y. L. Perets and Yankev Dinezon.  He was a community and cultural leader.  He was a cofounder of the publisher Yehudiya, and one of the leaders of Hazemir (The nightingale), of the rescue committee, of TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia [Society for the protection of health]), and of a string of other organizations.  He contributed a major work to the jubilee volume for Haynt-yoyvl-bukh, 1908-1938 (Jubilee volume for Haynt, 1908-1938), pp. 8-15.  He was working on a piece entitled “Tsen yor mit peretsn” (Ten years with Perets).  He did a great deal for Yiddish literature and culture.  He died in the Warsaw Ghetto, during the Nazi occupation in the years of WWII.

Sources: Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (April 10, 1945); Yidishe shriftn (Lodz, 1946), p. 5; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrente nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of zealous nights) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1946), p. 107; Yanos Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), pp. 69, 92, 93, 245, 246, 278; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), p. 73; Dr. A. Mukdoni, In varshe un in lodzh (In Warsaw and in Lodz), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1955).
Yankev Kahan