SHOYEL FERDMAN (b. June 15, 1907)
The brother of Moyshe Ferdman, he was born in Lutsk, Volhynia. He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and a Polish high school. In 1930 he graduated from the Jewish teachers’ seminary in Vilna. He later attended the pedagogical institutes in Lemberg and Cracow. From 1930 until WWII, he worked as a teacher in secular Jewish schools in Poland. He was active in the Bund. In the early 1940s, he spent two years in a Soviet camp. From 1946 until 1957, he was living in Poland, doing pedagogical work. His first articles on literary matters and feature pieces were published in Voliner gedank (Volhynian idea) in Lutsk (1928), later in Yugnt veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw, among other venues. From 1946 he was primarily concerned with collecting teaching and reading materials for the Jewish schools, initially in Poland and from 1957 in Mexico. In book form: Shul un heym, leyenbukh farn tsveytn klas (School and home, reader for the second class), with Khave Slutski-Kestin (Warsaw, 1950), 234 pp. + 7 pp.; Yidishe shprakh, lernbukh far gramatik un ortografye (Yiddish language, textbook for grammar and orthography), part1 (Warsaw, 1950), 166 pp.; Yidishe shprakh, part 2 (Warsaw, 1955), 166 pp. (three editions appeared in Warsaw and Buenos Aires); Khrestomatye farn zekstn klas (Reader for the sixth class) (Warsaw, 1955), 364 pp.; Khrestomatye farn zibetn klas (Reader for the seventh class) (Warsaw, 1955), 416 pp.; Khane senesh un andere dertseylungen (Hannah Senesh and other stories) (Mexico City, 1960), 62 pp.; Mayselekh fun farsheydene felker (Stories of various peoples) (Mexico City, 1961), 47 pp. He edited and adapted a number of works for the “Yidish shul-biblyotek” (Yiddish book library) (1950-1962). He also wrote biographies, treatments, and explanations of works by Y. L. Perets’s selected writings (Warsaw, 1950), 78 pp.; Perets, Fun der arbet (From his work) (Warsaw, 1951), 71 pp.; Gezangen fun kamf (Songs of struggle), poetry by Winchevsky, Edelshtat, M. Rozenfeld, and Bovshover (Warsaw, 1951), 86 pp.; Sholem-Aleichem, Kinder (Children) (Warsaw, 1951), 68 pp.; and Sholem-Aleichem, Motl peysi dem khazns (Motl, [son of] Peysi, the cantor) (Mexico City, 1959), 192 pp.; among others. Together with his brother Moyshe, he translated Shimen Dubnov’s Briv vegn altn un nayem yidntum (Letters concerning old and new Judaism) (Mexico City, 1959), xvi, 464 pp. He collected and edited L. Suraski’s book Materyaln tsu der geshikhte fun yidishn yishev in meksike (1917-1942) (Materials on the history of the Jewish community in Mexico, 1917-1942) (Mexico City, 1959), 314 pp.; and he edited Yorbikher fun der yidisher shul (Yearbooks of the Jewish school) (Mexico City, 1958-1964), for which he also wrote a number of pedagogical pieces.
Source: Y. Feldhendler, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) 200 (1955).
Khayim Leyb Fuks