Tuesday, 14 May 2019

MENAKHEM-MENDL ROZENBOYM


MENAKHEM-MENDL ROZENBOYM (January 1870-April 11, 1954)
            He was born in Pleshtshenits (Plyeshchanitsy), Minsk Province, to a father who was a scholar and a Hassid.  He studied in religious elementary school and with the town rabbi, later talking up general subject matter.  He was a leading figure among the Socialist Revolutionaries.  He was arrested several times in Russia for transporting revolutionary literature.  In 1905 he came to the United States, studied agriculture at New York University, and in 1914 settled on his own farm.  After the Balfour Declaration (1917), he joined the Labor Zionists.  In 1921 he settled in New York, before leaving for the land of Israel in 1924 and from 1932 lived on Kibbutz Na’an.  Rozenboym’s first published item, a story, appeared in 1905 in Russian.  He wrote a series of popular articles on physics and several stories and poems in New York’s Tsayt (Times) and Tsukunft (Future), using the pen name Muabnezaer.  In book form: Erinerungen fun a sotsyalist-revolutsyoner (Memoirs of Socialist Revolutionary) (New York-Warsaw, 1921-1924), 2 vols. (262 pp., 377 pp.), earlier published in Tog (Day); Vi azoy grigori gershuni iz antlofn fun katorge (How Gregori Gershuni escaped from penal servitude) (Vilna, 1933), 14 pp.  The former work appeared in Hebrew under the title Mizikhronotav shel sotsyalist-revolutsyoner, translated by Yaakov Shteynberg (Tel Aviv, 1935), 277 pp.  “His two volumes of memoirs,” wrote Y. Rapoport, “…are not only an important historical document, but also a contribution to Yiddish literature….  He writes like a writer and perhaps really like a poet.”  He died in Na’an, Israel.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 33 (1924); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937); Y. Rubin, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) 65 (1954); D. Kohen, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (Shevat 4 [= January 8], 1954); Y. Rapoport, Fayerlekh in nepl (Solemn in the fog) (Melbourne, 1961), pp. 342-56; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


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