RIVKE RUBIN (May 15, 1906-March 2, 1987)
The author of stories and literary criticism, she was born in Minsk into the home of an artisan. She graduated from the Minsk pedagogical institute and was a stipended research student at the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences. She moved to Moscow in 1934 and worked in the Yiddish division of the Moscow pedagogical institute. During WWII she lived in Tambov and wrote for the local newspaper Tambovskaia Pravda (Tambov truth), and later she was a journalist in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan). She began publishing in 1931. She wrote stories and literary critical essays in: Shtern (Star) in Minsk (1931); Sovetish (Soviet) (1941); Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) (1947); Heymland (Homeland) (1947-1948), also its co-editor; and Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland). Her work also appeared in: Af naye vegn (On new roads) (New York, 1948); and Dertseylungen fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Stories by Soviet Yiddish writers) (Moscow, 1969). She edited or co-edited, adapted or wrote introductory remarks for: Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan), anthology (Moscow, 1936); Yankev Dinezon, A shteyn in veg (A stumbling block in the path) (Moscow, 1938); Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Gezamlte verk (Collected works), vol. 4, Fishke der krumer (Fishke the lame) (Moscow, 1935-1940); Sholem-Aleichem, Oysgeveylte verk (Selected works), vol. 6, Motl peysi dem khazns (Motl the son of Peysi the cantor), and vol. 10, Mayses far yidishe kinder (Stories for Jewish children) (Moscow, 1935-1938); Sholem-Aleichem, Noveln un monologn (Novellas and monologues) (Moscow, 1940); Y. L. Perets, Oysgeveylte verk in tsvey bender (Selected works in two volumes) (Moscow, 1941); Perets, In keler-shtub (In a basement apartment) (Moscow, 1959). Her books include: Yitskhok-leybush perets, 1851-1915 (Yitskhok-Leybush Perets, 1851-1915) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 55 pp.; Yidishe froyen, fartseykhenungen (Jewish women, notes) (Moscow: Emes, 1943), 63 pp.; Shrayber un verk (Writers and works) (Warsaw-Moscow: Yidish bukh, 1968), 309 pp.; Es shpint zikh a fodem, dertseylungen (A thread is spun, stories) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 326 pp.; Aza min tog, roman, dertseylungen, etyudn (Such a day, a novel, stories, studies) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1982), 325 pp. She authored literary portraits for a host of Soviet Yiddish writers, including: Shmuel Halkin, Zelik Akselrod, Leyb Kvitko, Zalmen Vendrov, Ezra Finenberg, Itsik Kipnis, and Dovid Bergelson.
“Rivke Rubin’s prose,” commented Dovid Sfard, “draws our attention with the concision and sensibility in the depiction of her characters, with her…innovative picturesqueness, [and] with psychological truth.” “Rivke Rubin is a writer of fiction and criticism,” noted H. Remenik, “and in both genres it is characteristic of her that one can cite a musculature of style, culture of language, and I would even say a culture of creation. Rivke Rubin’s language and style is genteelly simple, which is comprised of both clarity and expression, both transparency and thought.” “Her genre,” wrote Lili Berger, “as critic is the literary portrait of the author, the study of a special work…in relation to the literary tradition, the literary trends.” She died in Moscow.
Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), index; Dovid Sfard, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 9 (1960); H. Remenik, in Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 5 (1966); Lili Berger, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (December 24, 1969); M. Altshuler, Yahadut berit-hamoatsot baaspaklarya shel itonut yidish bepolin, bibliyografya 1945-1970 (The Jews of the Soviet Union from the perspective of the Yiddish press in Poland, bibliography) (Jerusalem, 1975), p. 168; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 358-59.]