Tuesday 21 October 2014


BOREKH BATSHELIS (BARNEY BACHELIS) (September 28, 1886-July 23, 1953)
Born in Koshevata (Kivshovata), Kiev region, Ukraine, into a Hassidic family.  He received a traditional Jewish education.  In 1901 he moved with his family to the United States.  They initially settled in New York.  In 1910 he moved to San Francisco.  He began publishing poems and sketches in 1913 in the local weekly, Kalifornyer yidishe shtime (California Jewish voice), edited by Dr. Y. Vortsman.  In 1916 he published in Portland, Oregon in eight issues of a newspaper, Der yidisher gayst (The Jewish spirit).  In 1917 he settled in Los Angeles where he contributed to the local daily newspaper, Di tsayt (The times).  At the same time, he published poems and translations from English-language poets and prose writers to: Kibetser (The Jiker), Kundes (Prankster), Di feder (The pen), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsukunft (Future), Forverts (Forward), Varhayt (Truth), and Tog (Day).  In 1921 he assisted Dr. Y. Vortsman to renovate Kalifornyer yidishe shtime to which he contributed regularly.  Among his books: Shmeltsikhe, kleyne monologn (Scraps, short monologues) (Los Angeles, 1926), 24 pp.; Mentshn fun mayn dor, lider, poemen, baladn un iberzetsungen fun der velt poezye (People from my generation: poems, ballads, and translations from world poetry) (Los Angeles: publ. by his family, 1953), 278 pp.  Among his pseudonyms: Borekh ben Meyer.  He died in Los Angeles.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Roza Shomer-Batshelis, in Kalifornyer yontef bleter (Los Angeles, September 1955).

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