Friday 24 October 2014


ZELIK (ZALMAN, MORDEKHAI) BALABAN (June 11, 1883-June 3, 1949)
Born in Dzigovke (Dzyhivka), a small town in the Yampol circuit, Podolia region.  By chance he happened to meet the Hebrew poet Yehuda-Leyb Levin who encouraged him to write.  He subsequently published poems, stories, and tales for children in Ha-ginah (The garden), Ha-perachim (The flowers), and Ha-shachar (The dawn).  In 1913 he moved to the United States where he contributed to Ha-doar (The mail), Ha-doar le-noar (The mail for children), Yehudah ha-tsair (The young Jew), and in Ts. Sharfshteyn’s Shacharut (Prime of life).  Under the influence of the Yiddish journalist L. Y. Prenovits, he began to write in Yiddish.  He published poems, stories, and legends in Forverts (Forward), Tog (Day), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Miler’s Vokhnshrift (Weekly writings), Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Yidisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Dos folk (The people) in Canada; he also contributed to Yidishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia from 1914 until 1940, the year this newspaper ceased publication.  He died in Philadelphia on the first day of Shavuot in 1949.  A short time prior to his death, the first volume of his stories was published there: Mini kedem (From days of yore).

Source: Y. Tsuzmer, “Z. Balaban,” in Ha-doar (New York), p. ל (1949).

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