BERL BOYM (BERNARD BAUM) (1892-1976?)
Born in the town of Felshtin, Kamenets-Podolski, Ukraine, to a religious, poor parents. He attended religious elementary school and yeshivas. In 1906 he was living in the United States, where he became a worker in a tailor’s shop. By 1936 he was living in New York, and subsequent to that in Willes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was the owner of a tailoring workshop and active in the national union. He served in the American army, 1916-1918, and fought on the war front. He began writing stories in 1935 (“Oyf der elter” [In one’s declining years], Der yidisher zhurnal [The Jewish journal], Toronto). He published novellas, stories, and one-act plays—with realistic content but with a quiet, lyrical tone—in Der yidisher zhurnal in Toronto, Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal, Yidishe shtime (Voice of Yiddish) in Mexico, Yidishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia, Shikager kuryer (Chicago courier) in Chicago, and Nay vokhnblat (New weekly news), Oyfsnay (Afresh), Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), and from time to time Forverts (Forward) in New York. His novel, which concerned the life of an American soldier during the years of WWI, was published in Der yidisher zhurnal and in Keneder odler. He also produced two volumes of stories: Oyf a shmoler stezhke (On a narrow footpath) (New York, 1941), 286 pp.; and Geknipt un gebundn, dertseylungen (Tied up and bound, stories) (Wilkes-Barre, 1961), 500, xii pp. He was a member of the editorial committee for the memory volume, Felshtin, dedicated to the victims of pogroms in Ukraine in the years 1920-1921 (New York, 1937) (670 pp. in Yiddish and 23 in English, with pictures); a story of his was included therein. He received two awards from YIVO for his memoirs: Farvos ikh hob farlozt mayn alte heym (Why I left my old home) and Mayne finf yor in der trayengel-fabrik (My five years in the Triangle Factory). He died in New York.
Sources: Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (New York) (October 25, 1942); Dr. Y. Unterman, in Yontef-bleter 1-3 (Philadelphia, 1945).
[Addition information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 70.]