AVROM BULKIN (ABRAHAM BUŁKIN) (October 31, 1894-1941)
He was born in Vilna, attended religious elementary school through age twelve, and later studied at a Russian public school. He graduated from the Vilna Teachers’ Institute in 1915 and worked as a teacher in a state primary school. During the period of the German occupation (1916) of Vilna, when the Society for Child Care founded the Jewish model school for girls (later, the Shimen Frug School), Bulkin became a teacher there of natural science and geography, and he remained a teacher in the lay Jewish schools in Vilna until the end of his life. In 1930 he became the director of the large Mefitse haskalah [Society for the promotion of enlightenment (among the Jews of Russia)] School in Vilna, and he led the school until it was destroyed at the time of the Nazi invasion. He wrote a great deal about pedagogical matters. He published in the local daily Yiddish press as well as in school publications: Di naye shul (The new school), Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees), and Khaver (Friend)—all under his own name as well as under the pseudonyms: A. Yitskhoki, Avromele, and A. B-n. He also occupied himself a great deal with children’s dramas and wrote booklets on the subject, which were frequently republished. Bulkin composed the following schoolbooks: an anthology for Erstn yortsayt nokh Y. L. Perets (The first anniversary following the death of Y. L. Perets), for nursery schools (1916); Zamlbukh fun kinder-lider un shpiln mit gezang (Collection of children’s poems and games with songs) (written with L. Efron) (Vilna, 1917); Vi azoy organizirt men a shpil-plats? (How does one organize a play space?), for the association, Aze [a health-home] (Vilna, 1920); Ruike shpiln (Quiet games) (Vilna, 1921), 64 pp.; Tomas Edison, zayn lebn un Zayne optuen (Thomas Edison, his life and his pranks) (Vilna, 1922), 47 pp.; Fun noent un vayt (From near and far), a geography reader (written with Sh. Hurvits-Zalkem) (Vilna, 1923), 160 pp.; Fizikalishe geografye fun poyln (Physical geography of Poland) (Vilna, 1928), 129 pp.; and he translated into Yiddish Aeroplan (Airplane) by Artur Fürst (Warsaw, 1929), 109 pp. Bulkin was in Vilna at the time of the Nazi invasion of the city. He was taken away and shot in the summer of 1941 in Ponar, the mass murder site behind Vilna. His wife Ester Bulkin was deported to Majdanek.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; H. Abramovitsh, in Lerer yisker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954-1955), pp. 37-38; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon, vol. 1; A. Golomb, in Bikher velt (Warsaw) (May 1928); Sh. Katsheginski (Szmerke Kaczerginski), Khurbn vilne (The destruction of Vilna) (New York, 1947).