AVROM BLAY (AVRAHAM BLAY, TSIPORI) (September 20, 1893-April 19, 1974)
He was born in Aleksandrija, western Ukraine. He studied with his father, a Hebrew teacher, and received a popular Hebrew education. In 1910 he emigrated to the United States. He began working as a journalist in 1915, publishing in: Varhayt (Truth), Tog (Day), Forverts (Forward), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Milers vokhnshrift (Millers’ weekly writing), and Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people)—all in New York; and Di yidishe velt (The Jewish world) and Filadelfye (Philadelphia) in Philadelphia, among others. Aside from articles, he published stories and children’s songs. In 1918 he joined the Jewish Legion and remained in Palestine as a resident. He returned to the United States in 1927 and to Israel. Over the years 1932-1939, he lived in Paris. At the start of WWII, he left again for Palestine. Over the course of several years, he served on the editorial board of Nay-velt (New world) in Tel Aviv. Among his books: Literatur, kunst un kritik (Literature, art, and criticism) (Tel Aviv, 1932), 42 pp.; Zingen mir a lidele (Sing me a song) (Paris, 1938), 46 pp., children’s songs; Blumenyava, a maysele far kleyn un groys (Blumenyava, a story for [people] little and big) (Tel Aviv, 1950), 30 pp.; Arabeskn (Arabesques) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1967), 159 pp. Under the pen name Tsipori, he published in Tel Aviv a series of longer and shorter works in Hebrew. Among his dramatic writings: Berlin brent (Berlin is burning), staged reportage in fourteen scenes (Paris, 1936). In the youth clubs and schools of Tel Aviv, Blay’s one-act plays were staged in Hebrew. He was one of the founders and the first secretary of the Jewish writers and journalists club of the state of Israel. He later worked as a teacher in Hebrew schools in Tel Aviv and a lecturer for the cultural division of the Histadrut. Among his pseudonyms: Tsipori, B. Marva, and A. Ofer. He died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (December 30, 1930) under the rubric of “Naye bikher” (New books); K. Marmor, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (June 15, 1931).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 91.]