Monday 23 February 2015


BEN-SHOLEM (b. 1890)
This was the pseudonym of Shimen Shneyder.  He was born in Smorgon (Smarhon’), Vilna region, into a Hassidic family.  He attended religious primary school, had private tutors, and also studied at a Russian public school.  From 1909 he was living in the United States.  He lived for a while in New York, later moving to Chicago where he worked as a laborer in a rubber factory.  His first publications were poetry in Di velt (The world) in Chicago in 1918.  Later he contributed to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Dos vort (The word), and Di vegetarishe velt (The vegetarian world), among other serials.  He collaborated on the literary editions of the Chicago workers’ group: In nebl (In the haze) of 1919, Rezonans (Resonance), Yugend (Youth), and Af katoves (In jest).  Under the influence of the Introspectivists, he published poems and free verse in the anthologies: Yung-shikago (Young Chicago) of 1922, Ineynem (Together) of 1925, and Midvest-mayrev (Midwest-west) of 1933, among others.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Bal-Makhshoves, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 3, 1924); Lea Mishkin, in Pinkes shikago (Records of Chicago) (1951), pp. 4-5; Midvest-mayrev (Chicago, 1933), pp. 19-33.

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