Z. (SAMUEL) BROCHES (September 15, 1886-January 23, 1977)
He was born in Mohilev (Mogilev) province. His father, Arye-Leyb, was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a medical school graduate, but who saw to it that his children be taught Talmud. His son received a traditional Jewish education as well as a secular one. Late in 1903 he departed for Palestine. There he worked as a stone cutter, a construction worker, a custodian of vineyards, and a fisherman. On the eve of WWI, he left for Paris to study, but because of the war, he had to interrupt his studies. In 1915 he departed for Argentina, where he lived in the colony of Domingez, Entre Ríos Province. In 1917 he arrived in the United States. His literary activities began in 1907. He contributed to Fraynd (Friend), Undzer lebn (Our life), Tsayt (Time) in London, in virtually all the daily newspapers in North America, Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto, and Tsukunft (Future) and Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York. His articles and stories also appeared in translation in Hazman (The time), Hatsfira (The siren), Haolam (The world), Haivri (The Jew), Hamizraḥ (The East), Hamoledet (The homeland), Omer (Speech), Davar (Word), Zemanim (Seasons)—all Hebrew; and in the Yiddish-English Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Advocate (Boston). From 1916 to March 1917, he served (together with Yoysef Mendelson) as editor of the educational-literary weekly newspaper Der kolonist (The colonist) in Domingez, Argentina. Toward the end of WWI, he joined the Jewish Legion. On several occasions, he made trips to Palestine, and stayed there each time for a lengthy period. Among his works: Untern shotn fun khermon (Under the shadow of [Mount] Hermon), stories (New York, 1918), 258 pp.; In eybikn tuml, amerike (Amid eternal noise, America), stories (Warsaw, 1937), 275 pp.; “Di geshikhte fun der yidisher prese in masatshuzets” (The history of the Yiddish press in Massachusetts), in Yorbukh fun amopteyl (Annual from the American branch [of YIVO]), vol. 2 (New York, 1939), 31 pp.; “Der kamf tsvishn ortodoksn un reform-yidn in boston in 19nt y”h” (The struggle between Orthodox and Reform Jews in the nineteenth century), Yivo-bleter (New York) 38 (1954), pp. 146-53. He also published in English two volumes with documents about Jews in America. Recently, he spent a great deal of time in the state of Israel, and there the Hebrew edition of his Untern shotn fun khermon appeared with the title Batsel ḥermon (In the shadow of [Mount] Hermon) (Tel Aviv), 180 pp. He also published Der yardn roysht (The Jordan River thunders) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1937), 244 pp., was translated into Hebrew as Hayarden soen (Tel Aviv, 1973, 1974), 286 pp. His large collection of materials on the history of Jews in the United States was donated to the Beit Berl Institute in Israel. Among his pen names: Y. Idelson, A. Sosin, Dixi, A. Mendelson, Abu Salim, and A Fremder, amid others. He was living in Boston. .From 1974 he was living in Israel, and he died in Jerusalem.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Iser Talush, Yidishe shrayber (Yiddish writers) (New York, 1953), pp. 161-63; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 192; Z. Vaynper, “Sh. ben-tsiyens hoyz in tel aviv” (Sh. Ben-Zion’s house in Tel Aviv), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 16, 1932); Avrom Reyzen, “Milkhome-yorn” (War years), Tsukunft (New York) (July 1930); Ts. Mintser, “In eybikhn tuml” (Amid eternal noise), Bikher-nayes (Warsaw) (September-October 1938); Mintser, “Der yardn roysht” (The garden rumbles), Bikher-nayes (November-December 1938). See also: Davar (Tel Aviv) (October 13, 1954 and April 19, 1954); Maariv (Tammuz 1946); Omer (December 30, 1954).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 121.]