Tuesday 2 June 2015


            He was born in Bialystok, into a family of merchants and intellectuals.  He studied in religious elementary schools and in a secular high school.  He was later a teacher of general subject matter in the special Yiddish-Hebrew school named for Gnessin, and he gave private lessons in Latin.  Together with Sh. Rabidovitsh, Y. Ayzenberg, and A. Sarver, he founded “Habima haivrit” (The Hebrew stage) where he himself performed.  He contributed to Di yidishe kunst (The Jewish art), in which he published his first poetic works.  From 1920 he published poems in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok, later in Undzer lebn (Our life) for which he also served on the editorial board from 1931.  He also published in Forverts (Forward) in New York, Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok), Byalistoker almanakh (Bialystok almanac), and Eygns (Expressly), among other serials.  In 1928 he received the first prize for a poem, “Harts eyn, harts oys” (Heart together, heart apart), in Forverts.  He served on the editorial board of Byalistoker leksikon (Bialystok lexicon), published articles on political and literary topics, and translated and Judaized popular Polish tangos.  He was a co-founder—and for a time literary manager—of the intimate variety theater “Gilorina.”  He was a member of the managing committee of the Bialystok journalists’ syndicate and a member of “Zayks” (the association of actors and composers).  During WWII he escaped to Soviet vRussia.  Over the years 1945-1968 he lived in Tashkent.  His work was included in Tsum zig (Toward victory) (Moscow, 1944).  He published: Heymvey (Homesick), poetry (New York, 1968), 123 pp.  His pseudonyms: Menakhem Gan and A Gilgul.

Sources: Byalistoker leksikon (1935); Pinkes byalistok (Records of Bialystok), vol. 1, p. 416; preface to Heymvey (Homesick); Y. Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn zhurnal (New York) (March 31, 1968).
Yankev Kohen

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 138.]

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