Sunday 14 June 2015


RIVKE GALIN (1890-August 8, 1935)
            She was born in Lekhevitsh (Lyakhavichy), Byelorussia, into a merchant-scholarly household.  At the age of ten, she lost her mother and was raised by her father.  She studied Jewish and general subject matter in private with tutors and teachers.  She early on became acquainted with the work of Hebrew and Yiddish writers.  In 1907 she emigrated to the United States.  She worked in a factory in New York and studied in the evenings.  She became captivated by the effervescent, Jewish, spiritual life of this period.  Around 1910 she came down with a lung illness and had to live for a time in a sanitarium in Denver, where she befriended Yehoash.  It was at that time that she began writing poetry and prose.  In 1914 in San Francisco she married the writer and community leader Noyekh Mishkovski.  In 1915, for the first time, she published poems in Progres (Progress) in Los Angeles, and a story in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.  In 1915 she and her husband undertook a trip through the Far East.  They lived for four years in Harbin, China, where a significant Jewish settlement had assembled at that time.  She worked there as a teacher in Jewish schools as well as in courses for adults.  She was at the time best known for children’s poems which she wrote especially for the Jewish schools.  A number of these poems were translated into Russian and published in local Russian Jewish publications.  In 1921 she left Harbin for Palestine, where she lived for a year.  At the end of 1922 she returned to New York.  In the general rise in Jewish cultural life in the prewar era, she wrote and published a great deal, poems and stories, in among other serials: Kinderland (Children’s land), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), the children’s sections of the daily Yiddish press, Amerikaner (American), and Tsukunft (Future)—in New York; Khaver (Friend) in Vilna; and Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Buenos Aires.  Throughout the Jewish world, her poems were included in readers and textbooks and reissued in local editions for children.  People wrote music to accompany her poems, and these were sung in the schools and at concerts for children.  Among her books: Taybele (Little dove), poems (Chicago, 1933), 158 pp., second printing with illustrations by N. Kozlovski (New York, 1937), 160 pp.; A montshik meydele (A tiny girl) (Warsaw, 1934), 15 pp., second printing (Warsaw: Kinder-fraynd, 1938), 16 pp. (in 1938 this same press brought out Galin’s booklet, Lider [Poems], 19 pp.); Lider un dertseylungen (Poems and stories) (New York: Rivke-Galin-Komitet, 1937), 160 pp. (after the death of the author).  In 1925 her only child, Taybele, died at age six and one-half.  After that her already weak health was completely ruined.  She died in New York.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins, antologye (Yiddish women poets, an anthology) (Chicago, 1928); R. Nevadovska, in Tsukunft (February 1934); D. Mairson, in Tsukunft (December 1935); A. Nairman, in Shikago (July-August 1935); N. Mishkovski, Mayn lebn un mayne rayzes (My life and my travels) (New York, 1947), vol. 1, pp. 324-31, and vol. 2, pp. 418, 425, 426-32; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4806.

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