KHAYIM-SHIMEN (SIMÓN) GUBEREK (April 17, 1903-1990)
He was born in Zhelekhov (Zelechow), Poland, into a bourgeois family. He studied in religious elementary school and with private tutors. He was the founder of the local First Jewish Sports Association. In 1925, after undergoing the preparatory training course for agricultural work in the Land of Israel, he left to become a pioneer in Israel. In 1928 he returned to Poland, and from there he moved to Colombia. He lived in Bogotá and was one of the most active Jewish communal and cultural leaders. In 1946 he was elected president of the Bogotá Jewish community. He began his writing activities with correspondence pieces on Jewish life in South America in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw in 1934. He contributed articles and other journalistic works on Jewish community life and Jewish education to: Tog (Day) in New York; Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; Dos vort (The word) in Mexico; Der idishe zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Toronto; Heymat (Homeland) in Israel; Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper); Havaner bleter (Havana pages); Di kolombyaner shtime (The voice of Colombia); Zhelekhover byuletin (Zhelekhov bulletin) in Chicago; Zhelekhover yizker-bukh (Zhelekhov memory book) (Buenos Aires—he was a member of the editorial group); Zhurnal (Journal) in Caracas, Venezuela; and elsewhere. Together with Sh. Bryanski, he edited Di kolombyaner shtime in 1935. Among his books: Shloyme bryanski, zayn lebn un shafn (Shoyme Bryanski, his life and works) (Bogotá, 1957), 64 pp.; A yid in kolombye (A Jew in Colombia) (Buenos Aires, 1973), 358 pp.; Venesuela (Venezuela) (Tel Aviv: Nay lebn, 1978), 539 pp., Spanish edition (Bogotá, 1978); A yidish indzele afn dorem amerikaner continent (A little Jewish island in the South American continent) (Bogotá, 1977), 403 pp. In Spanish, he published: Yo ví crecer un país (I saw a country grow), 2 vols. (Bogotá, 1964-1980). He published as well in the Spanish-Jewish and Spanish presses.
Sources: Yankev Beler, Iber tsvantsik latayn-amerikaner lender (Across twenty Latin American countries) (Buenos Aires, 1953); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (May 22, 1956).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 148-49.]