Sunday, 6 September 2015


            He was born in Ozerkov (Ozorków), near Lodz, Poland.  He was the younger brother of Volf and Mikhl Gelbart.  His father was a well-known prayer leader in the region.  Until age ten, he studied in religious primary school, thereafter secular subject matter with private tutors.  Just like his brother Volf, he too became a weaver as a youth.  He was an active leader in the Labor Zionists in Ozerkov and Lodz.  He was founder and a teacher at an evening school for adults in Ozerkov.  Like his brother Mikhl, he was a synagogue choirboy with his father, and from 1923 a teacher of singing in secular Jewish schools.  He composed music to the poetry of Yiddish and Hebrew writers Papiernikov, Broderzon, and others, and to the children’s poetry that were being sung in Jewish schools in Lodz.  He published—under the pseudonyms Sh. Benkel, Sh. Aronson, A, Meloman, among others—articles on the cantorial art, as well as reviews of concerts and Yiddish theatrical performances in Lodzher tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), 1923-1932, and in Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), 1933-1939.  He worked as a Yiddish teacher in the schools in the ghetto.  In September 1942, when the Germans confined the Jews of Lodz for eight days in their homes and then conducted a selection, Gelbart was taken from his home and murdered together with his ten-year-old son.

Sources: Mikhl Gelbart and Elimeylekh Shvarts, in Lerer-yizker bukh (Memorial volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), pp. 105-7; Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (New York, 1957).

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