Wednesday 21 December 2016


YANKEV YERUZALIMSKI (July 2, 1897-May 24, 1979)
            He was born in Bialystok.  In 1924 he moved to Antwerp.  In 1940 escaped to Marseilles, France, and in 1941 he made his way to New York.  From 1961 he was living in Los Angeles.  He wrote journalistic articles and short stories in the daily newspapers: Der belgisher tog (The Belgian day), which appeared in Antwerp until 1940; Amerikaner (American) and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok) in New York.  He co-edited the pamphlet Lider un bilder fun byalistoker geto (Poems and pictures from the Bialystok ghetto) (New York, 1948), 12 pp.  He authored: Zikhroynes un shriftn fun a byalistoker (Memoirs and writings of a man from Bialystok) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1984), 342 pp.  He died in Los Angeles.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 305, 544.

Tuesday 20 December 2016


ESTER YESELSON (1891-December 13, 1948)
            She was born in Moscow, Russia.  In 1907 she graduated from a women’s high school, and in 1914 she received her doctoral degree in psychology and pedagogy from Moscow University.  From her student days, she was much taken with Jewish school curricula.  In 1922 she went to Berlin where she was active in OZE (Obschestvo zdravookhraneniia evreev—Society for the Protection of the Health of the Jewish Population) and the Union of Russian Jews, and she directed Jewish educational institutions.  In 1925 she made a research trip through the kibbutzim in Israel.  With Hitler’s coming to power, she settled in London.  She worked as a teacher in the local Workmen’s Circle school.  She contributed to Dr. Y. N. Shteynberg in the Frayland League.  In 1945 she moved to the United States.  She was secretary of the women’s committee connected to the Frayland League.  She published a cycle of travel descriptions of Israel in Di velt (The world) in Berlin (1925), and later published articles in: Tsukunft (Future) in New York; Fraye shriftn (Free writings) and Dos fraye vort (The free word) in London; and Afn shvel (At the threshold) in New York; among others.  She translated into Yiddish Hendrik de Man’s work, Di psikhologye fun sotsyalizm (The psychology of socialism [original: Zur Psychologie des Sozialismus]), with a foreword by Dr. Y. N. Shteynberg, 2 volumes (Warsaw, 1935), 325 pp.  She also wrote under the name A. Yoselson.  She dies in New York.

Sources: Dr. H. Frank, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1935); Sh. G. and H. Abramovitsh, in Afn shvel (New York) (March-April 1949); Y. y. shteynberg-arkhiv (The Y. Y. Shteynberg archive) at YIVO (New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


BOREKH YELENSKI (1888-June 18, 1974)
            He was born and raised in the Caucasus in a non-Jewish environment.  He was an active leader of the anarchist movement in Russia, later in the United States, where he settled in Chicago.  In book form: In sotsyaln shturem, zikhroynes fun der rusisher revolutsye (In a social storm, memoirs of the Russian Revolution) (Buenos Aires, 1967), 266 pp.  In English he published: In the Struggle for Equality: The Story of the Anarchist Red Cross (Chicago, 1958), 96 pp.  He died in Miami Beach.

Source: Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 1974).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 304.


            He was born in Volpe (Wołpa), near Grodno, Russian Poland.  He published poems and stories in local periodicals in Vilna, Grodno, Slonim, and Volkovisk (Wołkowysk).  He died of tuberculosis, having left in manuscript poetry, ballads, a long novel Der nyeman (The Neman [River]), and stories about life in Jewish communities.  The manuscripts are in the hands of relatives in Israel and have as yet not been published in book form.

Source: “Dovid-leyzer yelinovitsh” (Dovid-Leyzer Yelinovitsh), in Volkovisker yizker-bukh (Wołkowysk remembrance volume) (New York, 1949), p. 621.


SHOLEM YELIN (ca. 1896-1943)
            He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), to a father who was a bookseller.  He was the grandson of Yitskhok Lifshits, the author of such religious texts as Sukat shalom (Tabernacle of peace) and Taame minhagim (The tastes of customs).  He was cofounder of the Orthodox youth organization “Tevuna” (Reason).  When there was a rift in the organization, he became the cofounder of the Shedlets organization “Agudat Shelume Emune Yisrael” (Organization of the peaceful and faithful of Israel) which later became Agudat Yisrael, and he served as a council member of the Shedlets Jewish community administration.  Over the years 1924-1928, he was co-editor (with Rabbi Meyer Shvartsman, Y. A. Tsuker, and Shmuel Ginzburg) of the Shedlets weekly newspaper Unzer veg (Our path), in which he wrote essays under the pen name Shilomi.  During the Nazi occupation he was confined in the Shedlets ghetto, and when it was liquidated he was transported with his family to Treblinka and murdered there.

Sources: A. Faynzilber, Af di khurves fun mayn heym, khurbn shedlets (At the destruction of my home, the Holocaust in Shedlets) (Tel Aviv, 1952); Yitsḥak Kaspi, in Sefer yizkor lekehilat shedlets (Remembrance volume for the community of Shedlets [Siedlce]) (Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires, 1956); information from Rabbi Shvartsman in Winnipeg.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

N. B. “Sholem Yelin” is known as a pseudonym for Yude-Arye Tsuker.  See the entry for the latter in this series.


MEYER YELIN (October 3, 1910-2000)

            He was a prose writer, brother of the writer and partisan leader Khayim Yelin, born in Srednik (Seredžius), Lithuania, into a family of teachers. With the expulsion of Lithuanian Jewry during WWI (1915), his family made its way to Voronezh, Russia, returning to Lithuania in 1921 at which time they settled in Kovno (then capital of the country). His father was head of the library of the association “Libhober fun visn” (Lovers of knowledge), which was a center of literary and cultural activities. Meyer and his younger brother, Khayim, helped their father in his library work and became promising, young Yiddish writers. In 1928 Meyer graduated with flying colors from the Kovno Hebrew high school, which awarded him the Edward M. Chase scholarship to study in Darmstadt, Germany at the senior technical school. He returned in 1933 with a diploma as a construction engineer and went on to complete his studies at Kovno University. He was a member of the central committee of the Zionist Socialists in Lithuania. With the German invasion of Lithuania, he and his family tried to escape from Lithuania, but they were caught and imprisoned in late July 1941 in the Kovno ghetto. During the German occupation, he was active with his brother in the Jewish partisan movement. In 1944 he escaped from the ghetto and survived the war in hiding. His brother fell in April 1944 while organizing a major camp of ghetto fighters in the partisan forests. After the war he returned to Kovno and cofounded the first postwar Jewish school and children’s home in Kovno for children survivors.

He began writing poems and stories in Yiddish when quite young, debuting in print with a story in Di idishe shtime (The Jewish voice) in Kovno in 1928, and from that point he published stories, reportage pieces, poems, and articles in the newspaper Dos vort (The word) and the weekly Di tsayt (The times) of which he was a member of the editorial board. His work also appeared in: Shlyakhn (Unpaved roads) (Kovno: Sh. Yoselevitsh, 1932), Toyern (Gates) (Kovno: Yoselevitsh, 1937), Bleter (Leaves) (1938), and Naye bleter (New leaves) (1940), among other serials in Kovno; Der emes (The truth) and Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow; and elsewhere. In the ghetto, he wrote stories recounting his experiences and observations. Only a portion of these manuscripts has survived. After the war, he returned almost exclusively to literary work, in which the theme of martyrdom and heroism of the Jews under Hitler’s occupation dominated. In 1948 he brought out his documentary volume Partizaner in kaunaser geto (Partisans in the Kaunas [Kovno] ghetto), which he wrote with the leading figure of the anti-fascist fighting organization, D. Gerpern. Yelin’s longer collection of stories on the topic of the ghetto, Zeyere blikn hobn zikh bagegnt (Their glances met one another), appeared in Moscow in 1972, as well as in Vilna in Lithuanian. He also brought out six volumes of prose of the topic of the Holocaust. In October 1973 he made aliya to Israel. In 1977 the committee for Yiddish and Yiddish culture in Israel awarded Yelin’s book Der prayz fun yenem broyt, dertseylungen (The price of that bread, stories) the Zecharia-Ganapolsky Prize in Paris. The following year, 1978, he published his collection of short stories and sketches, Blut un vofn (Blood and weapons). The longer novella, Di mirazhn funem amok-loyfer oskar grik (The mirages of Oskar Grik who ran amok), was published in 1981 and was awarded a prize from the world center of the Yiddish PEN club in New York. He also received prizes for his subsequent works: Borves iber shney (Barefoot over the snow) of 1984, Fayerrisn inem khoyshekh, dertseylungen (Burning in the darkness, stories) of 1988, and Bay di gliendike koyln (Near the glowing coals) of 1994. All of his books shared the same theme: Jewish martyrdom and heroism during the bloody rule of the swastika. Meyer Yelin was honored for his writings with numerous other distinctions and awards, among the Dovid Hofshteyn Proze, the Itsik Manger Prize, and the Dultsin Prize.

His books include: Partizaner in kaunaser geto, with D. Gelpern (Moscow: Emes, 1948), 164 pp.; Mirties fortuose (Forts of death), a work in Lithuanian about Nazi atrocities in the Kovno region (Vilnius: Valstybinė politinės ir mokslinės literatūros leidykla, 1957), 78 pp., with illustrations (M. Eglinis); Zeyere blikn hobn zikh bagegnt (Moscow: Sovetsi pisatel, 1972), 380 pp., Lithuanian edition as well; Der prayz fun yenem broyt, dertseylungen (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1977), 268 pp.; Blut un vofn (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1978), 250 pp.; Di mirazhn funem amok-loyfer oskar grik (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1981), 190 pp.; Borves iber shney  (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1984), 253 pp.; Fayerrisn inem khoyshekh, dertseylungen (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1988), 238 pp.; Bay di gliendike koyln (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1994), 302 pp. He also compiled, with Helene Khatskeles, the textbook in Yiddish: Der nayer alef beys (The new ABCs) (Moscow, 1948), 64 pp. In the U.S.S.R. he published in: Heymland (Homeland) and Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow.

Sources: N. B. in Naye bleter (Kovno, 1939), pp. 122-23; A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); Y. Mir, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (May 22, 1945); H. Khatskeles, in Eynikeyt (March 25, 1947); M. Rabinovitsh, in Eynikeyt (September 21, 1948); Yoysef Gar, Umkum fun der yidisher kovne (Destruction of Jewish Kovno) (Munich, 1948), pp. 266, 332; N. Y. Gotlib, in anthology Lite (Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951), p. 1106; Dr. Sh. Grinhoyz, in Lite, p. 1753; A. Gonter, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (November 20, 1956); L. Garfunkel, Kovna hayehudit beḥurbana (Jewish Kovno in the Holocaust) (Jerusalem, 1959), p. 168.

Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 304; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 180-82.]


KHAYIM YELIN (April 1912-April 6, 1944)
            He was born in Vilke (Vilkija), Lithuania.  His father was the director of the Kovno Jewish library, “Libhober fun visn” (Lovers of knowledge).  Khayim Yelin graduated from the Kovno Hebrew high school and later studied economics at Kovno University.  He was active in leftist circles in Lithuania.  When the Bolsheviks seized Lithuania in 1940, he became the administrator of a multilingual printing trust in Kovno and, until the German occupation, played an important role in local political life.  He debuted in print with a sketch in Folksblat (People’s newspaper) (Kovno, 1930), and he later published in the same paper stories, essays, and theater reviews.  He contributed as well to the Kovno literary publications: Oyfgang (Arise) in 1933, Brikn (Bridges) in 1937, Bleter (Leaves) in 1938, Naye bleter (New leavers) in 1939; and while the Bolsheviks were in control, Kovner emes (Kovno truth), Vilner emes (Vilna truth), and Shtraln (Beams [of light]), among others.  During the German occupation, he was the commander of the Jewish partisan organization.  He led an armed fight with the Nazis in other ghettos as well.  He was especially concerned with rescuing Jewish children from the ghettos into the forests and the partisans.  He was known as the heroic Vlaros.  On April 6, 1944, when he was recognized on a Kovno street by a Gestapo agent, he shot the agent and escaped over a fence.  When he was shortly thereafter surrounded by Germans, he cut his blood vessels so as not to fall into the hands of the Nazis alive.  A memorial volume for him was later published: Khayim yelin, der geto kemfer un shrayber (Chaim Yelin, the ghetto fighter and writer) (Tel Aviv: Igud Yotse Lita, 1975), 316 pp., which also includes his ghetto writings, Hebrew translation (1980).

Sources: N. Grinblat, Tav-shin-he (The shoah) (Tel Aviv, 1945), see index; M. Yelin, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (March 24, 1945); Y. Shternberg, in Eynikeyt (September 13, 1945); Y. Mur, in Eynikeyt (April 23, 1946); H. Osherovitsh, in Eynikeyt (December 26, 1946); S. Rabinovitsh, in Eynikeyt (September 21, 1948); Kh. Yelin, in Litvisher yid (New York) (April-May, 1946); Shmuel Niger, Kidesh hashem (Sanctification of the name) (New York, 1947), pp. 406-7; Yoysef Gar, Umkum fun der yidisher kovne (Destruction of Jewish Kovno) (Munich, 1948), pp. 190, 225-28; N. Y. Gotlib, in anthology Lite (Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951), p.1106; Kh. Meyzerovitsh, in anthology Lite (Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951), pp. 1909-10; B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), p. 207; L. Garfunkel, Kovna hayehudit beḥurbana (Jewish Kovno in the Holocaust) (Jerusalem, 1959), see index; Sh. Kats, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (February 6, 1976); Kh. Lifshits, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (April 13, 1976); D. Matis, in Forverts (New York) (April 18, 1976); Sh. Noy, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (May 2, 1976); Y. Khrust, in Maariv (Tel Aviv) (July 9, 1976).
Khayim Leyb Fuks    

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 304.]


BETSALEL YEVNIN (EWNIN) (b. ca. 1840).
            He was born in Grodno, into a rabbinical family.  He studied with his father, the brilliant Avraham Yonah of Horodno, and in Lithuanian yeshivas.  Around 1880 he moved to the United States.  He was a rabbi and orator in New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee.  He published articles in Di yidishe gazetten (The Jewish gazette) in New York, and polemical works—in Yiddish and Hebrew—against Reform Judaism and against the anarchist movement: Lemazkeret (As a remembrance) (New York, 1892), 25 pp.; Hashkem vedaber, gezamelte erfahrungen in aller frihe, der allteglikhen shprekhenden fakten betsiglikh dem yudenthum in amerika (Wake up and talk, collected experiences in much earlier, daily stunning facts regarding Judaism in America), part 1 (Chicago, 1895), 36 pp., part 2 (Milwaukee, 1903), 32 pp.

Sources: Froym Daynard, Kehilat amerika (American community) (St. Louis, Missouri, 1926), p. 70; Lea Mishkin, Pinkas shikago (Records of Chicago) (1952), p. 117.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SHIMEN YEZHOR (November 29, 1893-December 15, 1963)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshiva, and in the Modzhitser Hassidic conclave.  He later became a Yiddish typesetter.  From 1918 he was an active leader in the Bund.  In 1935 he moved to Mexico City where he served as vice-chairman of the Ashkenazi community, chairman of the Society for Culture and Relief, and other organizations.  From 1948 he was a member of the world coordinating committee of the Bund.  He published (also using the pen name Sh. Litman) articles in: Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature) in Warsaw (1934); and later, Di tsayt (The times), Tribune (Tribune) of which he was also editor in 1939, and Foroys (Onward) for which he served also as co-editor in 1940—all in Mexico City.  He died in Mexico City.

Sources: Sh. Tsfat and Sh. Zabludovski, in Foroys (Mexico City) (December 1, 1943); Y. Krishtal and Sh. Tsfas, in Foroys (December 1, 1953).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


M. YEVNIN (b. 1868)
            He was born in Grodno, Russian Poland, the grandson of Shmuel Yevnin (Jevnin), the author of Naḥalat olamim (Eternal inheritance) and other religious texts.  He initially received a traditional Jewish education, later completing his studies as a medical doctor.  He practiced in Grodno, Bialystok, and Vilna.  He was the author of a series of booklets on health questions, which he published under the general title “Library of Hygiene,” among them: Reynlekhkeyt un gezund (Cleanliness and health) (Vilna, 1900), 18 pp., second edition (1901); Vi azoy ken men lang leben? (How can one live a long time?) (Vilna, 1901), 32 pp.; Muter un kind (Mother and child) (Vilna, 1902), 24 pp.

Sources: Foreword to Reynlekhkeyt un gezund (Vilna, 1901), pp. 3-5.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Monday 19 December 2016


MORTKHE YEVZEROV (July 18, 1883-August 1941)
            He was born in Nyezhin (Nizhyn), Chernigov region, Ukraine.  He studied in a Russian high school, from which he was expelled because of his revolutionary activities.  In 1900 he moved to Vilna and became active in the Bund.  He spent time in prison.  He then lived illegally, known by the party name “Volodya.”  He worked, 1906-1907, in the administration of the Bundist daily newspaper Der veker (The alarm) and Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Vilna.  From 1907 until WWI, he lived in Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked for the foreign committee of the Bund, later returning to Russia where he was active in relief work on behalf of Jewish war refugees.  In 1919 he settled in Vilna.  He was active on behalf of Yekopo (Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”), the Central Education Committee, and other organizations.  Over the years 1927-1940, he was an employee and for a time director of the Jewish cooperative people’s bank in Vilna.  He was known as the “bibliograph of the Bund.”  Nearly 10,000 bibliographic entries on the Bundist press, which he assembled over his entire life, lie buried somewhere in Vilna, after the Germans entered the city in 1941.  Of his bibliographic writings, he published: “Di yidishe arbeter-bavegung in datn, 1876-1922” (The Jewish labor movement by dates, 1876-1922) and “Di prese fun bund, 1896-1922” (The Bund’s press, 1876-1922), in 25 yor—zamlbukh (Anthology at 25) (Warsaw, 1922); and “Tsu der  biblyografye fun ‘bund’” (On the bibliography of the Bund), in Arbeter luekh (Workers’ calendar) (Warsaw, 1923).  He was killed by the Nazis at Ponar, near Vilna.  A son of his, a doctor, was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sources: Pinkes fun yekopo (Records of Yekopo [Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”]) (Vilna, 1931), p. 760; Unzer tsayt (New York) (January-February 1947); M. Bernshteyn, in Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), pp. 129-31.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YUDE-TSVI YEVZEROV (1854-April 16, 1935)
            He was born in Amtshislov (Mstislavl), Byelorussia.  For a time he was rabbi in Khaslavitsh (Khaslavich), before traveling through Russia giving sermons on Ḥibat-tsiyon (Love of Zion).  He was the founder of various Zionist groups and a member of the Odessa Council (of the Lovers of Zion).  He published articles in: Tsederboym’s Yudishes folks-blat (Jewish people’s newspaper) (St. Petersburg, 1881-1888); Sholem-Aleykhem’s Di yudishe folks-biblyotek (The Jewish people’s library), vols. 1 and 2 (Kiev, 1888-1889); as well as in Hamelits (The advocate), Hatsfira (The siren), and Yatskan’s Yudishes (idishes) tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  In 1922 he moved to Israel and until his death gave sermons in the great synagogue in Tel Aviv.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: A-R (Malachi), in Hadoar (New York) (May 22, 1935); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 5 (Tel Aviv, 1952), p. 2359; N. B. Y., in Entsiklopediya shel hatsiyonut hadatit (Encyclopedia of religious Zionism), vol. 2 (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 465-67.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He came from Warsaw, Poland.  He was active in the organization to settle Jews on the land and on assignment traveled to Argentina in 1889 to investigate the local Baron Hirsch colony.  Together with Izidor Helman, he was the author of Di beshraybung fon argentina in ihre kolonyen (A description of Argentina and its colonies) (Warsaw, 1890), 64 pp., which was published in five editions, the last in 1893 with the title: De beshraybung fon argentina un ihre kolonyen mitn bild fun baran hirsh un zayne byografye un der plan fun di kolonyen (A description of Argentina and its colonies with a picture of Baron Hirsch and his biography and the plan for the colonies), 108 pp.

Source: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 9.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Vilna.  In 1913 he graduated from the medical faculty the University of Berlin.  He was a prominent community leader in Vilna over the years 1921-1939.  He was founder and chairman of the Jewish Art Society and its drama studio and of the Jewish Musical Institute, a member of the Polish Jewish central council, vice-chairman of the Vilna TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia [Society for the protection of health]), and the author of pamphlets (in Yiddish, Russian, and German) on medical questions.  He contributed work to the monthly journal Sotsyale meditsin (Social medicine) (Warsaw, 1928-1939).  He was living in New York from the summer of 1939 until his death.

Sources: E. Y. Goldshmidt, in Vilne, a zamlbukh gevidmet der shtot vilne (Vilna, an anthology dedicated to the city of Vilna), ed. Y. Yeshurin (New York, 1935), pp. 418-19; information from Y. Yeshurin in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YOYSEF-MEYER YAVETS (1832-March 16, 1914)
            He was born in Tiktin (Tykocin), Poland, in a family which drew its pedigree back to the Maharal of Prague [Judah Loew ben Bezalel, 1520-1609], the Maharsha [Shmuel Eidels, 1555-1631], the Rema [Moses Isserles, 1529-1572], and the Terumat Hadeshen [Israel Isserlin, 1390-1460].  On his father’s grandfather side, he was descended from Rabbi Moshe-Zev Yavets, a rabbi in Tiktin and later in Bialystok.  He was a great Talmud scholar, but he had no desire to be a rabbi, and following his marriage he became a merchant.  He was, however, unsuccessful at such and in 1861 in Warsaw became a Torah scroll inspector.  He made a name for himself in the observant Jewish realm for his translations of rabbinic literature into Yiddish which he would sign with his own name and with the pseudonym “Hamaatik” (the translator).  He translated into Yiddish: the entire Mishna in six volumes (Warsaw, 1876-1880); Sefer eyn yaakov (Volume from the eye of Jacob) (Warsaw, 1887); Sefer midrash raba (The great midrash), including the scrolls (Warsaw, 1887); Sefer haberit (The book of the covenant) by Rabbi Pinkhas of Vilna (Warsaw, 1898), 160 pp., second printing (Warsaw, 1899); Ben sira (Ben Sira) (Warsaw, 1907), 120 pp.; Byografye fun groysn tane rebe akive (Biography of the great Tanna Rabbi Akiva), from the German (Piotrków, 1924?), 84 pp.; Gedulat david umelukhat shaul (The greatness of David and the monarchy of Saul) (Piotrków, 1911), 42 pp.; Shevile olam (The world’s pathways), by Shimshon Halevi Bloch—the original was in Hebrew (Zalkov, 1822), second edition (Lemberg, 1969), third edition (Warsaw, 1882)—three volumes (Piotrków, 1914), 71 pp.; Sefer neḥamat tsiyon veyerushalayim (Book of comfort of Zion and Jerusalem) (Warsaw, 1916), 120 pp.  Zalmen Reyzen ascribes to Yavets as well the authorship of the religious text Shevile hamelamdim (Teachers’ pathways), a translation and explanation of a portion of the Talmud’s tractate Bava metsia (The middle gate).  One should add that the first author-exegete of this work, according to the title page of the text, is “Aharon, son the Rabbi Avraham Ḥayim Melamed, from the community in Uman” (Warsaw, 1865).  In 1897 there was published in Warsaw a second Shevile hamelamdim, with changes on the title page and signed by Yavets.  Included in the text itself were some important alterations in comparison to the first edition of Shevile hamelmdim, and the topics are numbered and divided into twenty chapters.  Yavets’s translations were intertwined with his own explanations, his own examples, and his own observations—all written in a popular Yiddish style.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (with a bibliography); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (September 12, 1`947); Shtarkman, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 28, 1954); A. Nyuman, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 30-31 (1948), p. 388.


HERSH EYVIN (YEHOSHUA HESCHEL YEIVIN) (May 10, 1891-April 13, 1970)
            He was born in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), Podolia.  When he was two years old, his mother died, and he was raised by his relatives in Mezritsh (Międzyrzecz), Poland.  At age sixteen, he moved to Vilna, where he graduated from Kahan’s high school.  He later studied medicine in Moscow, and during WWI he was a military doctor in the Russian army.  From 1919 he was back in Vilna, where he worked as a teacher and school doctor in Hebrew and Yiddish schools.  In 1924 he settled in the land of Israel.  His literary work began with the story “Ferloren” (Lost) in the anthology Knaspen (Buds) (Vilna, 1911).  He later published poems, stories, and articles in: Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), organ of the Vilna Zionist organization (1919), Unzer frayhayt (Our freedom) (1919), and Vayter bukh (Volume for Vayter)—all in Vilna; Ilustrirte velt (Illustrated world) (1919) in Warsaw; Unzer bavegung (Our movement), a Labor Zionist periodical (1922), in Berlin; and Dorem afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; among others.  He also penned the preface to Khaykil Lunski’s book, Fun vilner geto (From the Vilna ghetto) (Vilna, 1920).  He contributed as well to Hatekufa (The epoch) with a series of fictional works and aesthetic-philosophical essays; and for Shtibel Publishers (Warsaw) he translated Romain Rolland’s ten-volume Jean Christophe as Yan Kristof (1921-1930).  He was also the author of such Hebrew books as: Uri tsvi grinberg, meshorer meḥokek (Uri Zvi Greenberg, poet-lawmaker) (Tel Aviv, 1937/1938), 96 pp.; Yerushalayim meḥaka (Tel Aviv, 1938/1939), 86 pp.  He translated into Hebrew: Sholem Ash, Kidush hashem (Sanctification of the name [original: Kidesh hashem]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1926), 114 pp.; Motke ganav (Motke the thief [original: Motke ganef]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1929), 215 pp.; Khayim lederers tsurikkumen (The return of Chaim Lederer); Hamakhshefa mikastilya (The witch of Castile [original: Di kishefmakherin fun kastilyen]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1960), 127 pp.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Vilna anthology, edited by Y. Yeshurin (New York, 1935), p. 740; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967), vol. 2.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 303.]


            He came from Mariopil, Crimean district, Russia.  In his youth he moved to the United States and worked there as a Hebrew teacher, a personal assistant to his rebbe, and a preacher in New York.  He authored the small religious text, Poraḥat hagefenyom yizre’el (Bloom of the vine, Jezreel day), in Hebrew and stylized Yiddish, published in booklets with a foreword in which he wrote: “Here will be explained the day when the Lord will bring together his widely dispersed people,” explained according the book of Daniel and other sources literally and homiletically, part 1 (New York, 1910), 31 pp., part 2 (New York, 1913), 16 pp.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Sunday 18 December 2016


LEON YURMAN (b. January 22, 1906)
            He was born in Horodenko, eastern Galicia, to a father who was a wine merchant.  He studied in religious primary school, in a German school, and in a Ukrainian high school.  In late 1923 he moved to the United States.  He settled in New York and became a furrier.  Until 1939 he was active in the leftist trade unions.  He was also a member of the Proletpen writers’ group.  He began writing in 1924 in German, publishing stories and poems in New York’s German-language: Die Volkszeitung (The people’s newspaper) and Der Arbeiter (The worker).  In 1926 he switched to Yiddish and published his first story in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.  From 1927 he was a contributor to Di frayhayt (The freedom), in which he published poems, stories, a series of travel descriptions entitled “Afn amerikaner shlyakh” (On the unpaved American road), the novel Bumtsye reznik (Bumtsye Resnick), and portions of a novel entitled A hoyz baym ist river (A house on the East River), among other items.  He was also a contributor (1926-1938) to the Communist magazine Der hamer (The hammer) and the almanac Yunyon-skver (Union Square) of 1930.  Over the years 1933-1935, he edited the monthly Signal (Signal), in which he published chapters of his novel Foryer (Furrier).  Among his books: Tsurik tsum lebn (Back to life), stories (New York, 1927), 93 pp.  His work was also represented in: In shotn fun tlies, almanakh fun der yidisher proletarisher literatur in di kapitalistishe lender (In the shadow of the gallows, an almanac of Yiddish proletarian literature in the capitalist countries) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932).

Sources: M. Olgin, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (February 12, 1929; March 21, 1931); L. Ziskind, in Morgn-frayhayt (September 7, 1931); B. Fenster, in Morgn-frayhayt (July 11, 1932); A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Kiev) (1935), p. 208; Zalmen Reyzen, in Yoyvl-bukh keneder odler (Jubilee volume of Canada Eagle) (Montreal, 1938).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 303.]


YITSKHOK YURISTA (1903-July 1942)
            He was born in Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa), Poland.  From his youth he was active among the left Labor Zionists.  He left Poland in 1930 and settled in Paris.  He published articles on labor issues and literature in: Fraye yugnt (Free youth) in 1924, Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Arbeter-kultur (Workers’ culture)—in Warsaw; as well as in the Częstochowa Yiddish press.  He published translations of Yiddish literature in the Esperanto journal, Literatura mundo (World literature).  On May 14, 1941, when the Germans executed their mass Aktion against the Jewish population in Paris, Yurista was also detained and sent to a concentration camp at Pitivye, and from there (on June 26, 1942) he was deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

Sources: H. Marder, in Arbeter vort (Paris) (August 9, 1950); Loti P. Malekh, in Undzer veg (New York) (August 1958).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


AVROM-SHMUEL YURIS (March 9, 1890-1971)
            He was born in Kolomaye, eastern Galicia.  He studied in a Baron Hirsch public school and in a Polish state high school, and he graduated with a law degree from the University of Vienna.  In 1904 he became a member of a secret student circle within the organization Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists) in Galicia, and from that point he was active in the Labor Zionist Party; he traveled around on its behalf throughout virtually the entire Jewish world.  From 1924 he settled in Israel, which he was active, in addition to his party work, also in Vaad Hatarbut (Cultural council) of the Histadrut Haovdim (Federation of Labor), in the Jewish Agency, and in other organizations.  He was one of the most popular speakers and writers in the Labor Zionist movement, and he offered a great deal of assistance to bringing studying youth and public Jewish intellectuals to Zionist socialism and to Jewish culture.  He began writing—papers on Labor Zionism, poetry, dramatic plays—in Polish.  In 1909 he switched to Yiddish and published for the first time (a review of Yankev Gordin’s Der umbakanter [The unknown]) in Der kolomayer folks-tsaytung (The Kolomaye people’s newspaper), edited by Moyshe Laks.  In 1919 he published a ballad in Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw, in which he would later publish a series of essays on world literature, articles, and theater reviews.  In later years he contributed work to the Jewish press in numerous countries, including such serials as: Der tog (The day), Di tsayt (The times), and Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter)—in New York; Haynt (Today), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Arbeter-tsaytung, Unzer vort (Our word), Arbeter-shtime (Voice of labor), and Haoved (The worker)—in Warsaw; Unzer vort, Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), and Kiem (Existence)—in Paris; Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Renesans (Renaissance) in Vienna; Yudishe arbayter (Jewish worker) in Lemberg; Naye tsayt (New times), Unzer tsayt (Our time), and Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; Idishe folkstsaytung (Jewish people’s newspaper) in Brazil; Nay-velt (New world), Haynt, Letste nayes (Latest news), Davar (Word), Haarets (The land), Kuntres (Pamphlet), Hapoel hatsair (Young worker), Bemaala (On the way up), Davar hashvua (Word of the week), and Kapai-yediot (News of the Palestine Workers’ Fund)—all in Israel.  In Polish: Nasz Przegląd (Our overview) and Nowiny (News) in Warsaw; Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg.  In German: Freistaat (Free state) in Berlin (1913-1914).  In Spanish: Mundo izraelita (Jewish world) in Buenos Aires.  In Hungarian: Ujkelet (New east) in Tel Aviv.  His books include: Fun shprakh-bovel tsu shprakh-eynheyt (From language Babel to language uniformity) (Buenos Aires, 1928), 105 pp.; Sotsyal-politishe etyudn (Social and political studies), with a preface by A. Bergman (Rio de Janeiro, 1929), 135 pp.; Kemfer un dikhter (Fighters and poets), with a preface by Latsky-Bertholdi (Riga, 1931), 234 pp.; Velt un heym (World and home) (Buenos Aires, 1937), 327 pp.  His other books—In fiber fun oyfboy (In the fever of construction), In fayer fun farteydikung (In the fire of defense), and Blumen un shpizn (Flowers and spears)—which were set to be published in Warsaw in 1939, were lost during the Hitler era.  He published fascinating memoirs of his youth in Pinkes kolomay (Records of Kolomaye) (New York, 1957), pp. 237-43.  He was also preparing for publication an autobiographical work entitled In eyn mesles (In one day and night).  He wrote under such pen names as: Ashi, Yurek, Samuel, Helyos, and Li-kuse.  “Every Jewish newspaper in the world,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh, “was full of A. Sh. Yuris’s articles, and every article of his was as full as a pomegranate with love of the land of Israel and the Israeli people, as well as for Yiddish and for Hebrew and for the entire world, for Yuris was no chauvinist, and in his small figure there was a broad-hearted love for all beauty in the colorful world.”  He died in Gadara, Israel.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928); A. Bergman preface to Yuris, Sotsyal-politishe etyudn (Social and political studies) (Rio de Janeiro, 1929); Latsky-Bertholdi, preface to Yuris, Kemfer un dikhter (Fighters and poets) (Riga, 1931); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopediya leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1949), pp. 1674-75; Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), p. 254; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 204-5; N. M. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958), see index; Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (March 26, 1960); P. Shteynvaks, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 28, 1960); B. Ts. Shvartsman, in Undzer veg (New York) (April 1961).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


RUVN YUKLSON (RUBIN YOUKELSON) (June 3 [September 11?], 1885-August 16, 1976)
            He was born in the village of Nebirivke (Neborivka), Volhynia.  He was a journalist.  He studied in religious primary school, and later on his own he studied Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish literatures.  In 1906 he emigrated to the United States, initially living in Chicago and from 1925 in New York.  He joined the Labor Zionists, and in 1925 he became a member of the Communist Party.  His journalistic work began with articles in Idishe kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York, later in Idishe arbayter velt (World of Jewish labor) in Chicago.  From 1926 he was a regular contributor to Frayhayt (Freedom), later Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom).  He wrote political and social articles, as well as concerning the Yiddish and general theater.  He edited Unzer vort (Our word), the organ of the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order in New York, and he was a member of the editorial board of Signal (Signal) in New York.  In Zamlungen (Anthologies), he published—in a fictional form—his life story.  He dies in Los Angeles.

Sources: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6; A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Kiev) (1935), p. 206.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 302-3.


DOV YOSEFI (October 7, 1905-June 27, 1995)
            The pen name of Berl Broynfeld, he was born in Nay-Sandz (Nowy Sącz), western Galicia.  Until age eighteen he studied in religious elementary school and yeshivas, later through self-study he acquired secular subject matter and foreign languages.  For a time he lived in Munkatsh (Hung. Munkács).  He worked as a private tutor, later the owner of a publishing firm in Belgium.  Over the years 1933-1949, he lived in Paraguay and Chile, and he cofounded “Hashomer hatsair” (The young guard) and was secretary for Haḥaluts (The pioneer) in Chile.  He was the founder of the first preparatory farm (for agricultural settlement in the land of Israel) in Latin America.  In 1949 he moved to Israel, where he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Gaash.  He was co-creator and for a time secretary of the world association of Mapam (United Workers’ Party), from which he subsequently seceded due to Mapam’s pro-Soviet orientation.  He began writing for the journal Di yidishe prese (The Jewish press) in Santiago de Chile (March 1936), and from that time on contributed work to: Dos vort (The word) and Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in Chile; Di shtime (The voice) in Mexico City; and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; among others.  He served as editor for Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel) (1954-1959), was an internal contributor to Al hamishmar (On guard), and edited the monthly Had hahistadrut (Echo of Histadrut)—all in Tel Aviv.  His pamphlet Tsurik tsum revolutsyonern tsienizm (Return to revolutionary Zionism) (Santiago de Chile, 1941), 16 pp., was translated into Spanish.  He also contributed work to the Spanish-language journals Mundo Judío (The Jewish world) in Santiago de Chile and Judaica (Judaica) in Buenos Aires, and he edited the Spanish periodical Kidma (Progress) in Santiago de Chile.  Among his pen names: Dov Braunfeld, Ben Yankev-Yoysef, D. Bar-Sde, S-R, and B. Bernardo.  He was last living in Ramat Aviv, near Tel Aviv.

Sources: Y. Blumshteyn, in Dos yidishe vort (Chile) (January 7, 1949); D. Lazar, in Maariv (Tel Aviv) (November 11, 1959); Z. Kamai, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (December 25, 1959); Afrikaner idisher tsaytung (Johannesburg) (May 20, 1960).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            The son of the writer B. Yushzohn, he was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He studied in a Tachkemoni school, later graduating from Krinski’s Polish-Jewish High School in Warsaw.  In 1934 he was studying at the Hebrew University and the Lawyers’ School in Jerusalem.  From 1935 he took part in the work of the political division of the Jewish Agency and lived for a time in London.  Over the years 1942-1946, he served in the Jewish Brigade of the British army in Israel and Egypt.  In 1947 he moved to the United States as a special correspondent for Haarets (The land) in Tel Aviv, and until 1956 was press chief for the Israel delegation at the United Nations.  He began his literary work with articles and stories in Moment (Moment) in Warsaw in 1931, and from 1932 was a contributor to Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He also published stories in Baderekh (On the road) in Warsaw, Hadoar (The mail) in New York, and Di tsayt (The times) in London.  He edited the biweekly, English-language publications: Haganah Speaks and Israel Speaks in New York.  He was the American correspondent and a co-editor of Maariv (Evening) in Tel Aviv.  The main pen name he used was H. Yustman.

Sources: Sh. Samet, in Sefer hashana shel haitonaim (New newspaper annual) (Tel Aviv, 1949/1950); Hadoar (New York) (March 19, 1954); Kh. Finkelshteyn, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 149; Der idisher kemfer (New York) (April 29, 1960); Who’s Who in Israel (Tel Aviv, 1958), p. 164.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 302.]


ZEV YUNIS (1902-May 12, 1965)
            He changed his name to this from Volf Yunish.  He was born in Mlave (Mława), Poland.  He studied in a Polish high school and went on to study medicine at the Universities of Warsaw, London, and Prague.  He was active in the circles of “Hashomer Hatsair” (The young guard).  He was living in Israel from 1929, where he practiced pediatric medicine.  He was co-editor of Dos mlaver lebn (The Mlave life) (1927-1929), in which he published political articles as well as historical treatises on the Mlave Jewish community.  He also contributed to Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris, and in the Israeli press.  He wrote as well for medical periodicals in Hebrew and other languages.  He served on the editorial board of Pinkes mlave (Records of Mlave) (New York, 1950), for which he composed the monograph, “Di alte heym” (The old country), pp. 27-130; in addition, with Tsvi Perla, he wrote “Mlaver verter un vertlekh” (Mlave words and sayings), pp. 370-75, and “Mlaver oysshprakh” (Mlave expressions), pp. 382-85.  He also wrote under such pen names as: V. Yunis and Z. Yonish.  In the early 1960s he was one of the main doctors at Beilinson Hospital in Tel Aviv.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Dr. Y. Shatski, preface to Pinkes mlave (Records of Mlave) (New York, 1950), p. 10; D. Shrefi, in Pinkes mlave, p. 345; information from Khayim Yonis in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


VOLF YUNIN (February 29, 1908-May 31, 1984)
            Born with the surname Hokhman in Irkutsk, he was a poet, folklorist, and theater enthusiast.  He was raised in Bialystok and Bielsk.  He studied in a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school), compulsory German school, and a Jewish public school.  He completed locksmith and blacksmith training in the Bialystok artisans’ school.  He engaged in a variety of physical labors.  As a ship’s worker in 1928, he traveled the world.  In 1930 he settled in New York.  He taught Yiddish in the Berlitz School in New York (1964-1965) and was a Yiddish instructor at Rutgers University.  Beginning in 1948 he wrote journalistic, folkloric, and language research articles in Tog (Day) and Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal), and from 1972 to 1980 in Forverts (Forward) and Fray arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor)—all in New York.  On language issues, he wrote 227 articles for Tog-morgn-zhurnal (August 28, 1966-December 28, 1971), 423 articles in Forverts (March 27, 1972-August 1980), and a dictionary of Hebrew words in Yiddish (New York: Forverts, 1979-1980).  For poetry, he debuted in print in the daily newspaper Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok (spring 1928).  He published a fragment of his long poem Shoseyen (Highways) in Vilner tog (Vilna day).  In New York’s Tog he published a novel in verse (December 1950-June 17, 1951).  Over the years 1933-1980, he published a number of poems in: Tsukunft (Future) in New York (1933); Oyfkum (Arise) in New York (1935); Signal (Signal) in New York (1936); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw (1937); Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York (1943); Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv (issues 5, 17, 20, 101, 105); Vayter (Further) in New York (1955); Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris; Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires; Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York; Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) in New York; Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper) in New York; Yungvald (Young forest) in New York; Kinderfraynd (Children’s friend) in Warsaw; and Argentiner beymelekh (Little Argentinian trees) in Buenos Aires.  Over the course of thirty years, he wrote and adapted one-act plays, scenarios, monologues, and songs for choruses and theatrical ensembles and songs for plays in drama repertoires.  Musical composers wrote music for Yunin’s several dozen sets of lyrics.  He also acted in two German films put out by UFA.  His books include: 7 lider (Seven poems) (Bialystok), 24 pp.; Der draytsnter sheyvet, roman in verzn (The thirteenth tribe, a novel in verse) (New York, 1956), 128 pp.  He edited Alef (Alef), a “laboratory-literary journal” (New York, 1940).  Among his pseudonyms: Batkin, Dinkin, Y. Volf, Dr. S. F. Vaynerman, Dr. Y. Valakh, Dr. Y. Volfson, and Y. Vilkin.  He died in New York.

Sources: Goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 101 (1955); Dina Abramowicz, in Forverts (New York) (June 15, 1984); Leyzer Ran, in Yidishe kultur (New York) 9-10 (1984) and 2 (1985).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 301-2.


MOYSHE YUNGSHTEYN (June 28, 1914-September 6, 1973)
            He was born in Lublin, Poland.  Prior to WWII he lived in a string of cities in Volhynia and Poland.  He survived the Nazis and left with the Holocaust survivors to Germany, where he was editor of the weekly Af der vakh (On guard), published in Bamberg and Munich.  He contributed to Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Shmerke Katsherginski remembrance volume) (Buenos Aires, 1956).  He lived in Israel and died in Haifa.  He worked in the city council of Haifa and wrote from time to time in the Yiddish newspapers in Israel.

Sources: Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Shmerke Katsherginski remembrance volume) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 430; Y. Gor, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), p. 163.
Yankev Kohen


MOYSHE YUNGMAN (1922-December 30, 1982)
            He was born in Khodorov (Chodorów), eastern Galicia.  During WWII he roamed far in Russia, where he worked in peat camps.  He returned to Poland in 1945, but soon illegally made his way to Italy, where he was active until 1947 in the Zionist youth movement.  He was a member of the leadership of Gordonia in Rome.  From 1947 he was living in Israel.  He took part in the fields of culture and education in immigrant centers.  He was director and teacher at a public school for refugee children in the Galilee.  He began published poetry in the periodical In gang (In progress) in Rome in 1946.  He later contributed to: Baderekh (On the road) and Dos vort (The word) in Rome; Bafrayung (Liberation) and Der morgn (The morning) in Munich; Unzer vort (Our word), Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), and Kiem (Existence) in Paris; Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Israel; Tsukunft (Future), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Undzer veg (Our way) in New York; and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) in Buenos Aires; among others.  He was a cofounder and a member of the editorial collective for Yung yisroel (Young Israel) (Haifa, 1954-1957).  His published books include: In hinerplet, lider un poemes (In a daze, poetry) (Rome, 1947), 80 pp. (including an allegorical play “Rosh Hashanah” which was staged in displace persons’ camps in Italy); In shotn fun moyled, lider un poemes (In the shadow of the new moon, poetry) (Paris, 1954), 106 pp.; Hagode shel peysekh (Passover Hagadah (Rome, 1947), 16 pp.; Vayse toyern (White gates) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1964), 168 pp.; Shmeykhlen fun erets hakodesh (Laughing from the sacred land) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1969), 166 pp.; Regnb-boygn tsukopns (Rainbow overhead) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1973), 123 pp.; In land fun elye hanovi, lider un poemes (In the land of Elijah the prophet, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1977), 147 pp.; Mayn tatns parnoses, lid un balade (My father’s livelihoods, poem and ballad) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1981), 75 pp.; Shtern derkenen dikh, lider (A star can recognize you, poems) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1985), 124 pp.  His translations include: from Hebrew to Yiddish, Avraham Shlonski, Lider (Poetry [original: Shirim]) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1971), 210 pp.; and Tsvia Lubetkin, In umkum un oyfshtand (In destruction and uprising [original: Biyeme kilayon vemered (In the days of destruction and revolt)]) (Tel Aviv: Ghetto Fighters’ House, 1980), 356 pp.; from Yiddish into Hebrew, Roza Palatnik, Parokhet haketifa (The velvet curtain) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), 186 pp.; Yosef Vaynberg, Dima utefila (A tear and a prayer [original: Trer un a tfile]) (Tel Aviv, 1981), 125 pp.; and Nakhmen Mayzil, Susan shel sabi (My grandfather’s horse [original: Mayn zeydns ferd]) (Alonim, 1982), 18 pp.
           “Moshe Yungman’s poems…,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh, “are difficult to understand, but they are good and profound, and they last….  The need a lot of leeway around them—like exotic, beautiful flowers, for example: orchids.  Yungman’s Israeli poetry is, in fact, often such orchids, colorful and distinctive and engrossing and even a little mystical in image, flying.”  In 1974 he received an award from the prime minister for his literary works in Yiddish; in 1976 he received the Pinski Prize, and in 1982 the Mendele Prize.  He died in Tivon, Israel.

Sources: B. Kohen, in In gang (Rome) (February 15, 1949); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (June 15, 1953); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (January 1955); Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence) (New York, 1956), pp. 378-86; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1955); I. Manger, in Der veker (New York) (May 1, 1955); L. Domankevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 24, 1956); A. Volf-Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (February 3, 1956); Sh. D. Zinger, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York (May 1956); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (May 12, 1956); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 202-3; M. Yofe, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (November 1957; Yofe, in Der amerikaner (New York) (November 20, 1959); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 28, 1958); A. Lis, Heym un doyer (Home and duration) (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 142-47.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 300-1.]

Friday 16 December 2016


HERSH-LEYB YUNG (YOUNG) (November 17, 1892-February 18, 1976)
            He was born in the village of Lakhovits (Lyakhovichi), Carpathian Russia, into the family of an innkeeper.  He was raised in the town of Skole (Skola), Galicia.  He studied in religious primary school and in the Baron Hirsch School; later, he worked as a watchmaker in various towns in Hungary.  In late 1913 he made his way to the United States, settled in New York, and worked as a watchmaker, and in the evenings he studied English and English literature.  In April 1915 he published in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York his story “Der ungerekhter khurbn” (The unjust destruction); later he published poems and stories in: Tog (Day), Fraye arbeter-shtime, Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Der groyser kundes (The great prankster), and Di frayhayt (The freedom)—all in New York.  He then ceased publishing, and in 1950 he began writing new poems.  He also contributed poetry to Yerlekhe gedenk-bukh (Annual remembrance volume) (Buenos Aires: Galitsye, 1961), pp. 194-97.  Subsequent books include: Hekher di volkns, lider (Higher than the clouds, poems) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1962), 434 pp.; Durkh likht un fintsternish, lider (Through light and darkness. poems) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1967), 424 pp.; Iber tseflamte horizontn (Over burning horizons) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1970), 404 pp.; In di astral-sfires (In the astral counting of the omer) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1974), 309 pp.; Af zunzink-shlyakh (On the Zunzink road) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1976), 239 pp.  He died in New York.
Zaynvl Ciamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 300.]


YUDE YULIN (b. 1888)
            The pen name of Yude Etman, he was born in Vilna.  At age seventeen, he began to act on the stage in Russian.  He later translated into Russian: Sholem-Aleykhem’s Mazl-tov (Congratulations) and Tsezeyt un tseshpreyt (Scattered widely); Perets Hirshbeyn’s Af yener zayt taykht (On the other side of the river), Di erd (The earth), Demerung (Twilight), and Eynzame veltn (Lonely worlds); Yankev Gordin’s Khasye di yesoyme (Khasye, the orphan), Di shkhite (The [ritual] slaughter), and Di shvue (The oath); Sh. An-sky’s Der dibek (The dybbuk); and Avrom Goldfaden’s Shulamis (Shulamit); among others.  In 1923 he moved over to the Yiddish stage, and played and produced plays in Vilna theaters.  In 1926 he played and directed in Riga’s New Yiddish Theater.  He translated from Russian into Yiddish Osip Dimov’s Yoshke muzikant, der zinger fun zayn troyer (Yoshke the musician, the singer of his grief) (Riga: Bilike bikher, 1925), 63 pp.  From time to time, he wrote for the Yiddish newspapers in Riga.  In 1939 he published in Yidishe bilder (Jewish images) 19 (103), chapters of his memoirs.  His subsequent fate remains unknown.

Source: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (with a bibliography).
Zaynvl Diamant


BETSALEL YUKHT (1898-November 11, 1960)
            He was born in Vladimir-Volinsk (Volodymyr Volyns’kyi), Ukraine.  He studied in yeshivas, later in the Vilna Jewish teachers’ seminary.  In 1926 he completed the Jewish pedagogical course of study in Warsaw and thereafter worked as a teacher and a school administrator in Ivye (Iwie, Iwye), Vilna district, Kovel (Kovle), Ozdutich, and other places in Volhynia.  In the 1930s he made his way to Brazil.  For fourteen years, he ran the Dinezon School in Bahia, and for another thirteen he was director of the Perets School, the Mendele School, and the Liessin School in Rio de Janeiro.  He worked with the cultural institutions in leftist circles, and later, after the liquidation of Yiddish cultural in Soviet Russia, he abandoned those groups.  He was a writer and a translator.  He placed work in: Unzer shtime (Our voice), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), and Idishe prese (Jewish press) in Rio de Janeiro.  He dramatized for the Yiddish theater Sholem Asch’s Kidesh hashem (Sanctification of the name), which was staged by Zigmund Turkov and his troupe.  In the anthology of the Yiddish writers’ circle in Brazil (which Yukht had, incidentally, helped to found)—Unzer baytrog (Our contribution) (Rio, 1956), pp. 199-212—he published chapters from his Yiddish translation of Rambam’s More nevukhim (Guide of the Perplexed), with an introductory word about Rambam (Maimonides) and his school of thought.  In Pinkes kovel (Records of Kovel) (Buenos Aires, 1951), pp. 207-12, he published memories of Kalmen Lis and the literary family in Kovel.  He died in Rio de Janeiro.  He left behind in manuscript the full translation of More nevukhim, a Yiddish grammar, poems, and children’s plays.

Sources: Foreword to Unzer baytrog (Rio, 1956), p. 6; Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (February 23, 1959); obituary notice in Idishe tsaytung (Rio) (November 13, 1960); P. Palatnik, in Idishe prese (Rio) (December 11, 1960); Z. Turkov, Di ibergerisene tekufe, fragmentn fun mayn lebn (The interrupted era, fragments from my life) (Buenos Aires, 1961), pp. 341-63; written information from his wife Leah Yukht in Rio (1961).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


B. YUKHVITS (b. 1888)
            He was born in Bobryusk, Byrelorussia.  He graduated from a Russian high school and studied at Kiev University.  In 1910 he moved to Warsaw and became a proofreader and contributor to Moment (Moment), in which he published impressions of Warsaw Jewish life and articles on literature.  In 1910 he brought out in Warsaw a book entitled Gezangen (Songs).  He edited the holiday sheet Grins af shvues (Vegetables on Shavuot) (Warsaw, 1914).  With the outbreak of WWI in August 1914, he made his way to Russia.  Subsequent information about him remains unknown.

Sources: Dov Sadan, “Vaata shunra” (Then came a cat), Maḥanayim (Tel Aviv), Passover issue (1961), p. 147; information from Yankev Fishman in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


DOVID YUTAN (June 5, 1916-2000)
            He was born in Vilna.  He graduated from a Jewish high school and studied agronomy at Vilna University.  He was an active leader among the Zionist Revisionists.  In 1941 he arrived in Tel Aviv.  There he became active in the illegal Irgun organization and was arrested several times by the British and deported to Latrun and other camps.  He was a member of the Tel Aviv city council.  He published articles in: Vilner radyo (Vilna radio), Unzer veg (Our way) in Warsaw, and Tsum kamf (To the struggle) in Cracow, among other serials.  He also published Der vilner informator (The Vilna informer), “for business, industry, and the free professions” (Vilna, 1938), 112 pp.  He also contributed to Ḥerut (Freedom) in Tel Aviv.

Source: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 8 (Tel Aviv, 1958), p. 3185.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He studied in the Slobodka yeshiva.  He survived the ghetto and concentration camps.  After the war, he emigrated to Chicago.  His books include: Blutike lider (Bloody poems) (Chicago, 1947), 30 pp.; Nekhamat meir (Meyer’s consolation) (Chicago, 1957-1959), 2 vols.; Shire metser vetikva / Lider fun noyt un hofenung (Poems of want and hope) (Chicago, 1962), 94 pp.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 300.]