Thursday 21 January 2016


YOYNE BERKMAN (October 12, 1904-December 25, 1998)
            He was a poet, born in Ashmene, Vilna region.  He studied in religious elementary school and in the Vilna Jewish senior high school.  He was also a photographer.  During WWII he was in Soviet Russia.  In 1946 he returned to Poland and in 1950 made aliya to Israel.  From 1964 he published mainly poetry, on occasion a story or review, in: Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel), Goldene keyt (Golden chain), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Letste nayes (Latest news), Problemen (Issues), and Lebns-fragn (Life issues)—all in Tel Aviv; Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac); Tsukunft (Future) and Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York; and Unzer kiem (Our existence) in Paris, among others.  His poetry collections would include: Hemshekh (Continuation) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1971), 173 pp.; Vey-freyd (Pain-joy) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1977), 158 pp.  His translations into Hebrew include: Y. Klenicky, Aza is geven zeyer goyrl (kaze haya goralam) (Such was their fate) (Tel Aviv, 1977); Szie Czechewer, Neshome likht (Nerot neshama) (Light of the soul) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1981); Y. Fridman Bleter fun mayn lebn (Pages from my life); and from Hebrew into Yiddish: Y. Tsvi Rimon, Lider (Poems) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1983).  He was awarded the Pinski Prize in 1978.

Sources: Y. Kh. Biletski, in Folksblat (Tel Aviv) (September 1971); A. Baraban, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (August 4, 1972); R. Kope, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (November 29, 1972); Y. Ts. Sharger, Fun onheyn on (From the beginning) (Tel Aviv, 1977), pp. 204-8; Sh. Kants, Koyekh un os (Strength and letter) (Tel Aviv, 1979); Kh. Zeltser, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (July 25, 1980); M. Ḥalamish, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (September 11, 1981).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 113-14.

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