Friday 29 April 2016


SHMUEL WHITE (January 24, 1891-1971)
            His original name was Vays (Weiss).  He was born in Lodz, Poland, into a wealthy Hassidic family.  He studied in religious primary school and secular subject matter with private tutors.  In 1901 he moved with his parents to London, England.  Until 1915 he was employed in chemical manufacturing, and from 1918 in leather manufacture.  He served in the British army, 1917-1918.  In 1913 he began to publish poems and stories in London’s Idisher ekspres (Jewish express).  From that point he published his work in Yiddish-language venues in London: Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal), Der fonograf (The phonograph), Yontef bleter (Holiday sheets), Fraynd (Friend), Advertayzer (Advertiser), Idishe post (Jewish mail), Tsayt (Time) edited by Morris Meyer, Loshn un lebn (Language and life) edited by Nokhum Shtentsl, Idishe shtime (Jewish voice), Teater-shpigl (Theater mirror), and Yidish london (Jewish London) (1939).  He also contributed to the Loshn un lebn almanac: Vaytshepl lebt (Whitechapel lives).  He published as well in: Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, and Fraye horizontn (Free horizons) and Der teater-shpigl (The theater mirror) in Paris.  His books include: Neshome-klangen (Sounds of the soul), poetry (London, 1941), 84 pp., with a foreword by Morris Meyer; Pamokhet, der khelmer poet (Pamokhet, the poet from Chelm) (London, 1954), 71 pp.  His poems also appeared with notation: Kol yehuda (Voice of Judah) and Baym kineres shteyt a yosem (An orphan stands by the Sea of Galilee), music by Y. Rozenberg and Sam Goldberg.  A poem of his may also be found in the English-language anthology, The Golden Peacock, edited by Joseph Leftwich.  He died in London.

Sources: M. Ziskind, in Di tsayt (London) (January 19, 1943); L. Sh. Kreditor, in Teater-shpigl (London) (March 1946); Y. H. Levi, in Loshn un lebn (London) (1951); Levi, in Frayland (Paris) (April 1954); Levi, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected works), vol. 2 (London, 1958); Fraye horizontn (Paris) (July-September 1951); A. Goldberg, in Loshn un lebn (August 1955); Ben A. Sokhatshevski, in Idishe shtime (London) (July 5, 1955); Joseph Leftwich, ed., The Golden Peacock (Cambridge, Mass., 1939), p. 729; Who Is Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955); “Book Briefs,” The Jewish Chronicle (November 5, 1955).
Zaynvl Diamant

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