Sunday 28 August 2016


YUDE-LEYB ZISELMAN (August 1, 1885-Summer 1943)
            He was born in Pinsk, Byelorussia, to a father who was a ritual slaughterer and a prayer leader.  Until age thirteen he lived in Makhnovka (Makhnivka), Ukraine, and thereafter in Bialystok.  In 1906 he moved to the United States, where he worked as a laborer in Providence, Rhode Island, at the same time studying the violin.  He later became a teacher of violin.  In 1909 he began to write for Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He published poems, humorous sketches, and stories in verse and prose in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Der kundes (The prankster), Nay-idish (New Yiddish), and Di feder (The pen)—in New York.  In 1920 he edited the monthly journal Der humanist (The humanist) and the one-off publication Der shtifer (The brat), published by the “Musical Association of the Workmen’s Circle” in New York.  He composed music and notations for the texts of Yiddish poets.  He also wrote under the pen names: Profesor Shpilfoygl, Shmeykhlzohn, and Leonshtik.  He died in Los Angeles.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Toyznt yor pinsk (1000 years of Pinsk) (New York, 1941), p. 320; The Providence Jewish Chronicle (April 25, 1919).

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