Tuesday 27 September 2016


AL. TABAK (b. 1900)
            He was born in Friedrichstadt (Jaunjelgava), Latvia, into a laboring family.  He studied in religious primary school, later in a Russian high school in Riga.  Over the years 1919-1921, he was a teacher in the evening course of the “Workers’ Home” and was active among the left Labor Zionists in Riga.  In 1922 he moved to the United States.  He worked as a Yiddish teacher in Chicago and Philadelphia.  In the late 1920s he moved to South America, and he worked as a teacher in Rio de Janeiro.  He began to write poetry and articles in Latvia.  He was a contributor to the Riga-based Yiddish daily newspapers Di idishe folksshtime (The voice of the Jewish people) in 1919 and Dos folk (The people in 1920, as well as to the weekly newspapers Letste nayes (Latest news) and Der veg (The way), both in 1922.  In America he published poems and articles in: Kultur (Culture) in New York; Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; among others.  In book form: Grenits (Frontier), poems on revolutionary motifs, with an introduction by M. Shats (Riga, 1922), 40 pp.

Sources: “Briv fun m. kitay tsu z. reyzen” (Letters from M. Kitay to Z. Reyzen), in YIVO archives (New York); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933); Almanakh fun riger relif (New York) 2 (1947), pp. 10-11; Yahadut latviya (Judaism in Latvia) (Tel Aviv, 1953), pp. 152-53.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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