Tuesday 27 September 2016


MENDL TABATSHNIK (TABATZNIK) (1894-November 20, 1975)
            He was born in Kletsk (Klieck), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  He was a teacher and administrator of a public school in Mir, Byelorussia (considered an exemplary school), and in other Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) schools in Poland.  From 1927 he was living in Johannesburg, South Africa.  He was a teacher of Yiddish and song in a local public school.  He wrote a number of children’s plays which were staged in Jewish schools.  He published articles on pedagogical topics in Unzer shul (Our school) in Warsaw (1920).  He also composed stories and travel narratives (from Europe, America, and Israel) which appeared in the Johannesburg serials: Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), a weekly; and Dorem-afrike (South Africa), a monthly.  In Dorem-afrike zamlbukh (South African anthology) (Johannesburg, 1945), he published several chapters of an autobiographical novel entitled “Kalmen bulon” (Kalmen Bulon).  He also wrote under the pen name: Menkhem-Mendl.  His books include: Mentsh un zayn arum, lider un poemes (Man and his environment, poetry) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1963), 340 pp.; In shpete shoen (In late hours), poems (Johannesburg, 1965), 170 pp.; Ikh lakh mit aykh tsu 70 (I rejoice with you at seventy) (Johannesburg, 1965), 237 pp.; Kalmen bulon, roman fun yidishn lebn (Kalmen Bulon, a novel of Jewish life) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1968-1971), 3 vols.; Shtaplen in mayn lebns-veg, zikhroynes (Rungs along the path of my life, memoirs) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1973), 2 vols.  He died in Johannesburg.

Source: Dorem-afrikaner zamlbukh (South African anthology) (Johannesburg, 1945), p. 142.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 274.]

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