YANKEV TSHESTER (JACOB CHESTER) (1870-November 16, 1944)
He was the brother of S. Tshester, born in Kaidanov, Minsk district, Byelorussia. He studied in religious primary school, synagogue study hall, and yeshivas. In the years of his youth, he moved to the United States. For a time he was laborer in New York. When the stock market crashed in 1929, he lost his possessions and became a farmer, only later to return to New York. He began writing already in his years in synagogue study chamber. He debuted in print in Forverts (Forward) in New York in 1921. He published poems and stories in Tog (Day), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Di feder (The pen), Der koydenover shtern (The Kaidanov star) 1935, and Koydenover Young Mens’ Association (1938-1939)—in New York; among others. In book form: Shtot un dorf (City and village), novellas and images (New York, 1939), 178 pp. (also including his longer story, “Af a farm” [On a farm]). He died in New York. He left behind an array of writings in manuscript; a portion of them—the stories “A yarid in shtetl” (A fair in town) and “Der friling iz gekumen” (Spring is here)—appeared in the collection Koydenov (Kaidanov) (New York, 1955), pp. 129-46.
Sources: Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (1942); obituary notices in Tog (New York) (November 18, 1944), Keneder odler (Montreal (November 24, 1944), and Tsukunft (New York) (December 1944); Dr. Sh. Sayman, in the collection Koydenov (Kaidanov) (New York, 1955), pp. 115-24.
Khayim Leyb Fuks