SHLOYME YUDSON (SZ. JUDSON) (March 28, 1878-March 9, 1970)
He was born in Deretshin (Derechin, Dziarechyn), Grodno district, Byelorussia. His father, Yude Yudson, was both a Jewish scholar and a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, and he was a teacher of Hebrew and German in the region. Shloyme studied in the Zhetel (Zdzięcioł) yeshiva, and later under his father’s supervision he gained a thorough acquaintance with Enlightenment literature in Hebrew and in Yiddish. In 1892 he moved with his family to Lodz where he privately studied German literature. Drafted into the Tsar’s army, in 1898 he escaped from the barracks and emigrated to the United States. His literary activities began (using the pen name Sh. Datshin) in Hatsfira (The siren) in 1896 with a description of voyages to the South Pole. In New York he contributed in his first years to the Hebrew publications: Haivri (The Jew), Hapisga (The summit), Hateḥiya (The revival), Haleom (The nation); and together with P. Turberg, he published the anthology Meet leet (Day and night) in 1901 and a collection of articles and stage scenes entitled Agadot vedimyonot (Legends and fantasies) in 1904 (New York). In 1906 he published in Forverts (Forward) (New York) for the first time in Yiddish a series of articles on anti-Semitism in music. From 1913 he was regular contributor to Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York, and from 1920 until 1951 he served as co-editor of the newspaper, as well as editor of its weekly edition Der amerikaner (The American). From June 1951 he served as a member of the editorial board of Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal) in New York. Over the course of many decades of his writing and journalistic activities, Yudson published journalistic pieces and a great number of stories both from life in the old country as well as from Jewish life in America. Knowledgeable in the arts, he always responded critically to important events in the realms of music and painting, and he also wrote a great deal on literature and theater. His articles in later years, written under the name “Dr. A. Klorman,” were popular among the wide readership of Tog-morgn-zhurnal. His books include: Gots harts, legendes (God’s heart, legends) (New York, 1925), 16 pp.; Fun dray veltn, bilder, skitsn un dertseylungen (From three worlds, images, sketches, and stories) (Vilna, 1929), 304 pp.; Soldatshine, bilder un dertseylungen fun a rusisher kozorme (Military service, impressions and stories from a Russian barrack) (Vilna, 1930), 211 pp.; Dore, bletlekh fun a gefunenem togbukh (Dora, pages from a discovered diary), a novel (Vilna, 1930), 246 pp. His translations include: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Verters leydn (Werther’s sorrows [original: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The sorrows of young Werther)]) (New York, 1910), 190 pp.; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Emilye galati, tragedye in finf aktn (Emilia Galotti, a tragedy in five acts) (New York, 1911), 109 pp. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2; Kalmen Marmor, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (April 25, 1928); P. Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 2, 1930); A. Oyerbakh, in Der amerikaner (New York) (January 24, 1930); Der Lebediker, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (April 14, 1930); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (June 9, 1932); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (November 7, 1934; November 14, 1934); D. L. Mekler, in Der amerikaner (April 16, 1948); Talush, Yidishe shrayber (Yiddish writers) (Miami Beach, 1953), pp. 121-24; N. Sverdlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 28, 1958).
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