Wednesday 15 February 2017


LEYZER LASAVIN (May 19, 1906-1981)
            He was born in Odessa.  At eight years of age, he moved with his parents to Beirut, Syria, and there attended religious primary school, a private Russian school, and schools run by the Alliance and Collège Laic.  In 1926 he immigrated to the United States, where he studied in the Jewish teachers’ seminary and at City College of New York.  He debuted in print in 1930 with a children story “Finf brider zaynen zey geven” (There were five brothers) in Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) in New York, edited by Shmuel Niger.  He later also wrote stories for adults, travel impressions, and reviews of books (using such pen names as Eliezer Leyd and Eliezer Mar-Hu) in: Tsukunft (Future), Forverts (Forward), Tog (Day), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), and Oyfkum (Arise), among others—in New York; Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) and Khaver (Friend) in Vilna; Undzer veg (Our way) in Chicago; Foroys (Onward) and Meksikaner lebn (Mexican life) in Mexico City; Der shpigl (The mirror) and Argentiner beymelekh (Little Argentinian trees) in Buenos Aires; and Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv.  He also translated Irwin Shaw’s Bagrobt di toyte (Bury the Dead), published in Nyu-yorker vokhnblat, and Eric Knight’s Lesi kum aheym (Lassie Come Home), published in Argentiner beymelekh.  Among his books: Tsu der zun (Toward the sun), stories for children, with illustrations by Note Kozlovski (Warsaw: Kultur lige, 1936), 173 pp.; A khasene afn barg levonen un andere dertseylungen (A wedding on Mt. Lebanon and other stories) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1958), 294 pp.; Oysgevortslte mentshn un andere dertseylungen (Uprooted people and others stories) (Tel Aviv: Nay lebn, 1965), 264 pp.; In shtendikn gerangl, novele (In continual conflict, a novella) (Tel Aviv, 1970), 320 pp.; A nakht afn yam kineres, dertseylungen (A night on the Sea of Galilee, stories) (Tel Aviv: Nay lebn, 1980), 230 pp.; In benkshaft nokh a mentshn, minyaturn un dertseylungen (Longing for someone, miniatures and stories) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1989), 269 pp.  He was active as a teacher in the Jewish schools of Miami Beach, Florida.  He died in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Unzer shul (New York) (October 1936); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 4, 1936); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (August 8, 1937); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (October 22, 1937; July 12, 1958); Sh. Rabinovitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) (October 1937); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 16, 1958); Y. Tsudiker, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (April-May 1959); P. Shteynvaks, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (March 7, 1960); Shteynvaks, in Der amerikaner (New York) (April 1, 1960); M. Kushnir, in Omer (Tel Aviv) (Nisan [= April-May] 1959).
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 320.]

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