Thursday 4 May 2017


SHOLEM LEDERER (1860-1952)
            He was born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland, brother of the Hebrew writer Shlomo-Yehuda Lederer.  He came to the United States in 1905,[1] and he lived in Brooklyn, New York.  He was one of the founders in 1906 of the “First Chełm Support Group” in New York.  He authored stories and novels in the style of Shomer (N. M. Shaykevitsh), such as: Der shreklikher ferbrekher, oder di gemakhte almone, eyn hekhst interesanter roman in fier theyl, oys dem polnishen un amerikanishen yudeshen leben (The frightening criminal, or the affected widow, a highly interesting novel in four parts, from Polish and American Jewish life), “by Sholem Lederer from Chełm” (Vilna, 1897), 56 pp. + 52 pp. + 55 pp. + 55 pp.; Di tsigayner oder rakhe fun a bandit, eyn interesanter roman fun polnishen un amerikanishen yudishen leben in 4 teyl (The gypsies or vengeance of a bandit, an interesting novel of Polish and American Jewish life in four parts) (Vilna, 1897), 72 pp. + 71 pp. + 74 pp. + 68 pp.; Der gevezener tsigayner oder ger tsedek, eyn roman fun polnishen un amerikanishen yudishen leben (The former gypsy or the righteous convert, an interesting novel of Polish and American Jewish life) (Vilna: Y. Pirozhnikov, 1900), 68 pp. + 70 pp. + 26 pp. + 31 pp.  The author frequently accompanied his stories with: “A few words to my beloved readers”; or “The images are drawn from real life.  Life in Poland and America is portrayed accurately.”  When concluding a story, he would announce the “thrilling” contents of the next parts.  Lederer also published stories and novels in Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in New York—among others, a novel entitled Fun mizrekh biz mayrev (From east to west) in 1923—and other works in America and elsewhere.  He died in New York.

Sources: Sh. Chajes, Otsar beduye hashem (Treasury of pseudonyms) (Vienna, 1933), p. 309; Y. Milner, in Yizker-bukh khelm (Remembrance volume for Chełm) (Johannesburg, 1954), cols. 275-76; Ben Binshtok, in Yizker-bukh khelm, col. 694; materials from the YIVO archives (letters from his son in the United States to his father’s fellow Chełm native, Moyshe Lerer, in Warsaw).
Zaynvl Diamant

[1] This according to a document in the YIVO archives, but according to the contents of his novels, one may assume that he was already in America earlier.

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