Monday 6 November 2017


            The wife of Leyb Malakh, she was born in the village of Mihava, near Czernowitz, Bukovina, into a family of poor agricultural field workers.  Until age nine they lived in the village, and she studied there in religious elementary school and in a village German elementary school.  During WWI she studied in a public school in Vienna.  Later, until 1926, she was living in Czernowitz where she attended high school.  In 1926 she moved to Canada and settled in Toronto, where she graduated from a public middle school and later from the Jewish teachers’ seminary in New York.  For a time she engaged in physical labor, later working as a Yiddish teacher in Paris, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles.  Over the years 1931-1937, with her husband Leyb Malakh, she traveled through Eastern and Western Europe, the land of Israel, and other countries; until the end of 1938 she lived in Paris, where she worked as a teacher in the Nokhum Aronson school, while at the same time being active in the left Labor Zionist movement.  Her literary activities began with a description of nature, entitled “Der prut” (The twig) in Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires (October 1926), and she went on to publish stories, children’s tales, poems, and articles in: Di prese, Ikuf-bleter (Pages from IKUF), and Der holts-industryel (The wood industry)—in Buenos Aires; Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto; Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in Winnipeg; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Fraye yugnt (Free youth), Der yunger dor (The young generation), Arbeter-tsaytung (Labor newspaper), Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—in Warsaw; Inzl (Island), Tsukunft (Future), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Der tog (The day), Der hamer (The hammer), Zamlungen (Anthologies), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) (in which, among other items, she published a series of reportage pieces about California), and Unzer veg (Our way), among others, in New York; Nayvelt (New world), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), and Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Tel Aviv; Parizer haynt (Paris today), Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), Dos vort (The word), Naye prese (New press), and Kinder-zhurnal—in Paris; Kheshbn (The score), Kalifornyer bleter (California leaves), Kalifornyer yidishe shtime (Jewish voice of California), and Kalifornyer shriftn (California writings), among others, in Los Angeles.  She also placed pieces in Danyel tsharni bukh (Volume for Daniel Tsharni [Charney]) (Vilna, 1938) and in the remembrance volume Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa) (New York, 1958).  A poem of hers is also included in Joseph Leftwich’s anthology in English, The Golden Peacock (London-New York, 1939).  In book form: Shtile trit, dertseylungen un reportazhn (Soft footsteps, stories and reportage pieces) (Los Angeles, 1955), 160 pp.; Dertseylungen (Stories) (Los Angeles, 1964), 286 pp.; Di untershte shure, dertseylungen, geshtaltn un maymorim (The lowest line, stories, impression, and essays) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1985), 255 pp.  She also published under such pen names as: Mendl Melamud, Z. Field, and A. Leyener.  She was last living in California.

Sources: Y. Z., in Arbeter-tsaytung (Warsaw) (May 1936); Parizer haynt (Paris) (June 20, 1937); B. Zilbershteyn, in Belgishe bleter (Antwerp) (July 1937); Y. B. Beylin, in Frayhayt (New York) (May 29, 1955); R. Yukelson, in Zamlungen (New York) 6 (June 1955); Z. Kahir, in Frayhayt (June 3, 1955); Ikuf-alamankh (IKUF almanac) (New York, 1961), p. 557; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (March 1, 1964; August 1, 1964).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 377.]

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