Monday 22 January 2018


AVROM NISNEVITSH (1886-March 27, 1955)
            He was born in Pukhovitsh (Pukhavichy), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  He was the son of an itinerant school teacher.  He studied with his father in religious elementary school.  At age eleven he traveled to Minsk to study in yeshiva.  He became a regular visitor to Nayfakh’s Hebrew library and acquainted himself with the literature of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He also mastered Russian and read the works of the great Russian writers.  He became a socialist in 1902 and, together with his brother Daniel (a furrier), organized Jewish laborers in their town.  He was arrested in 1905 for distributing proclamations, spent nine months in jail, and afterward fled to the United States, later settling in Canada.  He was a delegate in 1907 to the founding conference of the Jewish Socialist Federation in Rochester.  He owned a small leather-goods factory.  In his later years, he was active in cultural work.  He began writing Hebrew poetry while still at the Minsk yeshiva.  Around 1904 he began to write poems in Yiddish (in Minsk he was known as “Avrom the poet”).  In America he published in various newspapers and magazines.  He wrote under the pen names A. Minsker and Alef Nun.  In books form he published: In loyf fun yorn (Over the course of years), poetry, with a foreword by M. Feldman (Toronto: Ikuf, 1942), 94 pp.; Af di vegn fun lebn (On the roads to life), poems, with appreciations by Y. Gershman and Z. Vaynper (Toronto: Ikuf, 1953), 199 pp.  Nisnevitsh’s poems dealt mostly with social themes: suffering from hunger and poverty and protest against the rich.  His pseudonym in English was A. Nesbit.  He died in Toronto.

Sources: N. Shemen, in Der veg (Mexico City) (November 20, 1954); Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (April 1955); N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort antologye (America in Yiddish, an anthology) (New York: Ikuf, 1955).
Leyb Vaserman

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