Thursday 5 April 2018


BERL SIGAL (February 7. 1897-September 7, 1980)
            He was born in Orinin, Podolia, to a father who worked as a ritual slaughterer.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  He went through military service during WWI.  He attended the teachers’ course of study at the “Kultur-lige” (Culture league) in Odessa.  He studied at a Kultur-lige school in Kamenets-Podolsk.  In 1922 he came to the United States.  That same year he published in New York’s Labor Zionist organ, Tsayt (Times), a series of stories drawn from Jewish life, entitled “Unter petlyuras memshole” (Unter Petliura’s domination).  He published poems and stories in Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) and Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper) in New York and contributed as well to Kundes (Prankster) in New York.  He placed work and was later assistant editor of Shabes-post (Sabbath mail), a weekly periodical in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Over the years 1924-1940, he worked as a teacher in the Workmen’s Circle schools in Rochester, New York.  He graduated from Brown and Rochester Universities.  He later settled in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked in a hospital laboratory.  He published in book form: Dray kinder-shpiln (Three children’s plays) (New York: Ḥavig, 1930), 46 pp.; A simkhe in shul (A joyous celebration in school), a children’s play (New York, 1939), 21 pp.; Moyshe mendelson, 1729-1786 (Moses Mendelssohn, 1729-1786) (New York: “Kinder-ring,” Education Committee of the Workmen’s Circle, 1941), 46 pp.; Kinder-lider (Children’s poems) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1970), 32 pp.  The children’s plays were staged at children’s concerts and celebrations at many schools.  He later published stories from time to time in Kinder-tsaytung.  He died in Providence.
Mortkhe Yofe

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 405.]

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