Thursday 5 April 2018


ESTER SIGAL (ESTHER SEGAL) (March 15, 1895-May 13, 1974)
            The sister of Y. Y. Sigal, she was born in Solobkovits (Solobkovtsy), Podolia.  When still quite young, she moved with her family to Korets, where her father became the city cantor and where he soon thereafter died.  In 1910, her mother with her children immigrated to Canada to join a brother and sister who had moved there earlier.  Esther Segal studied in religious primary school and with private tutors in Montreal, worked in a sweatshop, and attended an evening school as well as classes in the New York teachers’ seminary.  She began writing at an early age, and first published in the collection Epokhe (Epoch), published in 1922 by A. Shkolnikov, Y. Y. Sigal, and E. Almi.  She later published poetry in numerous literary outlets in Canada, such as: Royerd (Virgin soil), Kanade (Canada), Kanader zhurnal (Canada journal), and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle); Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine) in New York; Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna; and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; among others.  In 1928 she brought out a book entitled Lider (Poetry), published by the Zerubavl Branch (219) of the Jewish National Labor Alliance in Toronto (115 pp.).  She lived in Montreal and was married to the poet Sh. A. Shkolnikov.  She died in Israel.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 219-24; Kh. M. Kayzerman-Vital, Idishe dikhter in kanade (Yiddish poets in Canada) (Montreal, 1934), pp. 61-64.
Mortkhe Yofe

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