Monday 30 July 2018


MORTKHE PERLMUTER (January 25, 1888-January 22, 1962)
            He was born in Ludmir (Volodymyr Volyns’kyi), Volhynia, into an affluent family.  He attended religious elementary school and graduated from a municipal school.  He took part in the revolutionary movement in Warsaw, 1903-1904, and he was a frequent visitor at the home of Y. L. Perets and a copier for him (they were distant relatives).  In 1906 he immigrated to the United States and worked in sweatshops in New York.  In 1907 he began writing in Russian.  In 1908 he debuted in print with a series “Lider fun gloybn” (Poems from beliefs) in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor).  He later published poems, essays, and critical treatments in: Arbeter fraynd (Workers’ friend), Fraye gezelshaft (Free society), Bodn (Ground), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), Fraye arbeter-shtime, Feder (Pen), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper).  He also contributed humorous works to: Kibetser (The joker), Der idisher gazlen (The Jewish bandit), and Forverts (Forward) in New York.  In addition, he translated one-act plays.  In book form: Lider fun gloybn (New York, 1922), 96 pp.  Among his pen names: Matveyke, Motele, and Faran Kavey.  In 1959 he was a member of the editorial collective of Fraye arbeter-shtime.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4639; A. Glants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 31, 1962); A. Nisenzon, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (May 1, 1962); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), p. 302.
Benyomen Elis

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