ARN PROVOTINER (August 17, 1896-1948)
He was born in Zvihil (Novohrad-Volynskyy), Volhynia. He received both a Jewish and general education. He graduated from a Russian high school and the Moscow Drama Academy. During the years of WWI, he served in the Russian army, and later from 1919 to 1922 he was director of the Kiev Yiddish theater studio. In 1923 he came to the United States and until 1930 was a Yiddish teacher in Sholem Aleichem schools and a counselor at their summer camps. Over the years 1930-1935, he served as principal of the Y. L. Perets schools in Calgary, and thereafter, until 1947, as a teacher in the Sholem Aleichem and Workmen’s Circle schools in Chicago. He began writing in Hebrew and debuted in print with a children’s story in Levner’s Olam katan (Little world) in 1907, later publishing poems, children’s tales, and translations from Russian and Polish in: Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna. From 1925 he was publishing children’s plays, stories, and articles in: Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Tsukunft (Future), Forverts (Forward), and Oyfkum (Arise), among others, in New York; Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in Winnipeg; and elsewhere. He dramatized for the stage and produced a variety of stories by Sholem Aleichem. In book form, among others: Der hiner-shtrayk (The chicken strike), a children’s play in three acts (Vilna, 1928), 29 pp., based on a Sholem Aleichem story; Tsvey purim-shpiln (Two Purim plays) (Chicago, 1938), 24 pp.; Yude hamakabi, historishe operete in dray aktn (Judah Maccabi, a historical operetta in three acts) (Chicago, 1939), 23 pp.; Yontef pyesn, far khanike, purim, peysekh, shvues, yomim-neroim (Holiday plays, for Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, Shavuot, and the High Holidays) (Chicago, 1943), 142 pp., with illustrations. He was co-editor of the jubilee volume for L. M. Shteyn (Chicago, 1938). He died in Los Angeles.
Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959), pp. 1867-70; Sh. Raskin, in Tog (New York) (September 19, 1931); Leye Mishkin, in Pinkes shikago (Records of Chicago) (1951/1952), see index; information from Yankev Dubov in Chicago.
Khayim Leyb Fuks