Tuesday 20 November 2018


BOREKH FENSTER (March 22, 1902-March 11, 1974)
            He was born in Zatory, a village near Pułtusk, Poland.  In 1920 he emigrated to the United States.  He worked as a weaver.  He debuted in print with poetry in Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York (1921), and until 1950 he remained an internal contributor to it.  He published poems, stories, fables, reviews, articles, and translations, among them (in 1942) the historical novel by William Blake, Copperhead.  He also contributed work to: Hamer (Hammer), the Yiddish-English-Russian monthly journal Spartak (Spartacus), Yugnt (Youth), Yung-kuznye (Young smithy), Signal (Signal) of which he was also co-editor, and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York; Naylebn (New life), Haynt (Today), and Landsmanshaftn (Native-place associations) in Buenos Aires; and Oysnay (Afresh), among others, in Paris; and Kamf (Struggle) in Toronto; among others.  Fenster wrote a great deal for the children’s stage for leftwing summer camps.  At the Artef and Folksbiene Theaters, his theatrical works—“A bunt mit a tatshke” (A bundle with a wheelbarrow), cowritten with N. Bukhvald, and “A goldfaden kholem” (A dream of Goldfaden), co-authored with Khaver-Paver, among others—were performed.  In book form: Royte vintn, lider, 1924-1928 (Red winds, poetry, 1924-1928) (Denver: Fraynt, 1929), 93 pp.; Di mayse fun purim, loyt der megile (The story of Purim, according to the Scroll [of Esther]) (New York, 1943), 16 pp.; Di mayse fun khanike (The story of Hanukkah) (New York, 1943), 16 pp.  In 1950 he and a group of writers broke with Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) on political grounds.  Until 1956 he worked in sweatshops.  From 1957 he wrote for Forverts (Forward) in New York, and he replaced at times the news editor of the newspaper.  He published political articles in Der fraynd (The friend) and elsewhere in New York.  He also wrote under the pen names: A Prolet-Yat, A. Ben, A. Benedikt, and B. Khaloni.  He died in New York.

Sources: Kalmen marmor arkhiv (Kalmen Marmor archive), YIVO (New York); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Kh. Dunets, in Oktyabr (Minsk) (Nove,mber 1930); M. Olgin, in Hamer (new York) (December 1930); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (New York) (May 26, 1932); A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Minsk) (1935); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4706; Korot (Jerusalem) 9 (1965/1966).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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