ELISHEVA KANTSEDIK (ELISHEVE KOYEN-TSEDEK, 1922-2013)
She was a journalist and prose writer, born in the town of Augustów, Białystok district, Poland, into the home of the popular pediatrician and community leader, Yankev Faygenberg. She moved with her parents that same year to Vilna, where she graduated from Sofye Markovne Gurevitsh’s school and the senior high school. While still in school, she was a member of the youngest group of Jewish poets “Yungvald” (Young forest) who brought out Yung-vilnyaner (Young Vilners). Upon graduating from high school in 1939, she was accepted into the research student program at YIVO. She was active in an illegal Communist youth organization and spent half a year in prison. She contributed to the press and was a correspondent for the Kovno youth journal, Shtraln (Beams [of light]). Over the years 1939-1941, her first literary efforts appeared in Yiddish and Polish periodicals in Vilna and Kovno. She was evacuated during WWII to the city of Kuibyshev (Samara), where she worked as a teacher, studied in absentia at the pedagogical institute, and wrote for the local press. From the 1940s she worked in Vilna as a journalist. From 1966 she published stories, novellas, and sketches in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow. She made aliya in 1990 and went to work for the Yiddish newspaper in Tel Aviv, Naye tsaytung (New newspaper). In 1993 her literary work was recognized with a prize from the city of Ashkelon. In 1996 she published with Leivick Publishers in Tel Aviv her novel Farges-mikh-nit (Forget me not), 450 pp., in which her protagonists live in the stormy era on the eve of WWII and are tied to the fateful dramatic events that transpire in Vilna; the principal heroine of the book stands at the center of the events. She was honored in 2002 with the literary award named for Borekh Shvartsman. She died in Israel.
Other books include: Bletlekh fun a lebn (Pages from a life) (Moscow: Sovietski pisatel, 1984), 63 pp., published as a supplement to Sovetish heymland 12 (1984); Mentshn vos flantsn blumen, dertseylungen, publitsistik (People who plant flowers, stories, journalism) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 2003), 280 pp.
Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 475; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 320.
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