FROYM KAPLAN (September 24, 1879-December 7, 1943)
He was born in Shat (Šėta), Lithuania. He was the son of Zalmen-Pinkhes Kaplan, rabbi in Yezne (Jieznas) and Gelvan (Gelvonai), Lithuania. He studied in the butchers’ school in Vilna and later in the Slabodka yeshiva. He began publishing with articles in Hamelits (The advocate) and Hatfira (The siren). In 1902 he published his first piece in Yiddish—a humorous sketch in Cracow’s Der yud (The Jew). He came to the United States in 1904. He wrote journalistic articles and historical essays in Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper). From 1907 until his death, he was a regular contributor to Morgn zhurnal (Morning journal). Through his articles he became among the most prominent contributors to Orthodox Judaism in America. He also published in: Amerikaner (American), Hadror (Freedom), and Haivri (The Jew)—occasionally using the pen names Ploni Vekoyen, Ben Zalmen, and A. Beharev. Among his more important historical articles: “Di fartsaytike idishe parteyen un sekten” (The ancient Jewish parties and sects); “Di roshe-hagoyle” (The heads of Jews in the diaspora); “Makhmed un der alkoran” (Mohamed and the Koran); “A idishe mamshole in arabyen” (A Jewish regime among the Arabs); “Idishe rayzende in mitlalter” (Jewish travelers in the Middle Ages); and “Barimte yiden in amerike” (Important Jews in America)—in Yidishe tageblat; and “Di religyez-idishe filozofye” (Religious Jewish philosophy) in Amerikaner (1918-1919). He died in Brooklyn.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Moyshe Shtarkman, in Hadoar (New York) (May 23, 1947); D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Lite (Lithuania), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1965); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).