Tuesday 26 February 2019


NEKHEMYE (NATHAN) KAPLAN (b. August 1881)[1]
            He was born in Bialystok.  He studied in yeshivas, later in a Russian middle school.  His father, Kasriel, was a pioneer follower of the Jewish Enlightenment in Bialystok.  In 1906 he made his way to New York.  He began writing in 1910, also using the pen name Ben Khorin, in: Yudishe emigrant (Jewish immigrant) in St. Petersburg, Der idisher imigrant (The Jewish immigrant) in New York, Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Haynt (Today), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), and Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), among others.  He served as editor of Idisher kunst zhurnal (Jewish art journal) in New York.  In book form: In blumen-land, dramatishe fantazye in eyn akt un dray stsenes (In the land of flowers, a dramatic fantasy in one act and three scenes) (New York: Matones, 1925), 9 pp. + 38 pp.; Simfoni muzik, kurtse derklerung iber dem inhalt fun di vikhtigste simfonis (Symphony music, short explanations of the content of the most important symphonies) (New York, 1925), 210 pp.; Shtimungen, lider (Moods, poetry), with Yitskhok Finkel (Vilna: F. Garber, 1930), 13 pp.; Lernbukh fun esperanto (Esperanto textbook) (New York), 96 pp.  His translations include: Oscar Wilde, Poezi in proze (Poetry in prose) (New York, n.d.), 44 pp.; Geklibene perl fun tanakh (Selected pearls from the Tanakh) (New York, 1913), 78 pp. + 62 pp.; Ethel L. Voynich, Der shtekhediger, historisher roman (The gadfly, a historical novel) (New York: Literarisher ferlag, 1917), 265 pp.; Rabindranath Tagore, Tshitra (Chitra) (New York, 1919), 36 pp.; Stanisław Przybyszewski, Ametisten (Amethysts) (New York, 1919), 19 pp.; Maurice Maeterlinck, Di shvester bitris (Sister Beatrice [original Soeur Béatrice]) (New York: Literarishe perl, 1919), 47 pp.  Kaplan’s translation of Mikhail Artsybashev’s play Dos gezets fun vildn (The law of the savage) was staged by Maurice Schwartz.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Byalistoker shtime (New York) (October 1924); Byalistoker leksikon (Bialystok handbook) (Bialystok, 1935); autobiographical notes (gives birth date as August 1881); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Yekhezkl Lifshits

[1] Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3, claims it was September 1880.

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