SHOLEM KUPERSHMID (1881-1968)
He was a folklorist and literary scholar, born in Belatserkov (Bila Tserkva), Ukraine. He worked as a teacher in the 1920s in the Jewish schools of his hometown. He was engaged his entire life in the collection of Jewish folklore, especially folksongs, and he participated in the work of the “ethnography section” of the Institute of Jewish Culture. Together with Moyshe Beregovski, he published Yiddish folksongs, melodies, aphorisms, and witticisms. He wrote articles for: Tsaytshrift (Periodical) in Minsk, Ratnbildung (Soviet education), Afn shprakhfront (On the language front), Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language) in Kiev, the anthology Folklorlider, naye materyaln zamlung (Folkloric poetry, new material collection), vol. 2 (Moscow: Emes, 1936)—forty-six of the folksongs included were ones he transcribed for the “ethnography section” in Bila Tserkva, Tarashcha, Fastiv, Stavyshche, and other Ukrainian towns—and Sovetish literatur (Soviet literature), among others. He transcribed a large number of folksongs during the years of WWII. These were songs about the difficult times that the people were living through, about their deserted homes, stories from the war front, and ghetto motifs. In book form: Folkslider vegn der foterlenderisher milkhome (Folksongs about the war of the fatherland) (Moscow: Emes, 1944), 30 pp. He died in Bila Tserkva.
Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Nokhum Oyslender, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (January 18, 1945); Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 4 (1966).
[Additional information from: 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. 332.]
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