Tuesday, 20 February 2018


YISROEL SOSIS (September 15, 1878-1967)
            He was born in Balte (Balta), Podolia.  Until age seventeen he studied in religious elementary school and on his own in the synagogue study hall, later turning his attention to secular subject matter.  In 1899 he moved abroad, lived in Berne, Switzerland, and in Paris, and studied philosophy, political economy, and sociology.  In 1902 he joined the foreign organization of the Bund.  After returning to Russia in 1904, he became involved in party work in a variety of cities, primarily Odessa.  He was arrested and imprisoned.  He regularly contributed to Bundist organs in Vilna: Der veker (The alarm) and Di folks-tsaytung (The people’s newspaper).  After 1907 he also wrote for the Russian press in Elizavetgrad and Odessa.  During WWI he was co-editor of the Russian publications put out by Yekopo (Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”), and he contributed work to: Novyi voskhod (New arise), Vilner vokh (Vilna week), and the collections under various titles that were published by Tog (Day) in St. Petersburg.  After the February Revolutionary of 1917, he continued writing for the socialist press in Yiddish and Russian.  He remained active in the Bund in its internationalist wing.  He co-edited the Bundist Evreiskii rabochi (Jewish labor) and contributed to Minsk’s Veker (Alarm).  After the split in the Russian Bund in 1920, he went with the Kombund (Communist Labor Bund) in joining the Russian Communist Party, became editor of the organ of the Jewish section Der idisher arbeter (The Jewish worker) in St. Petersburg (which ceased publication after its twelfth issue), and contributed as well to Emes (Truth) in Moscow.  Over the years 1921-1923, he was put in charge of the Jewish division in the Commissariat of Nationalities in Petrograd, a lecturer in the labor faculty of Petrograd University, and after the establishment of the Institute for Byelorussian Culture (“Invayskult”) following a decree from the Byelorussian Executive Committee of November 24, 1924, he was appointed chief of the historical section of Jewish division of the Institute in Minsk and co-editor of Tsaytshrift (Periodical), in which he edited the historical section.  Soviet Jewish historians (in particular, H. Aleksandrov) discovered “deviations” in him from the central party line, and he was expelled (in the early 1930s) from the party and fired as a professor.  In his subsequent work, Sosis stayed in stride, but people claimed that he had a weak party eye.  In the 1930s he was marked as an “ardent priest” of “the hyper-objective, supra-class, all-nationalities science.”  He was judged more positively than the “bourgeois historians” Dubnov and Klausner.  Of his various writings in the field of Jewish history and literature, he published a series of articles: “On the History of Jewish Social Orientations in Russia,” the Russian Jewish Evreiskaia Starina (The Jewish past) in St. Petersburg (1914-1916); “On the History of the Jewish Socio-Economic and Cultural Life Style,” Evreiskaia Mysl’ (Jewish thought) in Leningrad (1926); “Tsu der sotsyaler geshikhte fun di yidn in vaysrusland” (On the social history of Jews in Byelorussia), Tsaytshrift in Minsk 1 (1926); “Mitteylung un materyaln” (Announcement and materials), questions and answers, in the same volume of Tsaytshrift; “Der yidisher seym in lite un vaysrusland” (The Jewish parliament in Lithuania and Byelorussia), Tsaytshrift 2 (1928); “Yidishe bale-melokhes” (Jewish craftsmen), Tsaytshrift 4 (1930).  In book form: Di sotsyal-ekonomishe lage fun di ruslendishe yuden, in der ershter helft fun 19ten yorhundert (The socio-economic condition of Russian Jewry in the first half of the nineteenth century) (Petrograd: Togblat, 1919), 64 pp.; Tsu der sotsyaler geshikhte fun yidn in lite un vaysrusland (On the social history of Jews in Lithuania and Byelorussia) (Minsk, 1926), 32 pp.; Di geshikhte fun di yidishe gezelshaftlekhe shtremungen in rusland in XIX yorhundert (The history of Jewish social tendencies in Russia in the nineteenth century) (Minsk: Melukhe-farlag, 1929), 202 pp.  He also edited: Der idisher arbeter which was the newsletter of the Jewish Section, Petrograd (1921); and co-edited Shriftn fun vaysrusishn melukhe-universitet (Writings from the Byelorussian State University), Yiddish section in the pedagogy department, vol. 2 (Minsk, 1929), 158 pp.  He also published the work “Di historishe ‘visnshaft’ fun dem yidishn visnshaftlekhn institut” (The historical “scholarship” of YIVO), in Fashizirter yidishizm un zayn visnshaft (Fascist Yiddishism and its scholarship) (Minsk: Yiddish section, Byelorussian Academy of Sciences, 1930), 121 pp.; among others pieces.  According to the decision of the presidium of the Anti-Fascist Committee (March 1946), Sosis was placed on the historical commission, together with Tuvye Heylikman, Sheynin, Deborin, and others.  We know little about what happened to Sosis in subsequent years.  In the Warsaw-based Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) for June 30, 1962, it was noted that “Professor Y. Ts. Sosis is preparing for publication a long work entitled ‘Di geshikhte fun yidishn folk in rusland’ (The history of the Jewish people in Russia),… which explains the stance of the Jewish masses in the war against Napoleon 150 years ago,” and that soon a chapter of this work was to be published in the newspaper.  This work remains in manuscript.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (March 9, 1931); Kalmen Marmor, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (March 16, 1931); D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Di tsukunft (New York) (October 1935; Tsharni, “In der yidisher un hebreyisher literatur” (In Yiddish and Hebrew literature), Di tsukunft (May 1946); “Historishe komisye baym antifashistishn komitet in fsr”r” (Historical commission of the Ant-Fascist Committee of the USSR), Eynikeyt (Moscow) (March 2, 1946); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; information from Al. Pomerants in New York.
Yankev Birnboym

[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), pp. 258-59.]


MOYSHE SANEK (1912-1970)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and public school, and later he became a craftsman.  He lived in Lodz until 1939.  From 1933 he published poetry in: Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), Grine bleter (Green leaves), and Inzl (Island), among others, in Lodz.  He was also a member of a dramatic theatrical studio, for which he wrote topical scenarios and monologues.  During the period of Nazi rule, he was confined in the Lodz ghetto and worked in the disinfection division, while at the same time remaining active in the writers’ group around Miriam Ulinover and in Yiddish theater in the ghetto, for which he wrote songs and sketches which were staged.  In late August 1944, at the time of the liquidation of the ghetto, he was sent to Auschwitz.  In the winter of 1945 he endured the death march through Germany, then was placed in the death camp of Bergen-Belsen, where he was rescued with the sudden arrival of the British army.  He was laid up in a hospital for a time, later active organizing Holocaust survivors in the British zone.  He was a member of the organizing committee of a survivors’ congress which met September 25-27, 1945.  He was a member of the central committee of the Zionist Iḥud (Unity) in the German camps.  He participated in Yiddish “concentration camp theater” in Bergen-Belsen [after the war].  He contributed poetry and feature pieces to Undzer shtime (Our voice) in Bergen-Belsen (1945-1947), in which he published the poem “Un vos vayter, yid bafrayter?” (Now what, liberated Jew?).  He also contributed to the literary anthology Tsoytn (Tufts of hair) (Bergen-Belsen, 1947) and other literary publications in the survivors’ camps in Germany.  He lived for a time in Hannover, West Germany.  He died in Bnei Brak.

Sources: Y. Shpigl, in Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (August 5, 1946); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), p. 161; B. Kosovski, Biblyografye fun di yidishe oysgabes in der britisher zone fun daytshland, 1945-1950 (Bibliography of Yiddish publications in the British zone in Germany, 1945-1950) (Bergen Belsen, 1950), see index; information from Sh. T. in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Monday, 19 February 2018


            He was born in Myadl (Medilas), Lithuania.  He studied at the Volozhin Yeshiva and secular subjects privately.  In the United States, he began working with the Yiddish theater as an errand boy at a singing hall in Brownsville, and he was later a prompter in the troupe from Atlas.  He wrote one-act and three-act plays for the Yiddish stage in New York and throughout the provinces.  In early 1914 he came to Winnipeg with a Yiddish theatrical troupe and stayed.  He studied philosophy at the University of Manitoba.  He was also the editor there of the weekly Di kanader yidishe velt (The Canadian Jewish world).  Later, he was a contributor to the daily newspaper Der keneder yid (The Canadian Jew).  He then returned to New York, and there he published sketches in Di varhayt (The truth) and feature pieces in Der groyser kundes (The great prankster).  In 1917 he joined the Jewish Legion and returned in 1919.  In 1930 he settled in Stamford, Connecticut, and when Sholem Asch lived there (1938), Santop served as his literary secretary.  For several years he worked for the United Jewish Appeal.  In 1964 he wrote a series of articles for the theater page of the Forverts (Forward) in New York.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963).
Yankev Kahan


            The wife of Yoysef (Józef) Sandel, she was born in Dembitse (Dębica), Galicia.  She attended a Jewish high school in Lemberg, later studying biology and Germanics at Lemberg University.  On the eve of WWII, she was a teacher of biology in a high school in Lemberg.  She spent the years 1942-1945 in Soviet Kazakhstan, and 1946-1948 she worked as secretary in the education department of the Central Jewish Committee in Poland.  She served as secretary, 1949-1950, of the “Jewish society for the spread of art.”  She was a scholarly associate, 1950-1953, of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.  She published articles on biology and art in: Dos naye lebn (The new life) and Oyfgang (Arise) in Lodz; Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) and Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) in Warsaw.  In issue 7-8 of Yidish shriftn (1963), she published a piece entitled “Amolike poylishe matbeyes mit hebreyishe oyfshriftn” (Old Polish coins with Hebrew inscriptions).  She also contributed to the Warsaw-based Byuletin (Bulletin) 30 (1959) a work on the fate of Jewish children under the German occupation.  She was an associate of the biology institute in Warsaw.  She also published in various Polish periodicals and journals.  She was last living in Warsaw.
Benyomen Elis


YOYSEF (JÓZEF) SANDEL (September 29, 1894-December 2, 1962)
            He was born in Kolomaye, Galicia, to a father who was a furrier.  He attended the Baron Hirsch School and graduated from high school.  He became interested while still in his youth in painting and sculpture.  Together with the artist A. Granakh, he organized self-defense in Kolomaye against anti-Jewish excesses in 1918.  Around 1920 he moved to Germany and studied in Dresden, where he initially engaged in various trades and where (1924-1925) he brought out a literary-artistic periodical in German.  He later lived in France, Switzerland, and Austria.  He returned to Dresden in 1928 and established there the “Young Art Gallery.”  In 1934 with the Nazi persecutions, he made his way to Yugoslavia.  In Belgrade he put on several shows.  In 1935 he went to Poland, lived in Vilna and Warsaw.  In 1939 he worked as director of a photo exhibition in Kuzmir (Kazimierz) by the Vistula.  During WWII he lived in Karakum, Kazakhstan, where he was a teacher of German in a middle school.  In 1946 he came to Warsaw, served as president of the revived “Jewish society for the spread of art,” and led the art division of the Central Jewish Committee in Poland.  He assembled over 1,000 works of art, mostly by painters and metalworkers who were murdered during the German occupation.  Aside from exhibitions of the assembled artwork—one for the fifth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising—Sandel organized the “Gallery of Jewish Art” in the building of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.  He also stimulated and then ran a competition for portraits of Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Y. L. Perets, Ḥ. N. Bialik, and Sholem Asch.  From 1953 he was employed to adapt the history of Jewish art in Poland.  In the 1930s he wrote treatises on art in German journals, and in Yiddish he placed work in: Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Foroys (Onward)—in Warsaw; and Tog (Day) and Tsayt (Times) in Vilna.  After the war he contributed to: Di naye lebn (The new life), Oyfgang (Arise), Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), and Bleter far geshikhte (Pages for history)—in Warsaw.  His writings on the Polish Jewish painters Aleksander Lesser and Maurycy Minkowski were republished in Pinkes varshe (Records of Warsaw) (Buenos Aires, 1955), in which he also published “Varshever yidishe kinstlers unter der hitleristisher okupatsye un yidishe plastikers in varshe” (Warsaw Jewish artists under the Hitler occupation and Jewish sculptors in Warsaw).  He also published work in Polish academic publications.  In book form, his work includes: Shmuel hirshenberg (Shmuel Hirshenberg), with reproduction (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 31 pp.; Yidish motivn in der poylisher kunst (Jewish motifs in Polish art), fifteen monographs on Jewish painters with fifty reproductions (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1954), 306 pp.; Umgekumene yidishe kinstler in poyln (Murdered Jewish artists in Poland), two volumes, with 175 monographs on Jewish artists and 166 reproductions (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1957), 562 pp. together; Plastishe kunst bay poylishe yidn (The plastic art among Polish Jews), with sixty reproductions (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1964), 200 pp.  “Every historians of the Jewish plastic art in the first half of the present century,” wrote Leo Kenig, “will have to resort to the work of Y. Sandel on our suffering artists.”  He died in Warsaw.

Sources: Pinkes varshe (Records of Warsaw) (Buenos Aires, 1955), pp. 1346-47; P. Davidovitsh, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) (February 1955); Y. B. Beylin, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (March 25, 1956); V. G., in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (December 21, 1957); L. Kenig, “Unzere oysgeshokhtene kinstler” (Our slaughtered artists), Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 31, pp. 236-39; Kh. Lubin, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (May 1959); Sh. Grinshpan, Yidn in plotsk (Jews in Płock) (New York, 1960); obituary notice in Yidishe shriftn (December 1962); Lili Berger, Eseyen un skitsn (Essays and sketches) (Warsaw, 1962), pp. 97-102; Sh. B., in Folks-shtime (December 8, 1962); Y. Gar, and F. Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962); Khil Aron, in Naye prese (Paris) (January 27, 1963); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 25, 1964); Sh. Shtern, in Morgn-frayhayt (January 17, 1965).
Benyomen Elis

Sunday, 18 February 2018


SHIMEN SANDLER (April 7, 1914-June 28, 2001)
            He was born in Dubrovytsia, Volhynia, [Ukraine, but in the early 1920s it became a part of Poland] into a family of barber-surgeons.  He studied in a Hebrew high school in Vilna, from which he graduated in 1932.  In these early years, he began writing Hebrew poetry which appeared in the Zionist youth magazines Hatsofe (The spectator) and Hashomer hatsair (The young guard).  In 1934 he visited the land of Israel to enter the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, but due to material difficulties he was compelled to withdraw and earn a living as a worker.  In 1935 he became active in the labor movement.  In the fall of 1937 the British authorities sent him back to Poland.  He returned home, completed a teachers’ course of study, and until the beginning of WWII he worked as a teacher and educator in the sanatorium for Jewish children named for Vladimir Medem in the city of Miedzeszyn, near Warsaw.  Just at this time he began to write poetry in Yiddish and even published a poem entitled “Tartak” (Sawmill) in the Warsaw journal Foroys (Onward).  In September 1939 when WWII erupted, he fled Warsaw and set out on foot in the direction of Pinsk.  He worked there until 1941 as a teacher of Yiddish language and literature.  On June 23, 1941 he was drafted into the Red Army.  From 1945 he studied as an external student in the department of foreign languages at the Udmurtian Pedagogical Institute from which he graduated in 1948.  In 1960 he defended a dissertation.  From 1961 until the early 1990s, he administered the department of Germanic language at the pedagogical institute in Tiraspol, Moldova.  Over the course of six years, he steadily published in the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) cycles of lessons, “Far di, vos lernen yidish” (For those who are studying Yiddish), later published in separate supplements over the years 1980-1985.  Over the same years, he was part of a group of authors who brought out in 1982 a new textbook for children who wanted to learn Yiddish: Alefbeys (Alphabet).  He was invited to deliver a series of lectures on the Yiddish language for the group “Yidish” (Yiddish) at the Moscow Literary Institute.  In 1989 the Moscow publisher “Russkiy yazik” (Russian language) published his Zelbstlerer fun yidish (Yiddish self-taught), which subsequently came out in a second edition.  He spent the last seven years of his life at the Moscow University for the Humanities.  He also published: Limudim fun yidish (Yiddish lessons) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1980-1985); and Yidish far rusish-reydndike (Yiddish for speakers of Russian) (Moscow, 2000).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 396; 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), pp. 257-58.


FAYVL-YOYNE SANDLER (August 28, 1905-December 23, 1981)
            He was born in Zosle (Žasliai), Vilna district, Lithuania, into a working-class family.  Until age ten he attended religious elementary school.  In 1915, during WWI, he wandered with a multitude of homeless children across Russia, lived in children’s institutions, and studied in Jewish and Russian public schools and in labor schools.  In 1923 he came to the United States and settled in Philadelphia.  In his first years there he worked in tailoring and studied in the evening.  He graduated from a Baron Hirsch evening school, an English-language high school, and the Jewish teachers’ seminary in New York.  He studied child psychology in the New School for Social Research in New York.  Until 1941 he lived in Philadelphia where he was active in Communist institutions, was a cofounder of the leftist tailors’ union, of IKOR (Yidishe kolonizatsye organizatsye in rusland [Jewish colonization organization in Russia]), of IKUF (Jewish Cultural Association), and of the International Labor Order, and he was also a teacher in the latter’s schools and a lecturer at its labor university.  In 1941 he settled in New York.  After the murder of the Yiddish writers in Soviet Russia, he left the Communist Party and joined the Workmen’s Circle, founded and chaired the Dovid Bergelson branch of the Workmen’s Circle, and was active in YIVO and the Y. L. Perets Writers’ Association.  He worked as the Philadelphia correspondent to Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York (1926); he was later an internal contributor to the newspaper and published reportage pieces, children’s stories, literary essays, criticism of books, and the like.  Over the years 1941-1950, he was the news editor of the newspaper.  For many years he was in charge of the ‘Fun gezelshaftlekhn lebn” (From community life) page for the Philadelphia edition of Morgn-frayhayt.  He was the American correspondent for Shtern (Star) in Kiev and for Forpost (Outpost) in Birobidzhan.  He also contributed in New York to: Funken (Sparks), Zamlungen (Anthologies), Ikor-almanakh (IKOR almanac) (1943), Ikor (IKOR), Eynikeyt (Unity), Unzer vort (Our word, organ of the International Labor Order), Nay lebn (New life), Proletarishe dertsiung (Proletarian education), and Heym un dertsiung (Home and education), among others.  In Di yidishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia, he published a series of reportage pieces concerning Birobidzhan.  In Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York, he published monographs and original works of research on the history of Jews in America, surveys of books on Jewish and general history, children’s stories, biographies of Jewish personalities, a bibliography of the Yiddish press in Europe, and journalistic articles.  From 1956 he was writing for: Kultur un dertsiung (Culture and education), Tsukunft (Future), Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), and Der fraynd (The friend)—in New York; and Kheshbn (The score) in Los Angeles; among others.  He was a regular contributor (and from 1961 the news editor) for Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal) in New York (among other items, he published here portions of a monograph about Herbert H. Lehman).  He also place work in: Haynt (Today) and Landsmanshaftn (Native-place associations) in Buenos Aires; and Dorem-afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; among others.  He was the author of Stalin in folks-lid (Stalin of folksong) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1950), 29 pp.  Among his pen names: N. Vagner, Yoyne Shuster, Shrage Shuster, and P. Perets.  In his last years he was a contributor to the Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He died in New York.

Sources: A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Kiev, 1933), pp. 224-25; Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (May 1955); Yedies fun yivo (New York) (April 1960); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1962), pp. 262-63; B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (New York) (July 27, 1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 395.]


            He was an agronomist and journalist, who published articles in such newspapers as Der emes (The truth) in Moscow and Der shtern (The star) in Kiev, as well as in other publications concerned with agriculture and social-economic issues.  His name disappeared in the second half of the 1930s, and his subsequent fate remains unknown.  He published such pamphlets on agriculture as: Di kultur fun zunroyzn (The culture of sunflowers) (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk: Central Publ., 1931), 56 pp.; Di yidishe bayshtetldike kolektivn in ukraine (The Jewish suburban collectives in Ukraine) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1932), 67 pp.; Der kamf kegn der trikenish in der sotsyalistisher virtshaft (The struggle against drought in socialist economy) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1933), 47 pp.; Vi azoy bezetst men a gortn (How to plant a garden) (Birobidzhan, 1933); Nay-zlatopoler rayon (The Nay-Zlatopol district) (Moscow, 1935), 159 pp.

Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 395; 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. 257.


BORIS SANDLER (b. January 6, 1950)
He was a young Soviet Yiddish writer, born in Belz (Bălți), Moldova.  In 1975 he graduated from the Kishinev Conservatory and worked as a violinist in the Moldavian Symphony Orchestra.  In 1983 he completed his studies in the Yiddish division of the “Senior Literary Course” at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow.  He began publishing stories in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow in 1981; he later became a member of the editorial collective of the journal.  In 1989 he founded for Moldavian national television a Yiddish program “Af der yidisher gas” (On the Yiddish street) and directed it.  He produced two scenarios: “Gib zikh nit unter, yidish” (Don’t surrender, Yiddish) (1991) and “Vu iz mayn heym?” (Where’s my home?) (1992)—on the fate of Bessarabian Jews.  From 1990 until he made aliya in 1992, he was editor of the bilingual newspaper Undzer kol (Our voice) in Kishinev.  He also wrote stories and novels and was a member of the writers’ association of Moldova and the Soviet Union.  In 1986 his first work appeared: Treplekh aroyf tsu a nes, dertseylungen un noveln (Steps to a miracle, stories and novellas) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel), 259 pp.; in Russian, Stupeni k chudy, povesti, rasskazy (Steps to a Miracle, stories, tales) (Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel’, 1988), 318 pp.  In Jerusalem, where he was living, he brought out a children’s magazine in Yiddish entitled Kind-un-keyt (Young and old).  He served as the administrator of the Leivick Publishers.  From 1998 he was living in New York, and from May 1999 he was editor-in-chief of Forverts (Forward).  From 2007 he was editing the journal Di tsukunft (The future) with Gennady Estraikh.  His works appeared in: Afn shvel (At the threshold) in Moscow; Yugntruf (Call to youth), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Forverts in New York; Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac), Lebns-fragn (Life issues), Letste neyes (Latest news), and Naye tsaytung (New newspaper) in Israel; Di pen (The pen) in Oxford; and in the quarterly Toplpunkt (Colon) in Tel Aviv.  His book-length works have been translated into other languages.  He is a member of the Yiddish writers and journalists in Israel.  He was awarded the Yankev Fikhman Prize in Israel (2002), the Dovid Hofshteyn Prize in Israel (2005), and other prestigious awards for literature.  Subsequent writings include: Der alter brunem, dertseylungen, minyaturn, roman (The old well, stories, miniatures, novel) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1994), 263 pp.; Toyern (Gates), stories (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1997), 157 pp.; Die grünen Äpfel des Paradieses: Erzählungen und Kurzprosa (Green apples of paradise, stories and short prose pieces) (Berlin: Dodo, 2003), 188 pp.; Ven der golem hot farmakht di oygn, historisher roman (When the golem closed his eyes, a historical novel) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 2004), 301 pp.; Nisht geshtoygn, night gefloygn (Never happened) (New York, 2007), 76 pp.; Royte shikhelekh far reytshel, tsvey noveles un a dertseylung (Red shoes for Rachel, two novellas and a story) (New York, 2008), 168 pp.; Lamed-vovnikes fun mayn zikorn, roman in tsvey teyln (The thirty-six hidden righteous ones in my memory, a novel in two parts) (New York, 2011), 235 pp.

Source: Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan) (July 14, 1985); Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 395; 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), pp. 256-57.

Saturday, 17 February 2018


            He was the author of Higyene fun shul un shul-kinder, populere shmuesn far lerer un eltern (Hygiene for school and school children, popular chats for teacher and parents) (Minsk: State Publ., 1929), 75 pp.; and Tuberkulyoz un vi azoy tsu heyln zikh fun im (Tuberculosis and how to cure oneself of it), popular science chats (Moscow: Central Publ., 1930), 39 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 395.


SHIMEN SAMET (March 13, 1904-1998)
            He was born in Zholkiev (Żółkiew), eastern Galicia.  He was educated at home, which was a meeting place for Zionists and after WWI a center of the pioneer movement.  He attended a Polish middle and high school.  From his youth he was drawn to journalism.  He was edited in high school a student newspaper and published in various periodicals in Polish, Hebrew, and Yiddish.  From time to time he published correspondence pieces in Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg.  He was active in “Young Guard” and “Pioneers” in Galicia.  In early 1926 he made aliya to the land of Israel.  In 1927 he became a contributor to Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv.  In 1932 he was a member of the editorial board of Haarets (The land) in Tel Aviv, in which he worked as director of the news and reporting department.  Until WWII he was Israel correspondent for Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg, Nowy dziennik (New daily) in Cracow, and Radyo (Radio), the afternoon edition of Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  He was also a member of the editorial board of the Israeli weekly newspapers 9 beerev (9 p.m.) and Haolam haze (This world).  From 1938 he was employed (with news and reportage) with the radio station “Kol yisrael” (Voice of Israel).  He was one of the founders of the Hebrew journalists association in Tel Aviv, in which he also over the course of decades was a member of its presidium and administrative committee.  He visited two dozen countries, including the United States, and he published a large number of travel narratives.  He was sent by Haarets and “Kol yisrael” in late 1945 to visit postwar Poland.  After returning to Israel, he recorded his impressions and published them in the Yiddish-language press, primarily in Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He also published his impressions in a book entitled Bevoi lemoḥorat, masa bepolin 1946 (When I come the next day, a journey in Poland 1946) (Tel Aviv: T. Leynman, 1946), 240 pp.; chapters of this were published in Polish and English periodicals as well as in Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  Sanet later once again visited Poland, as well as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania, and as a result of this trip brought out his volume Meaḥore havilon haadom, rishme-masa bimedinot komunistiyot (Behind the red curtain, tour guides to Communist countries) (Tel Aviv: N. Tverski, 1955/1956), 250 pp.  His travel writings assumed a position of honor among writings of this genre in Hebrew.  Samet played a leading role among Hebrew journalists in establishing a rapprochement between Yiddish guest authors outside Israel and writers within the country.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1949), pp. 1370-71; Mi vemi beyisrael (Who’s who in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1955); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (January 15, 1956); Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 12, 1956); Palestine Personalia, ed. Peretz Cornfeld (Tel Aviv, 1947); Who’s Who in Israel (1958).
Mortkhe Yofe


YITSKHOK SAMSONOVITSH (1902-November 10, 1956)
            He was born in Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa), Poland.  He received a Jewish and a general education.  He was a cofounder and teacher at Tshisho (Jewish School Organization) schools in Pyetrikov (Piotrków).  He was a member of the local city council, a Bundist “Lavnik” (municipal advisor), and secretary of the presidium at city hall.  Over the years 1928-1939, he served as editor of the weekly Pyetrokover veker (Piotrków alarm) and a regular correspondent for the Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper in Warsaw, and he contributed as well to Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature) and Foroys (Onward), among others, in Warsaw.  Until WWII he was a member of the party council of the Bund in Poland.  After the war erupted, he was confined for a time in the Piotrków ghetto, later in the Warsaw Ghetto, and from there he got over the Aryan side of the city.  He helped organize the underground resistance movement and contributed to various anti-Nazi periodicals in Yiddish and in Polish.  He was a member (1945-1948) of the Bund’s central committee in Poland and co-editor of Folks-tsaytung and Głos Bundu (Voice of the Bund) From 1948, when the Bundist party was banned in Poland, Samsonovitsh helped found the pro-Communist Cultural Association, assumed various cultural positions, and he became a contributor to Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) and Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), in which he published treatments on international politics, as well as wrote on writers and literary authors.  Using the pen name D. Zylber, he published the volume: Vos kumt for in daytshland? (What’s happening in German?) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1953), 142 pp.  He was also editor of the Warsaw-based, Polish-language publisher “Czytelnik” (Reader).  He died in Warsaw.

Sources: A. Kvaterka, in Folks-shtime (Lodz) (May 21, 1948); A. B., in Unzer tsayt (New York) (February 1951); obituary article, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (November 13, 1956); Sh. Hurvitsh, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 12 (December 1956); Y. Kermish, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 27 (1957); R. Federman, Tshenstokhov anthology (New York, 1958), pp. 146-47.
Benyomen Elis

Friday, 16 February 2018


MOYSHE-BER SAMUILOV (December 17, 1876-December 30, 1947)
            He was born in Lemberg, Galicia, to a father who was a cantor.  He lived later with his family in Galats (Galați), Romania, where his father was head cantor and a singing teacher.  He studied in various schools, later becoming an actor, and he performed in various theaters in Europe and the United States (from 1907).  He also performed in German and English.  He published (1918-1919) articles on Yiddish theater in Di varheyt (The truth) in New York.  He died in New York.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934).


            He was born in Belz, Bessarabia.  In his youth he moved with his parents to the Jewish colony of Alexandria, where he attended religious elementary school and public school.  In 1907 he came to Argentina and settled in a Baron Hirsch colony.  For many years he was a teacher in the Jewish colony schools—later he entered the Tsisho (Jewish School Organization) schools in Argentina.  From 1918 he was a regular contributor to Kolonist-kooperator (Colonist cooperative) in Entre Rios, Buenos Aires, in which he published articles and features.  He contributed to: Argentiner beymelekh (Little Argentinian trees) and Dos fraye vort (The free word), among other serials, in Buenos Aires; Fraye tribune (Free tribune) and Frayer gedank (Free thought) in Paris; as well as the Yiddish press in Uruguay, Brazil, and Mexico.  He was last living in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Kehile-arkhiv fun prese oysshnitn (Community archive of press clippings) (Buenos Aires, 1959-1962); information from Y. Horn in Buenos Aires.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


BOREKH SOLTS (1903-September 1928)
            He was born in a town in western Byelorussia.  At age fourteen he became active in community work.  At age fifteen he was the initiator and cofounder of “self-education courses” for youth and adults in his town.  In 1918 he served in the Red Army, before being demobilized and returning home.  In the early 1920s, his town became a part of Poland.  He was arrested in 1921 for illegal revolutionary activities and was sentenced by a Polish court to death, which was later commuted to thirteen years in prison.  After serving four years in Grodno and Bialystok prisons, he was sent off to the Soviet Union in 1925.  From that point he lived in Minsk, where (from the summer of 1926) he worked as editor of a bimonthly journal Der yunger arbeter (The young worker) and also co-edited Literarish bletl (Literary paper) in Minsk.  Together with Note Vaynhoyz, he compiled a pamphlet Yomim-neroim (Days of awe) (Minsk: Chervonaia zmena, 1926), 27 pp.  He died in Minsk.

Sources: B. Alter, obituary notice in Der shtern (Kharkov-Kiev) (September 11, 1928); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.
Benyomen Elis

[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), pp. 255-56.]


ZEV-VOLF SALES (June 12, 1894-February 18, 1984)
            He was born in Dobromil (Dobromyl’), Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school and in synagogue study hall.  Over the years 1919-1920, he established Hebrew schools for pioneers in Dobromyl’ and Nayshtot.  He spent the years 1921-1939 in Berlin, where he was a Zionist activist.  From late 1939 he was living in New York and from 1957 in Los Angeles.  He attended free courses at universities in Berlin and the United States.  He published occasional articles in: Hadoar (The mail), Bitsaron (Fortress), and Ḥeshbon (Accounting) in Los Angeles, among others.  He placed a longer piece in Avrom Golomb’s jubilee volume, Khesed lavrom, seyfer hayoyvl lavrom golomb tsu zayn akhtsikstn geboyrn-yor (Grace to Abraham, jubilee volume for Avrom Golomb on his eightieth birthday) (Los Angeles, 1970).  He published a Yiddish translation of the book of Job, Seyfer iev, with notes at the end of the text (Los Angeles: Khevre Hamshekh, 1983), 98 pp., as well as of Maimonides’s “Eight Chapters,” Akht prokim larambam (Los Angeles: Khevre Hemshekh, 1978), 92 pp.  He died in Los Angeles.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 394-95.


HERMAN (YOYEL) SOLNIK (February 25, 1869-1943)
            He was born in Blashki (Błaszki), Kalish (Kalisz) district, Poland.  Until age twenty he studied in synagogue study hall and later, under the influence of the Jewish Enlightenment, he took up a secular education and studied foreign languages.  For many years he worked as a private tutor, later as an “advocate” he ran an office that wrote requests to the authorities.  In August 1914, when the Germans carried out a massacre of residents of Kalisz, he fled to Lodz and lived there until the end of the war.  He subsequently returned to Kalisz, where he was a prominent community leader; he was a Zionist councilor on the city council and a member of the Jewish community administration.  He began his writing activities with a poem “Yerusholayim” (Jerusalem) which appeared in Der yidisher historiker (The Jewish historian) in London (1890), later publishing poems, feature pieces, stories, and articles in: Der veg (The path), Unzer leben (Our life), Di naye velt (The new world), Roman-tsaytung (Fiction newspaper), and Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]), among others, in Warsaw; in Hebrew in Hashavua (The week) in Cracow; and Dr. Grünwald’s Jüdische Bibliotek (Jewish library) in Cracow-Vienna (1909); among others.  He also contributed pieces to: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Di yetstige tsayt (Contemporary times) (four issues, Lodz, for which he served as editor).  He served as editor of the weekly Kalisher blat (Kalisz newspaper) (1922-1936), and placed work in Kalisher tog (Kalisz day) and Dos kalisher vort (The Kalisz word), among others.  In book form: Fun himel un erd (From heaven and earth), poetry collection (Warsaw: Kultur, 1912), 44 pp.; Fun altn kloyster, legendn un dertseylungen (From an old church, legends and stories) (Warsaw: B. Kletskin, 1932), 119 pp.  He also published under such pseudonyms as: Dr. Malakhi, Amicus, and Hesol.  During WWII, he was confined in the Kalisz ghetto and later the Lodz ghetto, from whence he was taken to Auschwitz and murdered there.[1]

Solnik in center

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Bal-Makhshoves, in Der fraynd (Warsaw) (February 6, 1913); Y. M. N. (Nayman), in Haynt (Warsaw) (July 17, 1933); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; Z. Kaplan, in Foroys (Mexico City) (February-March 1964).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[1] Translator’s note. According the Polish Wikipedia entry for Solnik, he died in the Warsaw Ghetto. (JAF)


            Under the pen name “Terorist,” he edited (1924-1939) a humor page in the Vilna Yiddish evening newspaper Ovnt-kuryer (Evening courier), where he also published hundreds of his humorous sketches.  He disappeared during the era of Nazi rule in WWII.

Source: Leyzer Ran, 25 yor yung vilne (Twenty-five years of Young Vilna) (New York, 1955).
Leyzer Ran


            He was born in a village not far from Zelve (Zelwa), Grodno region, in what had been Russia.  At age six he moved with his parents to Vilna, and there he attended religious elementary school and later a Russian public school; he graduated high school as an external student and went on to study in the law faculty of St. Petersburg University.  In 1901 he was active in the social democratic movement in Vilna.  In 1902 he joined the Bund, was active in Vilna, Borisov, Homel, and Kiev.  He took part in the seventh conference of the Bund (August 1906) in Lemberg, where interparty struggle took place between the “hard” (harte) and the “soft” (vaykhe) groups—over the question of whether to rejoin the general Russian Social Democratic Party (Salutsky was among the “hards,” and that was the origin of his pseudonym “Hartman” which later, in America, became “Hardman”).  He was arrested and thrown in prisons in Vilna, Lublin, and Kiev.  He was selected to serve as chairman of the first legal association of business and bank employees in Vilna (1906).  He served as a delegate from the Kiev Bund to the London Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Party (1907).  After his last arrest in Kiev (1908), he was sentenced to two years of exile, but due to the condition of his health he was deported from Russia, lived for a year in Paris, did a study of French syndicalism, and in 1909 left for the United States with recommendations from Jean Jaurès to Daniel De Leon and Eugene V. Debs.  In New York he studied political economy and constitutional law at Columbia University, while at the same time taking an active part in the Jewish socialist movement.  He contributed political articles to Di tsukunft (The future) and other periodicals.  He was one of the founders (May 1912) and later the general secretary (1912-1913) of the Jewish Socialist Federation, which in its day played a great role in the Jewish labor movement in America; the Federation organized political lectures and cultural evenings throughout the country and published pamphlets and newsletters under Salutsky’s editorship.  He edited the Yiddish socialist “yearbook” (1914-1918).  He was editor of Der yidisher sotsyalist (The Jewish socialist) (1913-1914) and of Di naye velt (The new world) (1915-1920, with Shakhne Epshteyn, A. Litvak, M. Olgin, and Maks Goldfarb as co-editors at different times).  Due to a difference of opinion with members of the executive of the Federation, he resigned in 1921 from the editorial position on the newspaper.  Following the split in the Jewish Socialist Federation (at the September 1921 meeting), Salutsky rejoined the editorial collegium of Di naye tsayt and assisted in the reunification of the Federation with the Communist Party.  In December 1921 he joined the newly-founded Workers’ Party which was supposed to be a legal party affiliated with the Communist International.  Salutsky, though, was not long for this party.  In 1923 he began to publish a journal in English, American Labor Monthly, a periodical of 96 pp., which was pre-disposed to Soviet Russia, but not as sufficiently partisan as the leaders of the Workers’ Party demanded, and they expelled him from the party—for breaking discipline.
            From the late 1920s, he actively played a role in the general American trade union movement; he worked together with the founders of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.), while at the same time he wrote for The New Republic and served as co-editor of the weekly The New Freeman.  In 1920 he became director of cultural activities for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and editor-in-chief (1925-1944) of its five-language weekly—Advance in English, Fortshrit in Yiddish (edited by E. Rabkin), as well as in Italian, German, and Polish.  He also placed work in Der fraynd (The friend), organ of Workmen’s Circle in New York, and elsewhere.  In book form he published: Yudzhin viktor debs, zayn leben, shriften un redes (Eugene Victor Debs, his life, writings, and speeches), edited by Y. Salutsky (New York: Naye velt, 1919), 308 pp.; Dos revolutsyonere rusland, ilustrirtes zamelbukh (Revolutionary Russia, illustrated anthology), edited by A. Litvak and Salutsky (New York: Central Association of the Bund and Jewish Federation in New York, 1917), 27 pp.; Oysgevehlte verk fun karl marks (Selected works of Karl Marx), five volumes, edited with an introduction by Salutsky, translations by Y. Kisin and L. Levin (New York: Karl Marx Literary Society, 1919); Der komunistisher manifest fun karl marks un fridrikh engels (The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels), translated from the German and with a foreword by Karl Kautsky, introduction by Salutsky (New York: Jewish Socialist Federation in America, 1920), 80 pp.; Sotsyalizm un kunst, oysgevehlte shriften fun a. v. lunatsharski (Socialism and art, selected writings by A. V. Lunacharsky), edited by Salutsky (New York: Naye velt, 1920), 284 pp.; Di teorye un praktik fun sotsyaler revolutsye (The theory and practice of social revolution), selected pieces from Lenin’s works, edited by Moyshe Kats and Salutsky (New York: Naye velt, 1921), 336 pp.; Sotsyale reform oder revolutsye, oysgevehlte shriften fun roza luksemburg mit byografishe skitsn fun y. mill un klara zetkin (Social reform or revolution, selected writings by Rosa Luxemburg, with biographical sketches by John Mill and Clara Zetkin), edited by Salutsky (New York: Naye velt, 1921), 287 pp.  He also published in English (via the Amalgamated) Almanakhn (Almanacs) for 1923 and 1925 and a Kalendar (Calendar).  Over the years 1945-1953, he edited the large, serious journal Labor and Nation.  He was also editor of the project “The Labor Leadership Study” at Columbia University.  In the Harvard Business Review 31.1 (January-February 1953), pp. 39-48, he published “Labor in Midpassage”; in the New York-based American Jewish Historical Quarterly 52.2 (December 1962), pp. 98-132, he published “The Jewish Labor Movement in the United States” in both English and Yiddish (“Di yidishe arbeter-bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn”); and in Yiddish he published “Di yidishe arbeter in der amerikaner arbeter-bavegung” (Jewish workers in the American labor movement) in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York 36 (1952), pp. 9-24.  Other books in English include: American Labor Dynamics: In the Light of the Post-War Developments (New York, 1928), 432 pp.; and Rendezvous with Destiny: Addresses and Opinions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (New York: Dryden Press, 1944), 367 pp.  Salutsky was president of the American Labor Press Association from 1940 to 1945.  In 1961 the Industrial Union Department, A.F.L.-C.I.O., under the leadership of Walter Reuther, decided to sponsor publication of a volume of selected writings by Salutsky, as recognition of his contribution to the American labor movement (the volume was prepared for publication).

Salutsky, standing far right

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; Der veker (New York) (June 17, 1922); Vilne (Vilna), anthology (New York, 1935), pp. 963-66; H. Rogof, in Di tsukunft (New York) (May-June 1942); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, A. litvak, geklibene shriftn (A. Litvak, selected writings) (New York, 1945), p. 90; Kazdan, Mentshn fun gayst un mut (Men of spirit and courage) (Buenos Aires, 1962), p. 94; F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952), see index; E. Novogrudski, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (November 1953); Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike (The Jewish socialist movement in America) (New York, 1954), see index; Sh. Vays, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), pp. 303-5; Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1962); Jewish Encyclopedia Handbooks, vol. 4 (New York, 1955), see index.
Benyomen Elis

Thursday, 15 February 2018


HANNA G. SALUTSKI (HANNAH SALUTSKY) (January 2, 1880-June 28, 1953)
            She was born in Medzhybizh (Międzyboż), Podolia region, Ukraine.  Her father, Menakhem Mendl Goldenshteyn, a merchant and adherent of the Jewish Enlightenment, saw that she received a basic Jewish education, with Hebrew, Tanakh, and the like.  In 1896 she immigrated to the United States, worked in various sweatshops and in a photography studio, and continued her education on her own.  Over the years 1906-1907, she was secretary of the central association of Bundist organizations in America.  She studied (1912-1913) at the School for Social Sciences in New York, which later became a part of Columbia University, where thanks to her talents and experience in community matters, she was accepted without the necessary diploma and received a stipend from the school.  She completed her studies with a dissertation on emigration from Eastern Europe and a fellowship to further her research on issues of immigration; she later became active in the Jewish Socialist Federation, of which her husband Jacob Salutsky-Hardman was a cofounder (1921) and whom she helped in his community and literary work.  She subsequently became interested in questions of pedagogy and wrote about education in the organ of the Workmen’s Circle, Der fraynd (The friend), and in the organ of the Jewish Socialist Federation, Di naye velt (The new world)—she also published there, among other items, semi-fictional writings under the title “Kinderishe neshomes” (Childlike souls).  In book form: Dos kind, fizishe ertsihung, afn grund fun di beste meditsinishe oytoriteten, tsugepast tsu di baderfenishn fun der idisher muter (The child, physical education, on the basis of the best medical authorities, adjusted to the needs of the Jewish mother) (New York: Workmen’s Circle Library, 1920), 194 pp.; Gaystike ertsihung fun kind, kinder-psikhologye, ertsihungs-badingungen (Spiritual education of the child, children’s psychology, educational conditions) (New York: Dos kind, 1920), 221 pp.; and she compiled for the elementary level of Yiddish, Bukhshtabn- un verter-shpil far heym un kinder-shul (Letter- and word-play for home and elementary school) (New York: Dos kind, 1921).  Using the name A. Goldvin, she translated Henrik Ibsen’s Boymayster solnes (Master builder [original: Bygmester Solness]) and Rozmersholm (original: Rosmersholm) both: (New York: Mayzel et kompani, 1910).  For a time she ran a Montessori school in English.  Over the years 1922-1943, she managed summer camps for children and engaged with a great deal of experimental pedagogy.  She died following an operation in New York.  She was the wife of Jacob Salutsky-Hardman.  Their daughter was a doctor of biology and an English-language author, initially under the name Yvette Edmonson, later Virginia Mishnun (d. 2003).

Hannah Salutsky seated second from right;
Jacob Salutsky-Hardman standing far right

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Klorbakh, in Di tsukunft (New York) (November 1910), p. 721; Y. Sh. Herts, 50 yor arbeter ring (Fifty years of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1950), p. 191; E. Novogrudski, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (July-August 1953).
Benyomen Elius


            He was the author of Purim shpil, eynakter (Purim play, one-act play) (Warsaw: Goldener horn, 1927), 32 pp.  It was a compilation of traditional Purim plays.  The notations he jotted down to the various arias are important.
Ezra Lahad

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 394.


TONI SOLOMON-MAARAVI (b. October 20, 1912)
            He was born in Bilovar (?), Romania.  He completed school to become a bookkeeper in Jassy (Iași).  He was an active Zionist.  From 1948 he was living in Israel.  He published stories in: Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel) in Tel Aviv, Hamenora (The menorah) in Jerusalem, and Katif (Fruit harvest) in Petaḥ Tikva.  In book form: the trilogy Teg fun tsorn, khronik fun yidishe leydn in rumenye in di yorn 1939-1944 (Days of anger, chronicle of Jewish suffering in Romania in the years 1939-1944), translated from the Romanian by H. Robinson (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1968), 407 pp.; Teg in veg, khronik fun yetsies rumenye nokh der hitler-mapole biz der etablirung fun medines-yisroel (Days on the way, chronicle of the exodus from Romania after Hitler’s defeat until the establishment of the state of Israel) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1975), 491 pp.; Teg fun amol, vos mayne zeydes hobn dertseylt un vos ikh hob farshribn (Days of yore, what my grandfathers recounted and what I recorded) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1979), 392 + 16 pp.

Sources: A. Baraban, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (April 11, 1969); H. Shargel, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (September 24, 1975).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 394.


URI-VOLF (E.?) SALAT (b. September 2, 1882)
            He was born in Lemberg, Galicia, into a rabbinical family.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a small Hassidic synagogue.  He was a pupil of Yoysef-Shoyel Natanzon, from whom he received ordination into the rabbinate.  For a period of time, he did not wish to take up a rabbinical post and earned a living teaching Jewish subject matter to the children in affluent homes.  He was the teacher of Dr. Yoysef Thon and Yoysef Marshoshes.  He worked as well as a rabbinical judge for a time in Lemberg.  He wrote religious texts, poetry, and interpretations of textual issues, which appeared in: Hamagid (The preacher), Hamelits (The advocate), Hator (The turtle-dove), and Haet (The times), among other serials.  He is the same person as E. Salat who translated from Hebrew into stylized Yiddish: Avkat rokhel (Scent powder [great scholar]), by Yaakov Makhir—“the signs and marvels that will transpire when the Messiah will come…and [we] earn the world to come”—(Lemberg: Munk un Rath, 1904), 16 pp.  He also translated the Rambam’s Biur milot hahigayon (Explanation of logic) (Lemberg, 1905) and portions of Igeret teman (Letter to Yemen) and Igeret hashmad (Letter on apostasy).

Sources: N. Sokolov, Sefer zikaron (Remembrance volume) (Warsaw, 1899), pp. 75-76; Dov Sadan, Kearat tsimukim (A bowl of raisins) (Tel Aviv, 1939/1940), p. 320.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He came from Warsaw, Poland, and arrived in the United States in 1879.  For many years he worked as a pediatrician on New York’s East Side.  He published articles on children’s diseases in a column entitled “Dem doctors rat” (The doctor’s advice) in Nyu yorker abend-post (New York evening news), as well as in Yudishe gazetten (Jewish gazette) and Folks-advokat (People’s advocate) in New York.  He authored medical brochures, published by New York City’s administration.  His works include: Di kinder ertsihung, a praktisher rat tsur pflege und ertsihung di kinder in dem ershten lebens yohren (Children’s education, a practical piece of advice in parenting and rearing children in the first year of life) (New York: L. Kahn, 1889), 28 pp., with a foreword to “Geertes publikum” (Distinguished public), in which he appealed to come to him for a free consultation.  He also published under the pen names: Dr. S and Juliusz.”

Sources: Announcements in the New York newspapers (1889-1890); Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1944), p. 36.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


            He was born in Nay-Vileyke (Naujoji Vilnia), near Vilna.  His father was a second-hand dealer in farm produce; his mother was for many years bedridden with paralysis.  From his earliest years, Henekh assisted his father in his work, traveling through the Byelorussian villages and towns, watched over gardens, and helped harvest fruit for orchard keepers.  He gradually became a proprietor himself in a Byelorussian village, and in his writings he describes the bitter fate of the Byelorussian farmer.  For several years he worked in Balberishski’s tobacco plant in Vilna, while at the same time he wrote his village stories.  He became friends with the young poet Elkhonen Vogler, for whom he would read his works before gatherings.  He debuted in print with stories in the Warsaw-based Oyfgang (Arise) (1928), issue 1 (November), “Vatslav reymgarses geburt” (Vatslav Reymgars’s birth), and issue 2 (December), “A lebn” (A life).  He appeared at annual meetings of the literary group “Yung vilne” (Young Vilna) in 1931-1932 to give readings of his stories, which were particular successes among young Jewish laborers.  With the mass illegal migration of 1932, he left for the Soviet Union and was sent on to Magnitogorsk, a city in the Urals, where he worked in a factory while also continuing his writing.  At his initiative, young writers—mainly, those who had come from Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and other countries—created a Yiddish writers’ group in the Magnitogorsk Writers’ Association.  His play Shvarts-royt (Black-red) was staged by the Magnitogorsk Yiddish Drama Ensemble.  He read his stories aloud over the Magnitogorsk radio.  His stories were translated into Russian and published in the local press.  A volume of his stories was published by the publisher Emes in Moscow in 1934.  In August of that year he was delegated by the Magnitogorsk Writers’ Association to the All-Soviet Writers’ Conference in Moscow, where he was warmly welcomed as well by Soviet Yiddish writers.  In 1936 when mass arrests of those who had immigrated to Russia commenced, he disappeared in a Soviet concentration camp to which he had been deported as an “enemy spy.”

Sources: Vilner tog (Vilna) (January 29, 1930; February 10, 1931); L-Sh (Shoyel Reyzen), in Vilner tog (March 24, 1932); Shtern (Minsk) (May-June 1935), p. 125; Sh. Kahan, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (February 26, 1937); M. Bahelfer, in Afn shvel (New York) (September-October 1947); Sh. Katsherginski, Tsvishn hamer un serp (Between hammer and sickle) (Buenos Aires, 1950), p. 15; E. Vogler, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 23 (1955), pp. 174-76; Leyzer Ran, 25 yor yung vilne (Twenty-five years of Young Vilna) (New York, 1955); Meyer Pups, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (August 25, 1959).
Leyzer Ran

[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. 255.]


NOKHUM SOLOVEY (1916-1941)
            He was a Yiddish prose author in Soviet Russia, about whom little is known.  He lived in Kharkov and Kiev.  He was the author of two books of stories: Pyonerisher broyz (Pioneer brewery) (Kharkov-Kiev: State publishers for national minorities of the USSR, 1933), 38 pp.; and Noveln (Novellas) (Kiev: State publishers for national minorities of the USSR, 1940), fourteen stories divided into three parts: “Amol iz geven” (It once was) about life before the revolution; “Di fon hot geflatert” (The banner fluttered) about the era of the revolution; and “Af eygener erd” (On one’s own terrain) about life in the Jewish colonies before the era of Soviet power.  Critics lauded this second volume, especially the stories “Rokhl” (Rachel), “Der letster briv” (The last letter), and “Dos negerl” (The black man).  He contributed work to the almanac Onheyb (Beginning) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1940), which featured works by young Ukrainian poets and prose writers.  With other authors, he compiled the reader Arbet un shaf, lernbukh farn tseytn klas (Work and workshop, textbook for the second class) (Minsk: Byelorussian state publishers, 1928), 234 pp.; and Oyftu, khrestomatye farn 2tn lernyor (Accomplishment, a reader for the second school year) (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk: Central Publ., 1930), 129 pp.  At the start of WWII he volunteered to fight at the front and was killed soon thereafter.  Further biographical information concerning him remains unknown.

Sources: F. Altman, in Prolit (Kiev) (February 1932), p. 79 pp.; A. Beylin, Sovetishe literatur (Kiev) (October 1940), pp. 155-57; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.

[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), pp. 254-55.]


            He was born in Vilna.  In 1914 he graduated from the Vilna teachers’ institute.  During WWI he was a teacher in the Vilna schools, and later he turned his attention entirely to gymnastics.  He worked for Vilna “Maccabee” and, with H. Glyot, published a textbook for gymnastics.  He was a quiet, genteel man, much loved and highly regarded.  During the Nazi occupation, he worked in the labor camp Reshe (Riešė, Rzesza), near Vilna.  He was later deported to Estonia and killed there.

Source: Lerer yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), pp. 267-68.
Yankev Kahan