Sholom Aleichem

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Sholom Aleichem [Шолом Алейхем; Šolom Alejxem] (pseud of Sholom Rabinovich), b 2 March 1859 in Pereiaslav, Poltava gubernia, d 13 May 1916 in New York. Yiddish writer. He became a rabbi in Lubny (1880–3) and later moved to Kyiv and then Odesa, where he devoted his time to writing. Beginning in 1905 he traveled to England, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. He settled in New York in 1914. From 1883 on he published novels, stories (including the first Yiddish stories for children), and plays. Most of them depict shtetl life in Ukraine and include Ukrainian proverbs, folk songs, and folklore and Ukrainian characters (children, workers, and revolutionaries). Over 30 editions of Aleichem's works have been published in Ukrainian translation. In Ukraine his plays have been staged (eg, by Les Kurbas), and films based on his works have been made. A. Kahan's Ukrainian novel about him was published in Kyiv in 1963. A memorial museum was founded in Sholom Aleichem's honor in Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi in 1978, and a monument was erected there in 1984.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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