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Zishe Weinper

WEINPER, ZISHE (pseudonym of Zise Weinperlech; 1893–1957), Yiddish poet, short story writer, editor, and essayist. Weinper was born into a ḥasidic family in Turisk (Ukraine). His father was a cantor and a member of the Trisker rebbe's inner circle. As a youth, Weinper wandered throughout the Ukraine and Poland and in 1910 moved to Warsaw, where he began his literary career. In 1913 he emigrated to the U.S., where he became associated with the Yiddish literary group Di *Yunge. He continued his literary activities while also working as a house painter and elementary school teacher. In 1917, he edited the literary journal Der Onh eyb, which included his own works as well as those of his contemporaries such as B.J. *Bialostotsky, Aaron *Nissenson, and Naphtali *Gross. In 1918, Weinper joined the British *Jewish Legion and served in the Middle East. After returning to New York, he resumed publishing his poems, short stories, and essays in Yiddish publications such as Morgn-Zhurnal, Fraye Arbeter Shtime, and Tsukunft. The Depression of the early 1930s and the rise of Hitler in 1933 led him to join the radical left, and he became the poet and moving spirit of the Yidisher Kultur Farband, the leftist Yiddish cultural federation. His lyric volumes Poemen Vegn di Neviim ("Poems about the Prophets," 1951) and Leyd un Freyd ("Sorrow and Happiness," 1954) gave expression to his later, less optimistic moods.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1926), 949f.; LNYL (1960), 369–71; Dos Z. Weinper-Bukh (1962), 3, incl. bibl.; Z. Zylbercweig, Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater, 4 (1963), 3586–89.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.