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Shalom Aleichem

Shalom Aleichem (Shalom Rabinowitz) (1859-1916) was born in Pereyaslav, the Ukraine. As a child, he moved with his family to Voronkov, a small town nearby which later served as the model for the fictitious town of Kasrilevke described in his works.
Shalom Aleichem received his early education in a traditional heder in Voronkov. His father, a wealthy merchant, was interested in the Haskalah (Enlightenment) and in modern Hebrew literature. A failed business affair caused the family to move again. Days of poverty and want followed, and in 1872 his mother died of cholera. In 1873, at the age of 14, he entered a Russian high school from which he graduated in 1876.
Although he began writing in Hebrew, his first "serious work" - a dictionary of the curses used by stepmothers - was written in Yiddish. Later on he wrote Hebrew biblical "romances" similar in style to those of Abraham Mapu, of which his father was particularly fond. In 1879 he began publishing. For about three years, he wrote reports and articles, mostly about Jewish education, for two Hebrew publications.
In 1883, Shalom Aleichem married Olga, and decided to write in Yiddish rather than in Hebrew. One of his first stories appeared in a Yiddish paper under the pseudonym "Shalom Aleichem," which in Hebrew means "Peace be unto you." From then on, this was his pen name. He explained it as a way to conceal his identity from his relatives, especially his father, who loved Hebrew. In those days, Yiddish literature, greatly despised by the maskilim (enlightened) who wrote in Hebrew, and the Jewish intelligentsia in Russia who spoke Russian, led Yiddish authors to write under pseudonyms or to publish their works anonymously.
Shalom Aleichem wrote stories, sketches, critical reviews, plays and poems in both verse and prose. He did not limit his creative scope to Yiddish, but published stories, sketches and articles in Hebrew and in Russian as well. In 1888, his financial situation enabled him to realize a long-cherished dream: the founding of a Yiddish literary annual through which the standards of European taste would be introduced into Yiddish literature.
Following a pogrom in 1905, Shalom Aleichem decided to emigrate to the U.S. This was the beginning of a period of wandering which continued until shortly before his death. His immense popularity did not decline after his death but rather increased beyond the Yiddish-speaking public. In 1910 his son-in-law, Hebrew author Y. D. Berkowitz, began translating his works into Hebrew. His works have also been translated into most European languages, as well as Russian. His plays and dramatic versions of his stories have been performed by the best Yiddish and Hebrew theatrical companies in America, Israel, Russia, Poland, and many other countries. The dramatic version of Tevye's Daughters has been performed by the finest Yiddish actors, and in the 1960s these sketches formed the basis of the stage and film musical, Fiddler on the Roof.




Shalom Aleichem's Hebrew writings have been published in several journals and collected in:
Hebrew Writings, Tel Aviv, Bialik Institute, 1976 [Ketavim Ivri'im] 


Shalom Aleichem's main work was written in Yiddish and was published among others in:
Shalom Aleichem's Collected Works, New York-Folksband Oisgebe, 1917 [Ale Verk Fun Sholem Aleichem]
Selected Works, Warsaw-Yiddish Buch, 1952-56 [Oysgevelte Verk]











































Shalom Aleichem

Books Published in Hebrew

Books in Translation

NEWS
Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
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The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
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Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
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Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: http://www.netanyaaaci.org.il/WebPages/BoxOfficePages/lectures2.htm And for more details about the title click here: http://www.ithl.org.il/page_15644
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ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
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Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
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Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
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Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
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Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
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