Partisan and Storyteller
Yehuda Elberg
1912-2003
Rabbi and scholar, textile engineer, resistance fighter, collector, lecturer and journalist: just a sampling of the work of renowned novelist Yehuda Elberg. Born into a prominent rabbinical family in Zgierz, Poland, Elberg's life experiences during the Holocaust lend heavily to his writing. He was a partisan during World War II, hiding in the forests outside Warsaw and assisting others in escaping the Jewish ghetto. Immediately after the War, Elberg was active in the leadership of the Polish Jewish community while also acting as a journalist and organizing a Writers' Union, an historical institute and the first Yiddish newspaper in Poland, Dos Naye Lebn. He arrived in Montreal in 1956 after working for periods in Paris and then New York.

Elberg's writing career began in 1932 with the publication of his first short story in the Yiddish journal Nayer Folksblat. He continued writing essays and stories for Yiddish periodicals around the world as well as publishing collections of these short stories, novelettes and a total of eighteen novels. His stories are pieces of cultural memory of Jewish life in the inter-war years, during the Holocaust and in the search for a new home, much of which is drawn from personal experiences. Long lauded among Yiddish readers, Elberg's work was also translated into English, French and Spanish and now resonates with readers around the world. In 1997, two of his most well know novels, Empire of Kalman the Cripple and Ship of the Hunted, were translated from Yiddish into English and in 2001, L'Empire de Kalman l'infirme was translated into French.

Portrait, Yehuda Elberg
Yehuda Elberg
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Elberg in Jerusalem Program for '837' Elberg with President Shazar
 
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