Mother to Yiddish Poets
Ida (nee Zhukovsky) Maze
Ida Maze was born in Olgi, near Minsk, White Russia in 1898. Her family first immigrated in 1907 to the United States, moving next to Toronto and finally settling in Montreal in 1908. There Maze met and married her true love, Alexander Massey, whose name had been anglicized from Maze upon his own immigration. Maze began her literary activities with the writing of lyric poetry but much of her published work also consists of poems for children. Maze was additionally a writer of essays and stories that appeared in numerous Yiddish journals and newspapers around the world. She was a leader of the vibrant Yiddish cultural activities in Montreal and was often found in the Jewish Public Library during literary events. Maze also devoted Saturday to presenting a story time to the children of that same Library.

Maze will be best remembered, however, for the kind sustaining encouragement she provided at her "salons." Struggling poets, authors, and artists as well as already-established names of the Yiddish literary world were found with regularity at Maze's literary salons. In her apartment, situated on Esplanade Avenue, Maze and her guests would critique and discuss each other's work and the state of literature. This kindness also extended to assistance in finding jobs and homes for immigrant poets. Her approachability and strength shown to other earned her the name, "Mother to Yiddish Poets."

Portrait, Ida Maze
Ida Maze
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