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Sholom Aleichem

Sholom Aleichem was born Solomon Rabinowitz in 1859 in Pereyaslav, near Kiev, Ukraine. He began writing in Russian and Hebrew, but from 1883 until his death he published over forty volumes of plays, novels, and short stories in Yiddish, the spoken language of European Jews. His works, which describe the lives of Russian Jews, include the novels “Tevye’s Daughters,” “Mottel the Cantor’s Son,” and “The Adventures of Menahem-Mendl,” the plays The Doctor(1887), The Divorce(1888), The Assembly(1889), Yaknez (1894), Scattered Far and Wide(1903), Agents (1905), Jewish Daughters(1905), an adaptation of his novel Stempenyu, The Gold Diggers(1907), The Jackpot(1916), and Tevye the Milkman(1917), which was later adapted for the musical Fiddler on the Roof(1964), as well as over 300 short stories. Aleichem lived in Odessa and Kiev with his family until he was forced to flee Jewish persecution. He left Russia in 1905 and spent several years in Geneva before immigrating to New York in 1914. There, he helped found the Yiddish Art Theatre and completed his autobiography, From the Fair. He died in 1916.