Black and white photograph of a mustached man wearing glasses with his hand under his chin

Sholem Aleichem

(1859 - 1916)

Born in Pereyaslav, Russia (in present-day Ukraine), Sholem Aleichem published his first Hebrew writings in 1879, and four years later began to publish in Yiddish. As his humorous stories about life in the shtetl became more widely translated, he was invited to lecture across Europe and the United States. His daughter recalled one reception in New York City where Aleichem was introduced to Mark Twain as the “Jewish Mark Twain,” to which Twain replied, “Please tell him that I am the American Sholem Aleichem.”

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