Lyalya Kaufman

The daughter of the acclaimed writer Sholom Aleichem and the mother of celebrated novelist Bel Kaufman, Lyalya Kaufman was revered in her own right for her thousands of vignettes and short stories in Yiddish. Born Sarah Rabinowitz, Kaufman was the only one of six children to follow her father’s footsteps into writing. She studied at the university in Geneva before marrying in 1909 and moving to Berlin, where her husband studied medicine while she worked as a writer and translator. They immigrated to the US in 1922, and four years later, Kaufman published a memoir of her father, The Sholom Aleichem Book. Over the course of thirty years, she crafted over two thousand powerful short stories and deft, minimalist vignettes, many of which were published in the Forverts. She also translated her father’s work into both Russian and English, and encouraged her daughter, Bel, to continue the family’s literary tradition.

Topics: Fiction, Memoirs

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Date of Birth

Belaya Tserkov

Date of Death
Writer, Translator

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lyalya Kaufman." (Viewed on July 14, 2020) <>.


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