Sandler, Boris

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SANDLER, BORIS (1950– ), Yiddish writer, journalist, broadcaster. Born in Beltsy (Moldova), Sandler graduated from the Kishinev Conservatory (1975) and was violinist in the Moldovian Symphony Orchestra. In 1983 he received an advanced degree in creative writing from the Gorky Literary Institute (Moscow). Having first attempted writing in Russian, Sandler soon realized that his native Yiddish was more suitable for his themes and style. Although no formal education in Yiddish existed in the Soviet Union after 1948, he was fortunate to find as a mentor the prominent Bessarabian Yiddish author Yekhiel *Shraybman. He debuted in the Moscow Yiddish monthly Sovetish Heymland (1981), whose editorial board he later joined (1986). He was president of the Yiddish Cultural Organization of Moldova, had a Yiddish program on Moldovan State Television, edited Undzer Kol, and wrote two film scripts about the fate of Bessarabian Jewry (1989–92). Immigrating to Israel (1992), he worked at The Hebrew University and edited the children's magazine Kind un Keyt. From 1998 he was editor-in-chief of the New York weekly Forverts. In addition to numerous stories, essays, and articles in periodicals, Sandler published several volumes of fiction: Treplekh aroyf tsu a Nes: Dertseylungen un Noveln ("Stairs up to a Miracle: Tales and Short Stories," 1986), Der Inyen Numer 5390 (fun di kgb Arkhivn) ("Case No. 5390, from the KGB Archives," 1992), Der Alter Brunem: Dertseylungen, Miniatyurn, Roman ("The Old Well: Tales, Miniatures, Novel," 1994), Toyern ("Gates," 1997), and Ven der Goylem hot Farmakht di Oygn ("When the Golem Closed his Eyes," 2004). The major theme of Sandler's fiction is the past and present of Bessarabian Jews. His style remains close to the spoken idiom, but is also influenced by recent modes, such as magical realism.

[Mikhail Krutikov (2nd ed.)]