Silkiner, Benjamin Nahum

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SILKINER, BENJAMIN NAHUM (1882–1933), U.S. Hebrew poet. Born in Vilkija, Lithuania, Silkiner arrived in 1904 in the United States, where he taught Hebrew at a Hebrew elementary school and Bible at the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, until his death. He published several texts for Hebrew schools and, together with Israel *Efros and Judah *Even Shemuel (Kaufmann), an English-Hebrew dictionary (1929). His translation of Macbeth appeared in Warsaw in 1939. In 1913–14 he was also one of the editors of the Hebrew periodical Ha-Toren. Silkiner's main contribution to Hebrew literature is his emphasis on American themes. In his first book Mul Ohel Timmurah (1910), which is an epic poem of the struggles of the American Indian against the Spanish conquistadors, he draws his material from Indian lore and Spanish colonial history. The poem is included in Shirim (1927), a collection of his lyrics and narrative poems.


B.N. Silkiner Jubilee Volume (1934), incl. bibl.; A. Epstein, Soferim Ivrim ba-Amerikah, 1 (1952), 31–38; H. Bavli, Ruḥot Nifgashot (1958), 86–120; E. Silberschlag, in: jba, 18 (1960/61), 66–68.

[Eisig Silberschlag]