Yosef Kerler

b. 1918

Current City, State, Country

Jerusalem, Israel

Birth City, State, Country

Haysn, Ukraine


Born in the Ukrainian town of Haysin in 1918, and raised in Crimea, Yosef Kerler was perhaps the only Yiddish poet to publish poetry written in the gulag. He would later become one of the first prominent refuseniks, before immigrating to Israel in the 1970s. He passed away in Jerusalem in the year 2000.

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

Yosef Kerler was a prominent post-war Yiddish poet. His poetry concerned the Holocaust, the Yiddish language, and the question of Jewish homeland, torn as a he was between Ukraine, which he termed his “cradleland”, and Israel, which he determined was his homeland.

Published Works

In English translation
From a Bird’s Cage to a Thin Branch; The Selected Poems of Yosef Kerler (White Goat Press, 2023)

In Yiddish
Davke itst—fun di letste un andere lider (Yerusholaimer almanakh, 2005)
Abi gezunt, lider fun haynt un fun nekhtn (Eygns, 1993)
Geklibene proze, eseyen, zikhroynes, dertseylungen (Yerusholaimer almanakh, 1991)
Himlshaft, bletlekh, proze, un lider (Yerusholaimer almanakh, 1985/1986)
Di ershte zibn yor (Perets Publishing, 1979)
Shpigl-ksav, getseylte lider (Jerusalem, 1978)
12ter oygust 1952 (Eygns, 1978)
Zet ir dokh (Perets Publishing, 1972)
Dos gezang tsvishn tseyn (Perets Publishing, 1971)
Far mayn erd (Emes, 1944)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading


Moscow State Yiddish Theatre

Subject Matter


Profile Created By

Maia Evrona