Writer, poet. He began his literary career writing poems in Yiddish. From 1931 he lived in Birobidzhan, where he was head of a Jewish kolkhoz, then director of the youth theatre. From 1932 he began to publish in local Yiddish periodicals. From 1938 he lived in Moscow. During the war he rose from the rank of private to assistant to the chief of military intelligence. After the war he became famous as a Russian prose writer.