Chava Rosenfarb was born to a Jewish family in Łódź, Poland, and began writing poetry as a child, encourgaged by her father. In 1939, when she was 16, the Nazis invaded Poland, and Chava's family was confined with the rest of the Jewish populace in the Łódź Ghetto. There she wrote poems about the struggle to endure. These works were lost during the Holocaust and Chava later recreated them from memory.
In 1944, when the Nazis liquidated the Łódź Ghetto, the Rosenfarbs were deported to Auschwitz and later to Bergen-Belsen. Chava survived to be liberated by the British in 1945. After the war, Chava was homeless and stateless for several years until she married Henry Morgentaler, a physician and fellow camp survivor, and emigrated with him to Canada. The couple settlied in Montréal and had a daughter. Chava
Rosenfarb had published three volumes of poetry in Yiddish by 1950, and she became a major contributor to 20th-century Yiddish literature. In 1972, she produced what is considered her masterpiece, a three-volume novel retelling her experiences in the Łódź Ghetto, Der boim fun lebn (The Tree of Life). Her work won numerous international literary prizes, including the annual Itzik Manger Prize.
Her daughter Goldie Morgentaler became a professor of English literature at the University of Lethbridge as well as a translator into English of her mother's work.