Bella Schaechter-Gottesman was born in Vienna, and moved with her family, as an infant, to Cernauti, Romania (today Chernivtsi, Ukraine). Her mother sang a wide repertoire of folksongs (and is considered by Bella as a Yiddish folksinger). Schaechter-Gottesman spent World War II in the Cernauti Ghetto with her husband Jonas Gottesman. After the war they spent a few years in Vienna before immigrating to New York in 1951. She began her career by writing various works for children, and she later began publishing Yiddish poetry. As a songwriter, she has composed Yiddish songs with her own lyrics, which are performed by leading Yiddish singers, one of her most famous being Harbstlied.
Conference featuring Bella Schaechter-Gottesman talking about her work and performing during the conference: "Beyle Schaechter Gottesman: Celebrating a lifetime in Yiddish Song," in the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture