Born on 4 January
1892 in Lodz, Poland, her parents were owners of a
restaurant where Yiddish actors used to eat. She earned privately. At the age of fourteen she
was taken by actors to Odessa into the chorus of Avraham
Fiszon, where she stayed for several months until the troupe
arrived in Yekaterinoslav, where she found her father who didn't want her leave "with his actors," and she was
In Lodz she again went into the chorus
of a Yiddish theatre, this one of Kaminski,
and she toured with various troupes as a chorister.
when with Kaminski in Odessa, the actress Nadia
Neroslavska became sick, and A. performed for her in the
role of "Heyse babkelekh" in "Koldunye."
Returning to Lodz, she again
entered into a chorus of Zandberg, however here there
came changes in her career. About this, Zalmen
"When Aaron Lebedeff came to
guest-star in Lodz's Grand Theatre for Zandberg, he
found himself in an embarrassing [position]. He hadn't
found anyone to partner with in the entire troupe. The
prima donnas and soubrettes of that time were all either
physically or artistically unable to adapt to Lebedeff.
He was an elegant, outgoing, well-dressed man. His movements were graceful. He performed
with an odd lightness that was entirely new, and the
soubrettes and prima donnas in the troupe, although they
were famous actresses with names, nevertheless did not
fit into his repertoire, and especially not to the
of his acting, and here then his eyes fell on the
chorister Sonia Ariel, who had a brother in the chorus
who at times used to receive small roles. Lebedeff, with
her, studied her role so thoroughly that she became
a sensation with her acting, and before we came around,
she was counted on as a reputable actress. Later she
even married that prominent entrepreneur and manager of
the troupe, Iser Bezman."
During the First World War,
under the name of Sonia Bezman, she had acted in Russia
in the troupes of her husband and of Young-Bezman. In
1925 she returned to Lodz, and since then she again acted
with the local member troupes.
The actor Moshe Pulaver, who
had been saved from the Lodz ghetto, writes that when
the Germans created the Lodz ghetto on 11 May 1941,
where there were found twelve professional Yiddish
actors, including Sonia and her son. Her further fate is not
mentioned, but she was no exception: she fell as a victim
of the Nazis.
Sh. E. from
the Yiddish Theatre," New York, 1931, Vol. I, p.
Moshe Pulaver --
"Geven iz a geto," Tel Aviv, 1963, p. 59.