Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Joseph Birnbaum

 

Born in Mielec, Galicia. Father -- a shokhet (ritual slaughterer). He received a religious Jewish education. At age twelve he was a yeshiva student in Krakow, eating "days", including with a Ger Chasid, whose children were theatre attendees and had brought out in him an interest in the Yiddish theatre. He saw a performance of "The Jewish Heart", and becoming excited by actor Vetshteyn as "Lmkh", he decided to become an actor.

1913 -- he immigrated to America, and here he became a "patriot" of Yiddish theatre, which he had constantly visited with his brother Hyman, who also had a desire for the theatre. Both became businessmen with shmuk federn, but in the end discarded the merchandise, abi tsu konen zeyn, previously a stand-in, than a small role player in the arts theatre. Later they went to Los Angeles, where he dedicated himself as a professional to the Yiddish theatre, with Morris Ganz, Polly Winters, Weinstein, Sam Fogelnest, Bella Frank et al, and toured the provincial cities, such as Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, until they came to Detroit. Here, Hyman became an actor in Littman's troupe, and Joseph -- a career as an assistant manager. In 1935 he became a partner with Littman, with Misha Fishzon, Betty Frank and Pesach'ke Burstein as director. Not completing the season, B. again took to commerce, and in 1944 traveled to Miami Beach, Florida, where he "managed" from time to time Yiddish actors. In 1948 he brought Maurice Schwartz's

 

Yiddish Art Theatre to Cuba.

B. directed a Yiddish radio program in Miami Beach, together with Louis Gross.
 

Sh. E.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2120.
 

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