B. was born on 18 April 1885
in Novy Bueg, Kherson Gubernia, Ukraine. His father was a
former colonist, later a grain merchant. Until age nine
he learned in a cheder, then with an uncle, a Talmud
Torah, in the Jewish colony of Novopoltavka. He returned
to Novy Bug, where B. became a choir boy with a cantor.
1904 itinerant Yiddish actors arrived from their
travels, and under their influence he organized a group
of young people in the village, among also was B., and
he directed in the span of two nights "The Sale of
Joseph" by Elikum Tsunzer on 17 October 1906.
father's death, he represented him in business. B.
traveled once to Zhitomir, where he found Mishurat's
troupe, with whom he was introduced to in the village,
and he subsequently entered into the troupe and acted
with them for
In 1907 B. acted with Sabsey, and in
1908 he and Guzik together directed the troupe, but due to persecution by those in power, the
troupe soon disbanded, and B. then acted in various troupes
until 1912, when he entered into Fishzon's troupe. In
order to avoid military service in 1917, he was forced
with several actors to immigrate to Harbin, where he,
Lebedeff, Kushtshinsky and Iris became mobilized by the
Kerensky government as an "army theatre circle", acting
in Russia for the soldiers.