Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Morris (Moshe) Finkel

Born circa 1852 in Odessa, Ukraine. According to Goldfaden's secretary Yitzhak Libresko, his father was called Friedman. And a brother -- Abramovich. The changes in the family names may have been due to the conditions then set for serving in the Russian military.

When Goldfaden founded the Yiddish theatre in Romania, F. met him there.

About the account of the history of Yiddish theatre, B. Gorin writes:

"Among the angolofene in Bucharest, there also was Moshe Finkel. He became connected to a small majority at the Commisariat, then he soon fell into Goldfaden's troupe. Moshe Finkel was an itinerant folksinger, and, as it seems, as such he earlier had given productions in Romania, before Goldfaden arrived there.....more...."


About the same topic, Libresko writes:

"Gradner soon had brought [to Goldfaden] a close friend. When they were, I do not remember. ...If Finkel was, I do not remember. However, he also certainly was from the first. He acted together with Gradner in Marks' garden, but it seems that later he left, and Finkel was not part of the formation of Yiddish theatre".

That F. was not at the formation of Yiddish theatre, most witnesses cite Goldfaden's letter from him to Odessa, written on 4 October 1876 from Iasi, published by Moshe Starkman in "Archive of the History of Yiddish Theatre" [in our orthography]:

"Friend Moshe Finkel,

As I now am in Iasi and have heard of your productions, I entshlasn in general need to put together a troupe of the best artists and to ...more...."

p. 2669

F. soon went over to Gradner's troupe and then returned to Goldfaden.

When Goldfaden in 1879 arrived in Odessa and soon thereof brought over from Romania his troupe, F. already was a complete actor there. Gradner soon spoke to him about the troupe and took him into his current troupe, which soon fell apart, however, because Goldfaden was not permitted to perform his repertoire. The troupe, without Gradner, returned again to Odessa and came back in to Goldfaden, who left a little while later to migrate across the Russian cities, until he arrived in Moscow, where he left the troupe, and according to the director to the actor Lazar Tsukerman. F. then  -- as B. Gorin tells it -- was found insulted. He married the actress Aneta Finkel and moved away with her to Odessa.

In September 1883, after the ban on Yiddish theatre in Russia, they went, with a part of the Odessa actors to Romania.

According to Boaz Young, Moguelsko had at times told him that in Europe an actor from Finkel's troupe asked F. for a ruble because he hadn't eaten. F. made a wounded face, adopted the moustache of his and zi a dray geton and answered coldly: "Shlekht (Bad)".

In one of the first reviews of Yiddish theatre, the Bucharest newspaper "Fraternitatea" of June 1885 (in the Yiddish translation of Sh's novel) said:

"Already some time since in Buchaest, the Israelite troupe under the direction of Mssrs. Mogulesko and Finkel, which not her performances in the Jignitsa theatre...the repertoire of that troupe is a nor-varieidter and elected (oysderveylter). The roles were....more..."

As Gorin writes, the troupe in Romania suffered greatly and when they opgematert for several years, F. was sent away to Galicia, that he may get a concession there to perform Yiddish theatre. In the beginning of the summer of 1886, he called out to Mogulesko in Lemberg. From there they went to London, where he received the information about the golden happiness in America, and at the end of July 1886, hey went to New York, wherein they brought at the end of August the entire troupe, such as David Kessler, Sigmund Feinman, Israel Weinblatt, Leon Blank, Mr. and Mrs. Abramovich, Sabina Weinblatt, Sigmund Mogulesko, Morris and Aneta Finkel.

Gorin recounts that in the first years of Yiddish theatre in New York, when it is addressed a huge oysdingenish of the theatre, hot pasirt, that:

"...The company from Poole's Theatre had been oysgedungen Thalia theatre. more (top, page 2670).....







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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2668.

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