Born February 8, 1886 in
Brest-Litovsk, Polish Lithuania.
His father was a lumber
merchant and a Trisk Chassid.
G. studied in cheders, in
the Brisk Yeshiva, and with his grandfather Rabbi Yoshe
Ber Soloveytshik (the Brisker Rov). When his parents
migrated to Warsaw, he started studying with Rabbi Arentshe, and as an extern [taking exams but not
Once he sang in front of a group of students of the
conservatory, and they convinced him to study music. G.
began to study with
private teachers and, still in the conservatory, where
he studied as a military director, he supported himself
by giving lectures in music and language.
to the crisis at the time in Poland, he lost the
lectureship. Then a Yiddish troupe arrived, with Lempkovitsh as director, and Lempkovitsh advised him to
join the chorus in order to earn a living.
Still a student, G. played [in] Russian with romantic
roles, and once when they presented Sholem Aleichem's
"Sown and Scattered"
["Tsezeyt un tseshpreyt"], and an actor couldn't
pronounce the word
"internationalism", they gave G. the role. In that way
became an actor, which led to a rift between him and his
Meanwhile, a troupe
arrived in Warsaw with Meerson and Sam Adler, and G.
started playing the role "Karl Moor" in [Friedrich]
Schiller's "The Robbers", but soon he started
playing father roles.
He came to London to
avoid the draft. He was not permitted to join the
professional theatre. He founded a worker's group
called "Dramatic Arts" [Dramatishe Kunst], and he
lived as a piano teacher until Sigmund Feinman
[1862–1909] gave him the role "Jacob Enman" in
Dimov's "Hear, Oh Israel" ["Shma yisroel"].
He began to play
romantic leads again. Sam Wallerstein took him for
1-1/2 years to South Africa. He returned to play in
London, then Paris, then again in London and Paris,
from where he traveled to Argentina. Thereafter he
traveled again to Paris, London, and again to
In 1917, G. came to America and appeared with
Thomashefsky in the National Theatre [111 - 117 E.
Houston Street, New York, closed in 1951, demolished
in 1959] in the Spanish drama "On Sinful Soil" by Gimori (announced as his translation).
Later G. played in Philadelphia, New York,
Philadelphia (as director), Amphion Theatre in New
York [437 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn; torn down in
1940] (director), and since 1925 as director and
actor in the National Theatre.
In 1929, G. played
in the Yiddish Art Theatre; here he was also a
teacher of voice development in the dramatic studio
at the Art Theatre.
In 1929 G. founded a Yiddish dramatic school, which
existed a short time.
G. was a member of the
Publication Committee of the
Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre.
Specialty: Dramatic romantic roles and character roles
B. Gorin --
History of the Yiddish Theatre, Vol. II, pp 198-201.
Liliput -- "The new Yiddish actor with Tomashefsky",
"Di varhayt", New York, Nov 25, 1916.
Uriel Mazik -- Picture gallery of our Yiddish actors,
"Der tog", New York, May 4 1918.
-- My Best Role, "Arthur Black" Morning
Journal", April 28, 1922.
-- The audience and I, "Der tog",
New York, March 23, 1928.
A. Frumkin -- Samuel Goldenburg concerning the crisis
on the Yiddish Stage, "Morning Journal", January 27, 1928.