Born on 4 December 1909 in
Grokhov, near Warsaw, Poland. Father -- land lessee of
Count Ozherovsky. Father's brother, Avraham, rabbi in
Vaver. During the First World War in 1915, Count
Ozherovsky wa shot as a spy, and the land lessees with
their families all had to leave and flee to Warsaw,
where he opened a milk store.
He learned in Arnberger's
gymnasium, and hugely developed a dsire for the theatre
and joined in the Yiddish dramatic school of David
Herman and Dr. Michael Weichert. In 1924 he acted in
episodic roles in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with
Esther Rukhl Kaminska. In 1917 he joined "Vik"t" (under
the direction of Zygmunt Turkow and Ida Kaminska) and
participated in the productions of "The Golden Land",
later in "Vin"t" (under the direction of Jonas Turkow)
and Dr. Tsipur's "Oyfshtand", then in the "Warsaw Jewish
Representative Theatre" (in the play "Der toyber", "Der
foter" and "Hinkeman" with Dr. Baratov, in the
guest-appearance of Lidia Pototcka, and in the offering
of "Dante's Death", "200,000", "Beni kenig" and "Di kuni
lemels"), then in "Pakt" (with Zygmund Turkow, Avraham
Morevsky, Menachem Rubin and Aliosha Stein).
During Maurice Schwartz's
guest-appearance in Poland, with him he participated in
"Yoshe Kalb", "Jew Suss" and other plays, and with
Alexander Granach ("Kaytn (Chains)", et al.
outbreak of the Second World War, he acted with
Ida Kaminska's ensemble and fled to Bialystok,
and from there to Lemberg, where he participated
in the local Jewish State Theatre in the name of
Sholem Aleichem, which the Soviet might had
organized, went from there with the theatre to
Rovno, where they encountered the Nazi assault
that forced them to move from one city to the
next; At first -- Poltava, then Baku, Ashkhabad,
Tashkent, Buchara, Samarkand and Frunza, where
the Ida Kaminska ensemble reset.
In 1946 he returned
to Poland and acted under the direction of Moshe
Lipman, in 1947 immigrated to Sweden and Norway,
performing in around forty hospitals in
Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Malmo, Sunhultsbrun,
with concerts of Yiddish poetry and monologues.
In the presence of state disturbances here, I.
went to Paris where he staged the comedy
"Hershel ostropoler" by Gershenzon, acting in
the title role. After acting for six months in
Paris, he became engaged by Maurice Schwartz for
his "Yiddish Art Theatre" in New York, where he
participated in "Kol Israel (The Voice of israel)",
"Hershele ostropoler", et al. Then he performed
for a year in word concerts in a tour for the "Arbeter
Ring (Workmen's Circle), later for "Histadrut"
In 1955 I. acted
with the "Plitim Theatre" in New York in Sholem
Aleichem's "Dos farkhshufte shneyderl", and then
withdrew from the stage.
I.'s sister, the
actress Helena Velish, was killed by the Nazis.
Inventarz -- Idisher aktyor bashreybt zayn
bazukh in lager fun tuberkuloze kranke in
shveden, "Forward", N. Y., 21 July 1947.
-- Der poylish-idisher aktyor itkhok
inventar, velkher iz itst a gast in nyu york,
same, 16 September 1948.