M. became especially popular
with his edition of "Minikes' Yom Tov Bleter", which he
had issued since 1897 in the Yiddish "good days".
In 1895 there was published
in New York "Tsvishn indianer, or, Der kontri pedler,
comical vaudeville in one act, with singing and dance,
adapted for the Yiddish stage by Ch. Y. Minikes "Ish
vilna" [17 pp., an exemplary find in the Yiddish section
of the New York Public Library", which on 17 April 1895
staged for M.'s benefit in the Windsor Theatre.
In 1897 under M.'s editing,
there was published in New York the first book in
America about Yiddish theatre under the name "Di idishe
bihne", [not paginirt], which included articles,
one-acters, songs, treatises and a history of Yiddish
theatre from Shomer, Y. Katzenelson, Chanan Y. Minikes,
Elchasnador Harkavy, M. Zeifert, A. M. Sharkansky,
Morris Rosenfeld, Jacob Gordin, Tshr'k, B. Feigenbaum,
Dr. T. Sigel, Philip Krantz, V. Keyzer, Zkf Gdol,
Sambatyon, Reuben Weissman, Yohan Paley, D. M. Hermalin,
B. Gorin, A. Shomer, Y. Terr et al.
In the same book it was also
announced that there would be quickly published "Geilah,
oder, Der vilna'er gaon und di chasidim, a large Yiddish
historical opera by Chanan Y. Minikes (Ish vilna), folk
songs, couplets and patriotic songs from William Kayzer".
In the announcement, it was said: "It is very rare --
the plays that were created for the Yiddish stage that
may have also been published in book form as a literary
work. These zkhih can only have the work that had
genuine literary words. Jews (geilh) are a
shtik that wasn't written to order, and the roles
were taken by the virklekhkeyt, not only
ongepast after certain actors. As a literary work
Jews had very big words. It had to do with an important
and an interesting epoch. It discusses the battle among
Chasids and Mitnagdim in the time of the Vilna Gaon,
great kinds that had these works seen in manuscript were
not immediately praised. One Yiddish-English writer in
one article in the "Sol" had created one extra notice
about these works, but umreglmesike theatre
circumstances and the too often great distances of the
actors from one company [troupe] to a second, had us not
able to find a company with a suitable number and
suitable craft for the staging of these master works. We
quickly issue it in a printed book, and we insure that
the work is read out loud, just as interesting when it
is seen on the stage. Each layer, we hope, that when
quickly we find a suitable company, and this work is
produced on the stage".
The play was never published
and never performed.
M. was a member of the
council of the theatre employees, and very often
participated in oysgleykhen conflicts between the
various employees in the Yiddish theatres.
On 27 March 1932 M. after a
short illness, passed away in New York, and was brought
to his gravesite at Mt. Hebron Cemetery in (Flushing --
ed.) New York.
The entire Yiddish press in
America dedicated very warm articles about his death.
Sholem Asch characterized
him as such:
"When we could at the same
time with this type of a shemash his entire
life(?). For he maintained himself as such, and that it
was his work. He had with the perseverance and
ibergebnheyt of a religious shemash who had
done his work. .... Chanan Y. Minikes hasn't had any
private life (certainly it was not seen), he had
completely gifted [his time] away to the community".
Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of
Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, pp. 418-420.
Dr. A. Koralnik --
Khanan minikes, "Tog", N. Y., 29 March 1932.
H. Lang -- Khanan
minikes, a merkvirdiger mensh iz avek, "Forward", N.
Y., 29 March 1932.
B. L. Meckler -- Der
eygenartiger khanan y. minikes, "Morning Journal", N
Y., 31 March 1932.
L. Kusman -- Der eybiger
hmshkh, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 31 March 1932.
Anshel Schorr -- A blum
oyf'n frishen kbr fun khanan y. minikes, "Di idishe
velt", Philadelphia, 1 April 1932.
A. Mirson -- Khanan y.
minikes, "Tsukunft", N. Y., May 1932.
A. Almi -- Der
amerikaner dinezon, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw,
Sholem Asch -- Tsvay
amerikaner iden, "Forward", N. Y., 11 May 1932.