Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Michael Mintz


Born in 1858 in Brest-Litovsk, Polish Lita, into a privileged Chasidic family. His father was a scholar and a mashkhil, who had run a tobacco factory. His mother was a daughter of Moshe Itzhak Harkavi (sp), who had maintained a wine and delicatessen business. Under pressure from the pogroms in Russia, M. together with his brother Moshe, went away in 1884 to Eretz Yisrael as a member of Bil'u (sp), and from there he, in August 1885, together with his brother, came to America where he had in 1887 founded in Chicago the daily Yiddish newspaper "The Daily Yiddish Courier."

In 1888 M. settled in New York, and together with Brody and Tselimer began to issue on 27 July 1888 the weekly page, "Der folks advokat" (at first under the direction of G. Zelikowitz, then his brother Moshe), which quickly became one of the popular and promoted Yiddish journals in America.

In 1891 M. published "The Daily Herald" with the "Folks advocat" as a weekly edition. At the end of 1905 the newspaper with his publications were taken over by Louis Miller and was reorganized as "Di varhayt."

M. became the husband of the actress Keni Lipzin, and the entirety of his ambition was to place his wife at the top of the Yiddish theatre in America, exploiting for the [kudm-kl] his connection with the "Folks Advokat." M carried out all the purchases for plays by Gordin and his wife, arrange her 


productions, and since 1905, when he resigned as a newspaper man, devoting himself completely to the Yiddish theatre as the manager of his wife's productions. In 1908-9 he directed with the London theatre, which he had given the name "Lipzin Theatre."

In the summer of 1904, according to Ab. Cahan, he was the publisher of "The Dramatic World," which Jacob Gordin had edited.

Due to bad business in his theatre, M., on 14 April 1912, committed suicide in New York at Washington Cemetery [Brooklyn, ed.]

Ab. Cahan characterized him: "When one speaks of Madame Lipzin, we also have to mention her husband, Michael Mintz. He was not an actor, but his wife's manager and 'publicity man'. However he had played a role not only with the development of her career, but also in the development of Gordin's career. ...with Madame Lipzin he [bagegnt] himself in New York. He was very much an excitable person, but he had a good heart, with an open hand and with a great deal of energy, an [unermidlekher], a zealot, his wife and her theatre interests he was a devoted man without a [sheur], and with his zeal, with his fire he was very instrumental in making a name for her. In the plays in which she excelled, it was mainly Gordin's plays."

"His life's ambition--writes Z. Kornblith--was to have a theatre where there would be staged pure literary works. he was the sincere person and a great supporter of Jacob Gordin and had accustomed the theatre-goer to the better and higher sort of pleasure, which Gordin's plays had created. ...Outside of Gordin, he didn't recognize any Yiddish productions, and when Gordin died, he decided to present in his theatre the best work of Ibsen, Andreyev and others, and he had hoped that the press would support him and help him to win the Yiddish public to the modern European drama. However, in his hopes he got into bitter exchanges. Then he had the press.....

Sh. E. from

  • "Lexicon






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1325.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.