Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Moshe Ran


Born on 1 May 1903 in Vilna, into the home of an active worker and cultural activist and in his early childhood there grew a love for Yiddish culture. He completed a Russian-Jewish folkshul, and in the year of the First World War, the professional school “Hilf-durkh-arbet (Help Through Work)”, and the evening courses of a middle-school education. In his twentieth year he became active in the management of the professional and revolutionary youth movement in Vilna.

His theatrical activity began in dramatic circles at the professional school, and he debuted in G. Hauptmann’s “Di veber (director Kh. Molski) in Vilna’s municipal theatre (March 1920). In 1932 he completed the Vilna Yiddish dramatic studio with the arts society, under the leadership of A. Slobodski and A. Morevsky. He acted in the kamarale evenings with the arts society, and in an entire range of better Yiddish theatre ensembles (with A. Morevsky, Z. Turkow et al). He excelled as one of the important organizers and regisseurs in the best dramatic Vilna dramatic circles of theatre amateurs (1921-1932). He was the director of a dramatic circle in [various] Vilna Yiddish youth organizations (HaShomer, Khalutz, Bin, Tsukunft et al), and dramatic classes and studios in almost the entirety of the Vilna school system in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Polish, Lithuanian and Esperanto. He was the co-founder of the Hebrew studio in Vilna (1927), and for a children’s theatre (with E. Stolitska in 1930 and in 1940), founder and regisseur of the semi-professional dramatic collective “Davke” (1934), and of the Vilna Yiddish marionette theatre “Meydim”. Management member of the arts society and of the theatre society in Vilna.


Translated, adapted, dramatized and staged several tens of plays and one-acters from European theatre repertoire. Shot and burned by the Nazis in the Klooga (Estonia) concentration camp, on the second day of Rosh Hashana, 19 September 1944.

Sh. E. from Leyzer Ran.

  • Sh. – Geefnt dem forhang, “Vilna tog”, 6 February 1934.

  • Studio Drmtyut – “Lmtrh”, Vilna, Khslu Trf”h.

  • Eliezer Ran – Hkhugim vhstudiut hdrmtiut boylnh 1903-1943 – “Hkhinukh vhtrbut hebrit bayrufh bin shti mlkhmut heulm”, New York, 1957, pp. 547-562.

  • Leyzer Ran – Ash fun yerushalayim d’lite, New York, 1959, pp. 83-84; 156-159.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4636.

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