R. was born on 15 November
1901 in Kolomea (Kolomyya), Galicia, into a simple
family of means.
His father was an merchant
He received a traditional
Jewish and also a secular education. He completed a
gymnasium, and his parents wanted to raise him to be a
He played the violin in a
student orchestra. He sprang into the student chorus and
Polish dramatic club while at the gymnasium. First when
there came to the city the late, famous actor Alexander
Granach, who had organized a Yiddish dramatic club, R.
performed there with that club and remained with the
club until 1918, when the club was transformed into a
stable, professional troupe that traveled around with
Yiddish productions across various cities and villages.
After, Granach returned to Germany, the troupe disbanded.
R. immigrated to America, where he organized,
together with Zuni Maud and Yosl Kutler, a Yiddish
marionette theatre. After acting there for two years, R.
became engaged by Anshel Schorr at the Liberty Theatre
(1927-28), and afterwards at the Hopkinson Theatre.
R. was also a concert
artist; he used to recite poetry and prose and also
sing. He had, together with other actors (such as
Khanele Stromberg, Victor Pecker and Sholem Tanin), and
three times made a tour across America for the "Jewish
National Worker's Union (Yidish natsionaln