Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Misha Rappel
(Moshe/Morris Rappaport)


R. was born on 15 November 1901 in Kolomea (Kolomyya), Galicia, into a simple family of means.

His father was an merchant of bulls.

He received a traditional Jewish and also a secular education. He completed a gymnasium, and his parents wanted to raise him to be a doctor.

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 arbeyter-farband)".


Afterwards R. became a Yiddish radio announcer and program director on the New York radio station "WLSH", "WERD", "WFEB", later finally announcing, program director and program deliverer for a Yiddish-English program for the Manischewitz company on the station "WSJM".

R. on 11 April 1942 died in New York and came to his eternal rest at Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens, Long Island, New York.

In a later necrology about him M. Irdni writes:

"Misha Rappel was among the few Yiddish radio announcers and program directors, who were worthy to work in the field. Besides what he was by himself he was a folk singer and an actor, he also was a musician and moreover a cultured man. With the word "musician" also mine to say, that he had written music for an entire range of poetic songs and had also produced a few entirely successful orchestras on various popular themes."

Sh. E. and M. E. from Khanale Stromberg.

  • M. Irdini -- In der muzik-velt, "Morning Journal", N. Y., April 1952.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2806.

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