Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Zalman Roitman


Born on 12 May 1899 in Belz, Bessarabia, to parents -- grain traders. He received a Jewish education, learned in a Belz yeshiva and also in a Russian folkshul.

As a child of eight, he began to sing with a cantor, and at the age of twelve he took to working in a dramatic circle as a prompter, while at the same time also acting in the production. For a short time he also acted in the troupe of Stanovski, who had come to Belz to perform.

1913 -- aroysgebnbet three rubles by his father and fled to Odessa, where he, through his countryman Leibele Maler, became a prompter in the troupe of Korik, where he also acted. A short time later he set out with an itinerant troupe across the Bessarabian province, where he read terrible news, and he ran back home, joined a cantor as a choir boy and became engaged as a choir boy to a cantor in Kishinev, where Chaim Meir Segalesko's troupe performed in Goldfaden repertoire, and since es feln zey oys khkhus, he joined in the acting with them for a long time.

1917-1919 -- immigrated with the troupes of Zolotnitski, Kanapov et al., across the Bessarabian province, until he arrived in Bucharest and acted for a long time in the "Central" Theatre (direction: Itsikl Goldenberg).


1922 -- prompter with Molly Picon-Jacob Kalich.

1923-1925 -- in the troupes of Potatska, Baratov et al.

1925 -- in the "Vilna Troupe".

1927 -- again with Goldenberg and then in other troupes.

In his autobiography, R. observed: "I was so popular as a prompter that being ill on occasion, they brought me to the hospital in the hospital garments, prompting the productions."

Julian Schwartz writes;

"He was fanatically loved in the better theatre to which he always geshtrebt. He arrived with Misha Fishzon from the Ukraine. He also acted with Sidi Thal. I personally remember that he used to direct technical direction, used to act in episodic roles, and often used to read the Yiddish classics well in the Kultur-Liges. He was tragically killed, as a victim of the Nazis, in the evacuation. As Dinah Kenig and Itsik Khavit tell it, they killed him in Tashkent during an assault".

Sh. E. and Sh. E. by Julian Schwartz.






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 5, page 4093.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.