Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Gershon Rubin


Born in April 1878 in the village of Krupne, Mohilev Gubernia, White Russia, to parents -- yeshuvniks. He larned in a cheder in a neighboring town, and until age fifteen in an ishivus ktnus. Also for three years he learned in a Minsk lmudi khuts. As a young he sung as a choir boy on high holidays with cantors.

1896 -- arrived by himself in America, brought to New York as a tailor, became an ayngayer for Joel Entin, and as Leon Kobrin writes in a his memoirs:

"Rubin also was a student of Entin's dramatic club. I remember that he, Rubin, was.... more to translate here...."

Joel Entin by himself in a jubilee article generally about Elihu Tenenholz, wrote:

"With....more to translate here..."


When Jacob P. Adler noticed him, in 1903 in Sholem Aleichem's "Tsezayt un teshprayt", he advised R. to become a professional actor. The conditions then to becoming a member in the Yiddish Actors Union were however so difficult, and ....more to translate here....[when on the Yiddish stage there came the Volin dialect], that his candidacy to "make attempts" had evoked a great tumult. Alder had even given him several opportunities to act with him, but it did not enable him to become a Yiddish actor. Sixty Yiddish organizations and the "United Yiddish Workshop" set up one for him with the Actors Union. It continues along that the union might for him even out of the workshop, in the end thanks to the efforts of an entire group of Yiddish writers, such as Jacob Gordin, Sh. Yanovski and Ab. Cahan, a stormy article under the title of "Gershon Rubin Must Be Taken Into the Union", opening for him the gates of the Union, where he was taken in as a member, and he began to act continuously in the professional Yiddish theatre.

In 1908 R. joined Kessler, where he then acted for two years and drew attention to himself for the first time in his role in Shomer's "The All-right-nikes".

About this Boaz Young in his memoirs writes:

"...they also laughed deeply ...for the scene of the actor Gershon Rubin, who had acted in the role of a glutton. When he maintained his gluttonish speech on miting, there was for each word and acting, the laughter and voices of the public which was incredible. Even us, the actors, were not able to hear and laughed with the public for Rubin's speech."

Later R. went over to act with Thomashefsky.

In 1914 R. was the first to act in America in the role of "Smurla" in Dymov's "Der eybiker vanderer", and he stood out.

In 1917 he acted in Dymov's "Der ayst fun der shtot", and about this Moishe Nadir wrote:

"Very good was Rubin as the ....more to translate (top, p. 2903)....

Sh. E. from Youna Radinov.

  • "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 4, page 2901.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.