Born on 15 October 1900 in the village
Oleyuv, Eastern Galicia, to Chasidic parents. His father was a
merchant. Until the age of twelve he learned in a cheder. Without
the knowledge of his parents he attended the local folkshul, where
he learned in a yarmulke (skullcap). Very young he became a [drdki]-melamed
(teacher), so that he could help with the income at home.
During the outbreak of war he fled with
his parents to Galicia and in 1916 came to Vienna, where he worked
in various factories [tsu] afterwards his family in the absence of
his military-mobilized father.
Through friends he continued in the
union "Tsion", where he came for productions of literary plays under
the direction of Jonah Reyzman and Jacob Mestel. Here S. debuted as
"Yakov Enman" in Dymov's "Shma yisrael". Having a strong desire
for the stage, he took dramatic courses with the [oyber]
director of the Vienna city theatre Julius Halle and he also
performed in the dramatic courses with the "Freye yidishe folks-bine",
where he learned from teacher Egon Brekher, Jacob Mestel, Dr. Frish
and I. Baltukh.
In May 1920 he entered the troupe as a
professional, which Itzhak Deytsh hereupon [shtelt kur-plats]
Marienbad and here he debuted as "Dr. Abram" in Lateiner's "Khinke
eun pinke" in a restaurant with David Lateiner in Marienbad. After
acting there for three months, he returned to Vienna, where he
joined the "Freye yidishe folks-bine", which was transformed
into a stable Yiddish theatre.