S. was born on 22 December
1886 in Minsk, White Russia. He learned in a cheder and
in a Volozhin yeshiva and later completed a gymnasium in
Minsk. He studied music privately, then in Warsaw's
music school, and he participated gratis in orchestras
so that he would be able to hear orchestral concerts.
Returning to Minsk he
entered into the orchestra of a Russian theatre, where
he performed for three winters, and later in Yiddish
theatre (Directors Tsuker and Nozyk) where he also
debuted as "Hertzog" in Lateiner's "Khinke un pinke".
His performance had such success that he remained in
the troupe for several months as an actor. Then he acted
for a season with Zandberg in Lodz, and after military
service -- in the Yiddish troupes of Lipovski (Vilna),
Genfer (Vilna), Kompaneyets (Warsaw). For a certain time
he also toured across Russia with the troupe of Esther
During the war Sh.
participated with the Yiddish actors in a Hebrew
production in Vilna, and he went afterwards with
Lipovski's troupe to Harbin, where he acted for six
years and was also secretary of the the Yiddish club
there, the Sholem Aleichem school and Sholem Aleichem
garden, which developed a rich Yiddish cultural
activity. Here he also composed his operetta, "Liovke
molodiets" [published anonymously in Warsaw, publisher
Sh. Goldberg, 1925, 54 pp., but really it is completely
Isidore Lash's operetta "Yoshke khvat"], which Lebedeff
directed on 12 October 1920 in New York's National
season-long, was performed on many Yiddish
stages across the world. He left Harbin due to
political conditions, Sh. traveled with Abraham Fiszon's troupe to Shanghai (China), where
Yiddish theatre was performed for the first
time. Not being able for several months to
proceed with the productions, Sh. entered
into a club as a musician, and twice conducted
an orchestra for a half-year.
recommendation of Boris Thomashefsky, who had
performed with him in Russia, Sh. was brought to
America where he debuted on 31 December 1924 in
Rosa Silbert's theatre [Hopkinson] as "Velvel
Shaygets" in Isidore Lash's operetta with the
same name (music by Herman Zalis and W. Shumsky.)
After acting for ten weeks in the operetta, Sh.
had to, due to union conditions, tour within the
province: he acted for two years in Winnipeg
(Canada), then in St. Louis, in 1929 in Detroit,
where he passed away on 20 May 1929.
Sh.'s wife, Fela
Lantzman-Shumsky, has acted on the Yiddish
Sh.'s sister, Miriam
Lifshitz, has acted in Yiddish theatre in the
and M. E. from S. Kustin.
Ab. Cahan --
Vider a naye komedye in thomashefsky's
teater, "Forward", N. Y., 14 October 1920.
L. Krishtol --
Teater ala bronzvil, "Fraye arbeiter shtime",
N. Y., 16 January 1925.
Sh. Pan [Shayak]
-- "A khshre shikse" [?], operete in 3 akts
fun shumsky, oyfgefirt fun kambarov in
pavilon teater, '''Di post", London, 15