Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Singer

Born on 25 December 1902 in Sandomierz (Tsoyzmer), Poland. His father was an expeditor for a ship on the Veysel. Due to his mother he learned until age sixteen in a Bet HaMedrash, but under his father's influence he learned German and Polish at the same time with a private teacher, to prepare himself for the gymnasium.

In 1919 he was mobilized into the Polish army, and there he became an assistant in preparing and managing a theatre group to play in Polish patriotic productions. Later he helped organize in Sandomierz the first Yiddish library, the Yiddish professional union, and the first modern school, where he was a teacher of Yiddish and Jewish history.

In 1920 he organized an amateur troupe with whom he staged Asch's "Yikhus," Libin's "Broken Hearts," Goldfaden's "Dr. Almasada," and one-acters from Anski, Hirschbein et al, while at the same time publishing in Warsaw's "Haynt" dosages of Jewish provincial life. In 1922, on the way to America, he was assigned to Germany, where he published articles in "DBZ Nakhrikhten."

In the summer of 1923 he arrived in Cleveland, Ohio, America. Here he learned English and was active in "Frayhayt Dramatic Fareyn." In 1925 he settled in New York, where he finished high school, in the evening finished the Workmen's Circle Teachers' Seminary and the Yiddish Worker University (?) and edited (1926) a journal of Yiddish worker clubs.


From 1928-44 he was a teacher in a Yiddish school and added courses in literature and sociology in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University and later at NYU (New York University). He wrote for the province in the "Forward," "Morgn Frayhayt," and "Fraye arbeiter shtime." In Baltimore and in Houston, Texas, he edited local periodical editions, and in 1930 he issued in Chicago a collection of songs and poems of Yiddish poets.

During his teaching career he wrote a number of children's plays, which he staged in the schools (a part mimeographed in local children's journals), among them a children's play in three acts, adapted from Sholem Aleichem's Purim story, and Sholem Aleichem's "Motel Peisi, the Cantor in America" in two acts, Peretzy's "Baym fremdn hupah-kleyd" in "The Two Brothers."

In 1938 he wrote the drama, "In ergetz land," later even several dramas, and in 1954 he issued in Los Angeles a volume "Dramen" (114 pp., 88 pp.), in which were included "Ḥayim Solomon" and "Miryam’s ḥolem," which may have been staged by Maurice Schwartz. In 1955 in "Kal. Yom Tov published his one acters: "Eliahu HaNovi," "Zayer tsveyte yungt," "Yurshim" and "Di umetike elter."

S. has in manuscript form the plays: "Oyf fremder erd," "Akhsfr on der arier," "Di muter," "Btkhun," "Dervidishe polotsiant" and "Ven a khoylem vert a virklekhkeyt,' as well as a novel, "Der renegat," and a book "Proverbs, Wisdom and Idioms."

S.'s published plays:

  1. Ḥayim Solomon, a drama [in two acts, 8 scenes] of Jewish life in America [published in the book "Dramen," Los Angeles, California, 1954; 114 pp., 16°]

  2. Miryam’s ḥolem, a problem-drama in two acts and six images of Jewish life today in America [published in the book "Dramen," Los Angeles, California, 1954; 88 pp., 16°]

  3. Btkhun un sblnut, a one-acter by Jacob Singer [published in "Kalifornyer yom-tov bleter," Los Angeles, Sukkot volume, 1955].

  4. Jacob Singer, "Eliahu HaNovi," (one-acter) [published in "Khezhboyn," Los Angeles, 8, 1956, pp. 50-58].

  5. Jacob Singer, "Zayer tsveyte yugnt," (one-acter) [published in "Khezhboyn," Los Angeles, 9, 1957, pp. 38-46].

  6. Jacob Singer, "Yerushim," (one-acter) [published in "Khezhboyn," Los Angeles, 10, 1957, pp. 38-46].

  7. Jacob Singer, ""Di umetike elter," (one-acter) [published in "Khezhboyn," Los Angeles, 11-12, 1957, pp. 46-54].

Sh. E.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Teater, "Di tsukunft," N. Y., May-June 1955.

  • Der lebediker -- Oyf'n literarisher yarid," Tog-Morgn Zhurnal," N. Y., 23 May 1955.

  • Dr. Alf bit giml -- Alef, bit'izmen, "Nyu yorker vokhnblat," August 1955.

  • Y. M-l [Jacob Mestel] -- Dray aktuele dramen, "Yidishe kultur," N. Y., August-September 1955.

  • Dr. David Bridzsher -- Yakov zingers dramen, "Khezhboyn," Los Angeles, October 1955.

  • Jacob Mestel -- Tsu der geshikhte fun yidn in amerike, "Yidishe kultur," N. Y., February 1956.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2322.

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