Born on 30 October 1861 in
Neyshtot, near the Polish-Prussian border. His father
businessman, who until age thirteen had let
him learn in cheders, then was sent to the yeshivas of Slonim and Grodno. At the age of seventeen he married
and was called to further learning, and then he took to commerce,
In 1880 he immigrated to Rostov, and here until 1890
he maintained a Hebrew-Russian school. Later he
immigrated to New York, where he also attempted a Hebrew
school, but ultimately a .... in the "Montefiore Talmud
1892 -- T., together with
Morris Rosenfeld, issued seven volumes of weekly "Di zun
(The Sun)," and in 1898, twelve volumes of a monthly
book "Natur und lebn."
T. tried his strength at
the Yiddish stage, but the then dramatist, who also was
partners in the Yiddish theatres, did not allow him to.
At first during a conflict between the actors and the
dramatists, T. arrived at the possibility of staging his
play in 1892, "Shivs tsion," and "Amon and Tamar, oder,
Der gliklikher pastukh" (music -- M. Abramovitsh, staged
18 November in Thalia); in 1893 -- "Di zilberne
hokhtsayt"; on 23 February 1894 in the Thalia Theatre
"Di karbones fun di shlekhte tsaytn," in 1895 -- "Bustnay,
oder, Der letster prints fun mlkhut bit dovid"
("historical operetta in five acts and fourteen
scenes"), "Rafael bel monte," and "Mlkhmus hihudim,
oder, Di geroybte printsesin," 1899 -- "Ktr mlkhut,
oder, Di kroynung fun inay kenig", "Murd bmlkhut, oder,
Di yidn in portugal, a
historical, romantic opera" [operetta], "The Bird of
Prey, or, the Scandal in the High Window " (a lebnsbild in
four acts), 1901 - "Der nayer moshiakh, oder, Dovid
alray, a historical operetta. (After Bikonsfield's
novel)" and "Di bet-hmlkh, a historical operetta", 1902
-- Regina, oder, Di yidishe grafine," (staged by Kessler
in the Thalia Theatre). 1908 -- "Di yidishe neshome (The
Jewish Soul)" (staged by Thomashefsky), and together
with Thomashefsky "Der sha"kh," oder, Der skhus fun
shabes koydesh (Rabbi Sabbathai Cohen, or, The Merits of
T. also wrote a series of
one-acters and two-act vaudevilles and dramas, which were
staged in the then Yiddish vaudeville houses in America.
From T.'s plays, there were
printed: ""Der ferfaster in kindbet", a comedy in one
act, in which T. portrayed in a comical form an episode
of Yiddish dramaturgical life [printed in Y. Minikes'
"Di idishe bine" N. Y., 1897, later published in a
separate edition in the publishing house "Teatre
Bibliotek," Warsaw [16 pp., 16°], and "Di yidishe neshome,
oder, Beril kokhlefel, a musical drama in four acts,
adapted by B. Thomashefsky, publisher "Melody," Warsaw, Tr'e, 56 pp., 16° [the play was printed without the
knowledge of the author.]
In his collection "Natur und
leben" (New York, 1898), there also was printed his
drama "Der amerikaner arbeyter, oder, Der kamf fir dos
lebens drama fun unzere tsayten, in 5 acts by
Jacob Terr." The play was performed by professional
Yiddish theatre in America, and also on (28) 15 July
1905 it was staged in Vilna by an "amateur" group, under
the name "Di idishe emigrantn in amerike."
Almost all were handwritten
by T., written with writing letters(?) and with
fartsirungen on the title page, found in the archive
of Sholem Perlmutter.
Z. Reyzen --
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vol. I, pp.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre," Vol. II, pp. 66,
M. Zeifert -- "Di
geshikhte fun idishen theater" in Minikes' "Di
idshe bine," N. Y., 1897.
B. Gorin --
Kritik, "Der theater zhurnal," N. Y., 15, 1902.
Thomashefsky -- "Mayn lebens geshikhte," N. Y.,
-- Idishe dramturgen "Di idishe velt,"
Cleveland, 16 December 1928.