marriage in Mexico City in 1947, Zalmen
Zylbercweig and his wife Celia (seen above) and
her daughter Shirley, moved to New York City. At
the time Zalmen was the editor for "Der
amerikaner (The Jewish American)", a Jewish
gazette based in New York City, from 1937-1948.
Celia, as Celia Silver, became an excellent
writer for the same publication, interviewing
many well-known Yiddish personalities for her
column "In der froyen-velt (In the Women's
World)", such as Yiddish great Maurice Schwartz.
However, she was known especially for her
interviews of prominent women, such as actresses
Molly Picon, Stella and Celia Adler and Gertrude
Berg (from "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg").
Perhaps less than
two years later, Zalmen received an offer to
leave New York and move to Los Angeles,
California, in order to launch his own Yiddish
Radio Hour on the station KOWL. So he decided
with his family to move to L. A., and
there he and wife Celia broadcast their own
Yiddish radio program, which broadcast both on
weekdays and on Sunday. However, this was to be
a short-lived experience.
In 1949, he moved
to a home in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles
with his family, where they built at their own expense a
recording studio in the back of the family
house, and the rest as they say, is history.
For the next
twenty or so years, he and his lovely wife Celia
broadcast their own daily (except Saturday)
"Zylbercweig's Daily Yiddish and Jewish -English
Radio Hour (The Yiddishe Shtunde)", on such Los Angeles radio stations
as KALI and KBLA, usually for a half-hour during
the week and an hour on Sunday.
Most of the
programs were in Yiddish, and most all featured
commentary, guest speakers, actors, composers,
authors, poets, rabbis, politician, comedians,
musicians and a number of personalities from the
Yiddish stage. Whichever personality would come
to Los Angeles, would come see the Zylbercweigs,
visit their home and be interviewed in their
Here at "On the
Air!", the Museum of Family History is
presenting to you rebroadcasts of some of the
Zylbercweig radio programs, mostly composed of
partial or complete rebroadcasts, each one for your listening
pleasure. Whether or not you can understand the
Yiddish language, you have a unique opportunity
to be transported back in time, and get a feel
for the Jewish Los Angeles of the '50s and '60s,
and gain a sense of the heart and soul that
Zalmen and Celia put into their radio work, a
labor of love. It should be noted that at the
same period of time he and Celia were
broadcasting their programs, Zalmen was working
on the next five volumes of his magnificent opus,
the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".
While Zalmen was working and traveling to
accomplish this dream, Celia took charge of the
broadcasting, meeting the guests, meeting with
You may click on
the "enter >>" link below to begin your journey
through the marvelous world of the Zylbercweigs.
Each program will be changed on a periodic
basis, and will be available to you for that
time your own listening pleasure. Some segments
of the broadcasts will be in English, but most
will be purely in Yiddish. The Museum is looking
for volunteers to translate transcripts of their
radio programs from Yiddish to English, so if
there is any one who wishes to do so, or wishes
to donate funds to the Museum so that a
professional translator may be paid for their
efforts, please contact us.
So now, please
enjoy the shows!
You can listen to
the current series or radio recordings, whose
links appear on consecutive pages, by clicking
Alternatively, here is a listing of broadcast
dates and or topics of the shows:
Zylbercweig Receives an Award on air from
the Los Angeles City Council fior his work
on his "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre."
October 12, 1969
December 10, 1967
June 23, 1968
August 18, 1968
September 1964: the
Histadrut organization testimonial dinner,
honoring Zalmen Zylbercweig, on the occasion
of his seventieth birthday.
Circa 1964: Yosele
Mlotek interviews Zalmen Zylbercweig for his
WEVD Arbeter Ring radio program.
September 1982: Seymour
Rechtzeit and Miriam Kressyn's "Memories of
the Theatre: Past and Present" on WEVD
radio: Today's program honors the "Lexicon
of the Yiddish Theatre" editor Zalmen
Zylbercweig on the tenth-anniversary of his
1964: Renown singer and
actress Fraydele Oysher visits the
Museum of Family History