The Remarkable Zalmen Zylbercweig
and his Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre


The Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre

Zalmen Zylbercweig was the editor and main force behind the six-volume "Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre)", a compendium of more than 2,800 Yiddish-language biographies and short histories of those individuals and organizations once involved in some way with the Yiddish theatre.

At the Museum of Family History, we have undertaken a project that will ultimately result in the translation of all six volumes, as well as the unpublished seventh volume. This translation project, i.e. from Yiddish to English, is an ongoing project, though more than sixty percent of the biographies have been translated to date. The Museum's intent is to keep the memory alive of those once involved in the Yiddish theatre, and the translation of these many biographies and histories goes a long way in furthering this goal. It is hoped that these translations will be of interest to you and help you learn more about the Yiddish theatre or about an individual or organization you are keen about.

This exhibition is part of the mission that the Museum of Family History has undertaken, i.e. to keep alive the memory and enhance the appreciation of Jewish culture, not only as it once existed, but as it exists today. The Museum also wishes to honor the memory of Lexicon editor Zalmen Zylbercweig who remarkably had dedicated himself wholeheartedly at great personal cost and sacrifice to the preservation of Jewish culture and the history of the Yiddish theatre.

The first volume of the Lexicon was published in New York in 1931, the sixth in Mexico City in 1969. Zylbercweig had completed work on a seventh volume, but due to his untimely death in Los Angeles in 1972, the final volume was never published; until this point it has remained silent, so to speak, in galley form within various repositories around the world.


Zalmen Zylbercweig

At the






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