Museum of the Yiddish Theatre
          Visit Us            Exhibitions           
Collections            Research            Opportunities            About the Museum            Site Map            Contact Us            Links 



Welcome to the Movies!
"The Yiddish Film in History"


"As the Depression hit America in 1929, the motion picture industry was experiencing growth and great profit in contact to the economic disaster besetting the rest of the country. In 1930, theatre audience was better than the year before. However, motion pictures were failing to respond to the ethnic urban populations who thronged in great numbers to witness the miracle of sound on film. New Americans found themselves watching films unaware of what was happening on the screen; English was still a foreign language. Now that motion pictures were so dependent  on audible language, rather than subtitles, to convey their message, the new Americans were frustrated. Unable to comprehend, they stopped going to the cinema.

Jewish immigrant filmgoers faced the same problem as their fellow immigrants. A number of Jewish filmmakers sensitive to this need sought a remedy by producing sound pictures in Yiddish, or at least creating talking pictures with Yiddish narration ..."

-- excerpt, by Eric A. Goldman, "Visions, Images and Dreams: Yiddish Film -- Past & Present, 2011.

The Yiddish film, over many decades, has given pleasure to many, many lovers of cinema, especially those who were knowledgeable or at the very least, interested in the Yiddish language and Jewish history and culture. Many of our family members, back in the day, used to frequent the Yiddish theatre house. From the silent films to the talking pictures, from the Yiddish films made in Europe to those produced in the United States, these extant films reveal to use, even today, what talented Yiddish actors and actresses there were who took part in these productions, as well as the shining beauty of Jewish culture, especially the many stories that dealt with the Jewish family unit. Many of the films that were made first appeared as a live production on the Yiddish stage and were written by prominent Jewish authors, then turned into a Yiddish film.

In this multimedia, online exhibition, you can see information on more than fifty, both silent and talking, Yiddish films, or "talkies," full-length or "shorts." Most often includes the names of the cast members of the film and the part they played; also there photographs, stills from the film itself. Also, when available there descriptions are included about the particular film, whether it be from the glorious National Center for Jewish Film, from the Turner Movie Channel website, or occasionally from another source. As a reminder, such organizations as the National Center for Jewish Film has many of those films below, both in their original form, or in a remastered form. They have done a "yeoman's job" over many years in helping to preserve our precious legacy. Please support them if you can.

Simply click on any of the links below and let the journey begin!

-- Founder and Director, Steven Lasky

  1.  "A Letter to Mother," with Lucy German

  2.  "Two Sisters," with Jennie Goldstein

  3.  "God, Man and Devil," with Michal Michalesko

  4.  "Mamele," with Molly Picon

  5.  "Without a Home," with Ida Kaminska

  6.  "The Singing Blacksmith," with Moishe Oysher

  7.  "American Matchmaker," with Leo Fuchs

  8. "A Vilna Legend (Tkies khaf)," with Ester Rokhl and Ida Kaminska

  9.  "Yiddle With His Fiddle," with Molly Picon

  10.  "East and West," with Molly Picon

  11.  "Mirele Efros," with Berta Gerstin

  12.  "Catskill Honeymoon," with Diana Goldberg, the Feder Sisters

  13.  "The Dybbuk," with Avrom Morewski, Lili Liliana, and Leon Liebgold

  14.  "Tevya," with Maurice Schwartz

  15.  "Uncle Moses" with Maurice Schwartz

  16.  "Children Must Laugh," a documentary

  17.  "Kol Nidre," with Lili Liliana and Leon Liebgold

  18.  "The Power of Life," with Michal Michalesko

  19.  "The Cantor's Son," with Moishe Oysher

  20.  "Overture to Glory," with Moishe Oysher

  21.  "The Light Ahead," with David Opatoshu

  22.  "Love and Sacrifice," with Lazar Freed and Rose Greenfield

  23.  "His Wife's Lover," with Ludwig Satz

  24.  "Her Second Mother," with Esta Salzman

  25.  "Green Fields," with Michael Gorrin and Helen Beverley

  26.  "Eli Eli," with Esther Field

  27.  "Our Children," with Dzigan and Schumacher

  28.  "The Jester (Purimshpiler)," with Miriam Kressyn and Hymie Jacobson

  29. Welcome to thre Movies!: "I Want to Be a Mother," with Moishe Feder and Leo Fuchs

  30.  "The Jewish Melody," with Isidore Cashier

  31.  "Live and Laugh"

  32.  "Motel the Operator," with Chaim Tauber

  33.  "Singing in the Dark," with Moishe Oysher

  34.  "The Great Advisor," with Irving Jacobson

  35.  "The Living Orphan," with Fania Rubina

  36.  "The Jolly Paupers," with Dzigan and Schumacher

  37.  "The Yiddish King Lear," with Maurice Krohner

  38.  "Bar Mitzvah," with Boris Thomashefsky

  39.  "Where is my Child?", with Celia Adler

  40.  "The Wandering Jew," with Jacob Ben-Ami

  41.  "Neighbors," with Eugeniusz Bodo

  42.  "Jewish Luck," with Solomon Mikhoels

  43.  "The Unfortunate Bride," with Maurice Schwartz

  44.  "The Shoemaker's Romance," with Joseph Buloff and Luba Kadison

  45.  "The Sailor's Sweetheart," with Hymie Jacobson and Miriam Kressyn

  46.  "Monticello, Here We Come!," with Fyvush Finkel et al

  47.  "Mothers of Today," with Esther Field

  48.  "Yizkor," with Maurice Schwartz

  49.  "A Cantor on Trial," with Louis (Leibele) Waldman

  50.  "I Want to Be a Boarder," with Leo Fuchs and Yetta Zwerling

  51.  "The Return of Nathan Becker," with Solomon Mikhoels

  52.  "Hungry Hearts"

  53.  "A Child of the Ghetto"

  54.  "The Sins of the Parents"


Copyright Museum of the Yiddish Theatre.  All rights reserved.















Copyright Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy