The Museum of Family History

HOME          SITE MAP          ABOUT THE MUSEUM          FEEDBACK          OPPORTUNITIES          LINKS


    "What's New?"




An article about the Museum founder and director, Steven Lasky, and his work, has been published and currently is available for viewing on the Forverts (Yiddish Forward) online edition!

Besides the Museum of Family History's Facebook page, a new Facebook page has been created for its Museum of the Yiddish Theatre (which is part of the Museum of Family History.) So if you have an interest in the history of the Yiddish theatre, please sign up!!


The Museum of Family History now has a new division, i.e. the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre, so for those of you with an interest in Yiddish theatre, its history and its players, please visit the Museum online at Most all the museum's content can be found on its own site map page. The Museum also has a very interesting Facebook page (name: Museum of the Yiddish Theatre), so I urge you to join it as a "friend."




THE TRANSLATION PROJECT  --The Museum newest exhibition is about the remarkable Zalmen Zylbercweig and his seven-volume Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre. Here you will be able to read about the history of his "Lexicon", as well about him as a person. You will be able to form an image of Zylbercweig, who was a remarkable man.

You will also be able to access dozens of radio clips (changed every month or two) from his Los Angeles radio Yiddish-language radio program of the fifties and sixties (mostly in Yiddish, though some English) for the Museum's new On the Air! feature. Also of import, intriguing and thoughtful, is the Museum's multimedia exhibition entitled Lives in the Yiddish Theatre: Tributes to a Bygone Era. Here you will more easily be able to imagine walking through a museum and strolling from room to room, within the exhibition, viewing framed and matted photos on virtual museum walls, read the descriptive plaques, and hear audio tributes from family members of those who have contributed eagerly to their family tribute.

      --The Museum now has two databases for its Yiddish World section. Databases have been constructed for two major works that contain a combined 4,800 or so biographies of those once involved in some way in the Yiddish theatre, i.e. Zylbercweig's Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre, and Zalmen Reyzen's four-volume work Lexicon of Yiddish Literature, Press and Philology, which contains bios of nearly 2,000 writers.

The Museum is currently translating the Zylbercweig opus, but has no plans to translate the Reyzen work. To date, more than 2,200 biographies (from one sentence to many pages in length) have been translated and are accessible for all to see -- a wonderful way of learning about Jewish history, families, culture, etc. A must see!

Latest translations: Mendl Elkin, Pepi Urich, Leah Krause-Miller and S. H. Cohen.

The Museum wishes to make the aforementioned databases available on its site for anyone at anytime to access freely, but it hasn't anyone to construct it, and, in the absence of any funding they will not be created. However, if anyone has a request, e.g. a name, to look up, please contact the museum with your specific request.

Each of the two databases also contain the town and area in which the person was born, as well as the page numbers on which the individual biography can be found.

The Museum is looking for volunteers to help it complete this translation project, which has to date been done by volunteers. Please contact the Museum if you are willing to participate on this basis.


The Museum of Family History, with permission, has created a new volume of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", which is its eighth (the seventh remains unpublished in galley form). It will probably only be available online, and it includes never-seen-before biographies of Yiddish theatre personnel, as well as amended biographies, i.e. those that have been added to (since many of the biographies were created in the early 1930s). Such new biographies are that or Yiddish actresses Charlotte Goldstein, Esta Salzman and Fraydele Oysher.

Also, for the first time, you will find special sections in this new volume about international Yiddish troupes, such as that of the Romanian Jewish State Theatre in Bucharest, Romania, and the Yiddishpiel Theatre in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Museum hopes to add biographies on more such troupes in the future, once they have been submitted to the Museum.


You can now listen to the Museum's next "'On the Air!' rebroadcast" of the "Yiddish Radio Hour", as created and led by the husband-and-wife-team of Zalmen and Celia Zylbercweig, first broadcast on October 12, 1969 from their home studio in Los Angeles, California. Zalmen was the editor and engineer behind the multi-volume "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", which I am currently translating (seventy percent done) into English from the original Yiddish.

The aforementioned half-hour radio program is in Yiddish, of course, and contains news, commentary and song. It will be especially interesting to those of you who can understand Yiddish by ear, though someone who has a better ability to do this that me has created a summary of the program in English, which I have supplied on the same webpage on which the link to this broadcast appears. One can hear the program at . Here you can hear at least one song in Yiddish, i.e. from the play "Di kishufmakherin (The Witch)", which was to be performed in Beverly Hills that year.

Also for a time, my first " 'On the Air! rebroadcast", featuring the Los Angeles City Council's presentation of an award to Zylbercweig for his work on his "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" (English and Yiddish). This can be found (for a short time) at .

I plan on changing "rebroadcasts" every months or two, until I run out of recordings. There is more music, commentary, events, etc., that will be featured in future "rebroadcasts". I am hoping to find more volunteers who are willing to "preview" future program recordings and summarize them, as this last volunteer has done. Also, if anyone can improve on the program summary, as featured on the aforementioned web page, please contact me directly.

You can also visit my Zylbercweig exhibition at .

You can read individual translated "Lexicon" biographies at .

You can also hear other past radio programs that are non-Yiddish in nature, e.g. a program emceed by Al Jolson. To do so, click on the above link "On the Air! Yiddish Radio Program".


     --The latest installment of the Museum's Zambrow, Poland Yizkor Book translation is now available for your perusal. This segment is especially interesting because of the many aphorisms, or expressions in Yiddish that were heard in Zambrow before the Second World War. Not only are these sayings translated to English, but they are often explained.

All that is translated from this Yizkor Book can only be found here at the Museum. The Yizkor Book is undergoing its final edits, and once it is completed, an announcement will be made. You will be able to read the entire book and see the entirety of the photographs that are contained therein all on one webpage.

The link to the newest translated segment from the Yizkor Book can be found by clicking here.

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