Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Max Abramovich


A. was born circa 1859 in Odessa, Ukraine. His father was the proprietor of a shoe store, never working by himself because he had a deep desire to wander, and he visited Turkey and other lands.

As a child of five A. sang with a cantor, and when he grew a little older, he traveled around with his father as a choir singer, and he even took him to Turkey.

At the age of ten A. was taken in as a singer into the wine cellars of Odessa together with Morris Finkel, Arie Shrage, Jacob Katzman and Aaron Tager.

When Israel Rosenberg reprimanded Goldfaden and put together a troupe, he took A. out of the wine cellar together with Katzman. Soon thereafter A. came to Goldfaden, with whom he acted in the beginning in women's roles.

As a musical person he helped Goldfaden with the cantorial motif for "Shulamis" and gave him the well-known motif for "Di kohanim (The Priests)."

In 1881 he acted in Naftali Goldfaden's troupe in Morocco, where he directed the amateurs, because he possessed a great voice.


Traveling around across Bessarabia, he was introduced to Bina Fuks, with whom he married, but [then] there came the ban on Yiddish theatre, and he went back to being a cellar singer and a choir singer for cantors in Odessa, and he also traveled around with his wife in concerts. Wandering as such, they came to Czernowitz to the director Margules, but due to concession difficulties, A. was forced to act in Seret, Bukovina. Due to a conflict he traveled to Romania, where he acted together with the troupe of Finkel, Feinman, Mogulesko, Kessler and Weinblatt. When Mogulesko came in 1886 from America with a troupe, they took him with them, and here he performed as a comic. In 1888 Thomashefsky brought him to Boston, and in 1895 he acted in the Roumanian Opera House in New York. Here until 1905, A. acted together with the major actors in New York and across the province as a comic and second lover. On 6 April 1905 he passed away in New York and came to his eternal rest in Washington Cemetery (Brooklyn, New York -- ed.)

M. E. from Bina Abramowitz, Jacob Katzman.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of the Yiddish Theatre," Vol. I, p. 205; Vol. II, p. 35.

  • Bessie Thomashefsky -- "Mayn lebens geshikhte," New York, 1916, p. 157.

  • Jacob P. Adler -- Mayn lebensbashreybung,  "Der teater-zhurnal," New York, 3, 1901-2.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 6.

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