Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Avraham Axelrad
(Avraham Yitzhak)


Born 9 Av (20 July) 1858 in Iasi, Rumania. His father was a religious Jew, a prominent businessman, from the first beli-habatim, had nine daughters and one son, who was then quite lacking.

A. learned in cheders and also took secular subjects. When he was still a young fellow, Hurwitz arrived in Iasi with his troupe, and
as he had never felt a lack of a little money, he attended nightly the productions of the troupe. He began to become friendly with the actors, and from a great love of the stage he used to stand in, raise the curtain, and go on errands.

Outside the stage, he himself had strongly aroused a pretty, young girl, a member of the troupe., but his father was considered a strong pkhiss -hkhbud his closeness with the "komedianshtshikes", and one time when he took his son, together with the actors, he had honored him with a father-like matunah-id (?)

A. was unable to forgive his father, and because of the shame, he decided to no longer return home.

So the troupe promptly went away from Iasi, and he traveled with them. He began to act together with Aba Shoengold, Rosa Fridman and Yechiel Berkowitz.


A. soon showed fine qualities in character roles, and later as a character-comic.

Coming to Bucharest, he became acquainted with Aneta Brener, and he married her. From that they had two children, got divorced, and A. married Rukhl Margules.

Now he is himself a director, and receiving a concession from the Austrian government for Yiddish theatre, he did very good business. Thanks to his sound productions, he acquired a good name by the public, and by the powers-that-be, and with the help of deputy Dr. Benistroyka (sp), he even received from the Czernowitz city government a yearlong subsidy for his theatre.

A. had year long performed a great role in the Yiddish theatre world, because Bukovina was one of the first countries for the Yiddish stage, and thanks to his dedicated work it is a place for many years where itinerant Yiddish actors may use as a place of refuge.

Already in his middle age, A. suffered from rheumatism in his legs/feet, which had almost made him lame, but he again continued to act in his roles.

Over the last years, however, his illness had gotten worse, and he had to give up the stage, but he still lead the direction, and he used to only during his testimonial evenings, being regarded as one of the interesting comics of the old Yiddish acting types.

Spending his last days already in bed, he passed away on 11 November 1925 in Czernowitz.

As bey der gsish iz keyner, aside from the actor Sholom Breen, wasn't, the patient was very [broadened=farbiteret], and his eyes dormant, with the words: "The play was acted, the curtain came down, and there is no audience, what should we applaud."(?)

Sh. E. from his daughter and ChaimTauber.

M. E. from Yitzhak Libresko, Tabatshnikov, Itsikl Goldenberg, Ch. Nathanson, Jacob Mestel and Mark Schweid.

  • Yitzhak Paner -- Avraham Akselrad, "Arb"tst", Czernowitz, 20 November 1925.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 86.

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