Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


   Nathan Ayzikovitsh

Born on3 August 1875 in Vladislavov, Kalisz Gubernia, Poland. His father was a merchant. Until age sixteen he learned in a cheder. He "broke out", into the world, and at the age of seventeen he immigrated to London to relatives. There he learned tailoring, however he didn't have feelings for it. He was acquainted with Joseph Goldstein, and, through him with his drama club, and began to participate there. At that time there wasn't a stable Yiddish theatre in London, but the several professional Yiddish actors who were found there, gave productions on the Sabbath and on Sunday evening in various halls, and I participated in them. At first when the "Pavilion" Theatre became a permanent Yiddish theatre, I. entered as a professional actor, and the opportunity to play with Sigmund Feinman as "Iago" in his "Othello," staged with Morris Moskovitch et al.

In 1906 I. traveled (with Schoengold and Schilling) to Argentina, and in 1907 (with Esther Wallerstein and others) to South Africa, and when Moris Moskovitch further opened the "Pavilion" Theatre, he brought I back to London. Then I. played in Paris, and from there he traveled to Poland, where he directed and with the "Grand Theatre," and then organized a troupe with whom he toured across Poland, Vilna, Minsk and Riga.

After the war he founded his own troupe in Paris, and when they disbanded, he went again with his own troupe to South Africa, then with his Dinah Feinman in Berlin and other European centers.

In 1920 I. went over to the English stage, played for six years in the larger London theatres, such as the "Apollo," "Drury Lane,"


"Royalty," "Fortune," et al, in the play, "The Great Lover," "The Torch," and others, which in their time had a great success in the theatre world.

I also participated in many English films with the famous Scottish comic Sir Harry Lauder.

During the last years of his life, I. performed with a Yiddish folks-theatre, "Grand Palais" in London, where he passed away in June 1939.

Morris Meyer characterized him this way:

“An actor whom Jews in London could thank for the continued existence of Yiddish theatre was Nathan Ayzikovitsh. When the Pavilion Theatre closed in 1935 and we remained bereft of a Yiddish theatre, he organized a troupe to perform in the Grand Palais. He was joined by Wolf Silverberg and other London actors concentrated around them. They also brought artists from other countries and in that manner Yiddish theatre again existed in London, if even on a smaller scale.

Nathan Ayzikovitsh was an accomplished actor. He was tall and broadly built. Such actors can only perform in roles appropriate to them, but he played well in such roles: as wealthy men, nobles, heroes, bold Jewish figures of old. Most of all, he had a great understanding of the stage. He was not only a director of a Yiddish theatre in London, but for a time also led a theatre in Lodz. He toured with a troupe in South Africa to great success there. N. Ayzikovitsh also acted on the English stage with Morris Moskovitch. He also participated in films.

After his death his wife, Rebecca Ayzikovitsh, continued her work as the administrator of the Grand Palais. With her ability and good manners she certainly made a contribution to the existence of the Yiddish theatre.”


  • Morris Meyer -- "Yiddish Theatre in London," London, 1942, pp. 313-314.

  • [--] -- Neyten eyzikovitsh, "Theatre Alamanac," London, 1943, pp. 46-47.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4872.

English translation courtesy of Hershl Hartman and Steven Lasky.

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