Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Gershom Bader


Born on 21 August 1868 in Krakow, Western Galicia, into a family that details its lineage from Sh"kh and from Shl"h. Until age seven he was raised in the town of Oshpitzin, then in Krakow. He learned Gemora at home with a religious teacher and with his father. For several years he learned German, a short time attending the then a " general Talmud Torah," where one also learned Polish. Then he learned in a Beit HaMedrash; for a year's time he was brought to the house of a Krakow rabbi, R' Shimon Sofer (a son of "Chasam Sofer"), copied his sermons and kidushishim. At age fourteen, he went away by foot from Krakow to Berlin, entering into a rabbinical school, and in about eight months he wandered about, across Germany; and out of need he was forced to return home and became a teacher in villages within the environs of Krakow.

In 1888 B. went over as the editor of the weekly "Ha-Shemesh" in Kolomyja. In 1891 he became a Hebrew teacher in Krakow's Teachers Seminary, issuing several brochures in Hebrew, and a Polish translation of the early series, according to the Linien system.

In 1894 B. settled in as the Hebrew teacher of the school under the name of Chatsky, in Lemberg. Here he became active in societal and literary life of Galician Jewry.


In 1904 B. founded in Lemberg possibly the first Yiddish newspaper in Galicia "Tagenblat." In the newspaper he published a great number of articles and critiques about Yiddish theatre. Staying in close contact with the Yiddish actors, B. founded (together with Julius Gutman, Matityahu Thur and Norman Glimer) in 1908 the "Goldfaden farein (Goldfaden Association)," that his goal is to "protect the intellectual and economic interests of the stage artists." In the association there were outside actors and scriptwriters who also joined as musical members in the chorus. B. is also, for a certain amount of time, the president of that association.

In 1910 in New York, there was staged B.'s four-act drama "In keler (In a Cellar)" (with Keni Lipzin).

In the 1912 edition of his yearbook "G. Bader's Yiddish People's Calendar," B. published the biographies and photographs of he members of the "Goldfaden Association," and henceforth made the first attempt in Europe to publish the photographs and biographies of Yiddish actors.

In 1912 B. settled in New York, and here he dedicated himself to the journalism of the Yiddish theatre, and as such there was staged in the same year in Aged's "Clinton Street Theatre," B.'s four-act drama, "Der rebe in feyer," his four-act dama "Tsvishn libe un toyt," and his three-act drama "Froy gleybt froy."

In 1919 he staged in the Second Avenue Theatre with Satz his three-act operetta with a prologue, "The Rabbi's Melody" (music by Rumshinsky), and in 1920 led Thomashefsky and Kessler in his five-act drama "Di goldene royze," as a musical drama (music H. Wohl).

B. also wrote several plays that were not staged. He published in print the following plays:

"Zhurnalistn", a form in 1 act -- in a collection of notebooks (zamlheft) "Shtrahlen," Lemberg, 1907 (edited by Bader).

"In di hoykhe fenster," a comedy in one act -- "G. Kh. Yiddish people's calendar," Lemberg, 1912.

"Der khlisher zkn," a tragedy in one act -- "Yidishes tageblat."

And in a separate edition:

"R' Israel Bel Shem Tov", a historical folks-shtik in four acts by [....], Lemberg, 1922 [68 pp., 16].

M. E.

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vol. I, pp. 190-3.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre,",Vol. II, "List of Plays."






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 115.

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