Born on 16 March 1881 in Vilna, Polish
Lithuania, father -- a bookbinder. Learned in a cheder,
Talmud Torah and then in a business school.
In 1905 B. entered into the Vilna Russian
city theatre as a beginner. His debut was in the play "Griadzhtshi
rastvet" by Eliza Orzheshko. He acted in the troupe in
small roles until one time when an actor suddenly became
sick, and B. had to rush to perform in the role of "Shmaga"
in Ostrovski's "Umshuldik-shuldike". The production went
over with such success that B. became featured as the
first comic of the troupe. B. then went onto other
Russian stages as an actor and regisseur.
Being a regisseur in a Russian
governmental theatre in Tiflis, he had the opportunity
as regisseur and director for that Yiddish dramatic
In 1912 B. was invited by known Russian
artists Orlyenev to guest-star in the Bialystok region,
and on arriving in Bialystok, he met with Nachum Zemach,
the founder of the Hebrew "Habima", who interested hi in
that theatre, and there became regisseur and actor.
After the former "Habima" fell apart, he
turned back to the Russian stage, but in 1914 met him in
Vilna to act in Yiddish in the "Philharmonia" theatre,
together with Peretz Hirshbein.
At the same time he organized an amateur
circle for the offerings of better Yiddish theatre
pieces. In this circle one finds the former beginners
Alomis, Azro, Shneyer et al., who were later the
founding members of the "Vilna Troupe".
Before Vilna was evacuated, B. again went
to Russia, entered into Sibiryakov's Russian theatre in
Odessa, but was soon a trainer of comics, encouraging
the founding there of a Yiddish artistic theatre, where
there would be performing under his direction: Moshe
Lipman, Misha Fishzon, Vera Zaslavska, Sh. Iris et al.
In 1922 B. acted in the Sholem Aleichem
Theatre in Russia, later turning again back to the "Habima",
where he has acted up to the present day.
Ben-Tsion Kit -- "Tsayt", Vilna, 85,
A. Tspuri-Bley -- Dos harts fun der "habima",
"Id.Folk", New York, 21 January 1927.