Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yehuda Bleich


M. was born on 27 February 191, in Tarnopol, Galicia, to simple, pious parents. His father was a wholesale glass dealer.

Until age eleven he learned in a cheder, later in a small Talmud with tsufus, and he had the opportunity -- privately -- to learn German and Polish. Often he used to "gorglen" himself, and he thought that he would become a prayer leader.

By the outbreak of the World War he wandered with his family, and after several months they came to Vienna. There B. learned further for about a year in a Beit HaMedrash.

In 1915 his father was taken into military service, and the fourteen-year-old B. had to become the income earner at home. He took up various trades, and he earned money. He caught himself at times in the Yiddish theatre in the play "Shalom bit".  Since then he became a frequent attendee of the theatre, a bky in the play, and was able to oysveynik from an entire role.

In 1917 B. traveled around in a dramatic club of the "Tsion" union, and he acted for the first time as "Aaron Shiper" in Dymov's "Shma Yisrael" under Jacob Mestel's direction. From there he participated in the weekly literary productions of Mestel and Itzhak Deutsch's professional productions.


B. took a course in diction in the German language with the regisseur Julius Haler, and he went through the Yiddish dramatic school under J. Mestel's leadership. Binu lbinu acted with amateurs, and he performed in 1920 in the "Freie folksbine" under the direction of Itzhak Deutsch and Egon Brecher, where Ben-Tzvi Baratov also acted at a later time. Due to his family situation, he traveled to America. Here in 1921 he became engaged in a Yiddish theatre, where he acted in small roles. As such he spent three years in various troupes. During the 1925-26 season he was engaged in Schildkraut's theatre. In 1926 he acted for Gabel. In 1927 he became a member in the union, and he participated in the Irving Place Theatre with Berta Kalich. In 1928-9 he was at the Casino Theatre in Philadelphia. In 1929-3 he was in Brooklyn's Rolland Theatre.

Sh. E.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum -- Naye pnim'er oyf unzer bine, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 2 March 1928.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 180.

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