Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Botoshansky


Born in 6 August 1895 [according to Reyzen's "Lexicon" 1892], in Kiliya, Bessarabia. His father was a butcher. He learned in a cheder, in a Kishinev yeshiva, then as an extern in Odessa, where in 1912 he had printed several travel photographs and stories in "Gutmorgen", also articles in Izmail's "Pridunayski kray". At the beginning of the world war, he fled to Rumania, was arrested for socialistic activity, and was a contributor to Rumanian and Yiddish periodical editions, where he published ts. a. many articles and reviews about Yiddish theatre.

In 1915 B. wrote a drama "Letste", and it was staged with semi-professionals in many Rumanian cities, also including in the Bucharest Zhignitsa.

In Bucharest in 1917, B. founded with Jacob Shternberg a Yiddish revue theatre, for which he wrote the revues "Tsimes", "Bucharest--Jerusalem", "Fareverde--grine bleter", "In mitn drinen", "Oyfn boydem a yarid", "Iks", "Mike's drikm", "Kukurikn", and "Shalom-aleikhem". The revues were performed by Mordechai and Chaim Meir Segalesko, Leopold and Sarh Kaner, Yitzhak Goldenberg and L. Berger. Then B. became manager for Clara Young's troupe, and later wrote the revue for Ziegler's troupe.

In 1920, B. became the literary director for the Vienna "Freie yidisher folks-bine", during its guest-starring in Rumania.


In the Spring of 1923 B. settled in Buenos Aires, where he became a co-editor for the daily newspaper "Di prese", in which he also led the theatre department.

In 1926 B.'s  book "Nokh der forshtelung" was published. (grotesques and images of a Yiddish actors life) "Shleyfer Publishing House", Buenos Aires [173 + 3 pp.; 16].

In the monthly journal "South America" B. had printed a drama in four acts "R' Ber", and in the "Prese", his three-act drama "Tsvishn revolutsionern".

In 1927 B.'s "Hershele ostropoler" was published (a tragi-comedy in four acts with an epilogue), publisher "Oyfgang", Buenos Aires, [1927, 42 p., 16], which in 1923 was staged previously as a one-acter in Bucharest's Yiddish theatre.

b. translated Bramson's play "Glik", which Baratov had staged in New York's Yiddish Art Theatre on 5 April 1924 under the name "Der eybiker lign".

B. was one of the leaders of the struggle against the krubah-shaft between the underworld and the Yiddish theatre in Argentina, and one of he main founders of the society "Folks Theatre", which performed in Argentina for a season with Zaslavsky as the head, and was the first not to cover in a theatre the so-called "Tmim".

B. had founded in Buenos Aires a group for experimental art named "Young Argentina", and was the director in a dramatic circle.

In 1928 B. published in the jubilee edition of "Di prese" his shpet in two acts "Got zitst oybn...".

B. also wrote a drama "Columbus" with Antdeker from America as the main hero., and a drama "Der gefalener tsadik", built on the history of the Liev rebbe (R' Israel Rizhiner's son).

In 1929, B. staged with a dramatic studio in Buenos Aires Avraham Vieviorka's drama "Naftali Botwin".

B. was a member in Argentina's Publishing Committee for the Lexicon.

Sh. E.

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp. 197-8.

  • N. Veynig -- Kritik un bibliographye, "Bikher-velt", Warsaw, 3, 1928, pp. 49-51.

  • Y. B. -- Retsenzies, "Literarishe bleter", 127, 1929.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- Unzer album, "Der shpigel", Buenos Aires, 11 July, 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 118.

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