Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Max Bozyk


Born in 1901 in Lodz, Poland, where he learned in a cheder and completed a folkshul. His father was a Chasid, an owner of a fruit sklad. Attending a production in a Yiddish theatre where Julius Adler was performing in the role of "Eliezer" in "Zhidovka", he became excited, seeing the actor take off his beard after performing.  He thus became farkhshuft of theatre acting, so he began to act in theatre with youths in the homes in the towns, and soon in comical, adult roles with a beard.

At the age of seventeen, he became a professional actor under the direction of Hymie Jacobowitz ("Tsfnyh" in "The Destruction of Jerusalem"), and then in sketches and plays in the theatres in the poorest parts of Lodz (Baluty), where he became the darling of the audience. 1920 -- engaged in Ebell's troupe in Rzheshev (Galicia), and a year later by himself became director and manager of a Yiddish itinerant troupe in the span of eight years.

1930 -- acted in the "Reklam Theatre" in Vienna, and then in Warsaw's "Folks Theatre" (Director Meir Winder). In 1931-- a slight year with the American guest-stars Goldenburg, Baratov, Satz, Julius Nathanson, and in London (Pavilion Theatre) with the guest-starring  Julius and Anna Nathanson, Baratov, Zaslavsky, Ludwig Satz, Nellie Cashman, Molly Picon and Goldenburg.

B. guest-starred then in Belgium, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Lithuania, and in 1933 he performed in Warsaw,


together with Nellie Cashman in "Di komediantke" and "Di skhkurte". In the 1934-5 season he acted in Leivick's "Keytn (Chains)" (with Alexander Granach), in "Sergeant Grisha" (with Kurt Katch), and "Ofene oygen" (with Rachel Holtzer). 1936-7 -- in the "Novotshtshi" Theatre with Lucy and Misha German, and then with Zygmunt Turkow in "Mkhusnim" by Chone Gottesfeld, "Blondzhende shtern" by Sholem Aleichem, "Noach pandre" by Z. Shneur, "Shop" by Leivick, and "Dos gevisn fun der velt" by A. Katsizne, as well as "Sarah sheyndl in yehopets", from Lateiner (with Ida Kaminska).

At summer's end in 1938 he acted in  the "Novotshtshi" Theatre in the "National Stage" (direction and management by the Jewish-German regisseurs Lindberg, Meinhart and Bt Dur), in the play "Mshpt", "Jacob and Esau") and "Kamf far erd".

In 1939, hart from the Second World War, together with his wife Reizel and five actors from Poland, they were brought to Argentina by Adolf Mide and acted for two years in Argentina.

In 1941-- engaged for New York's "Public" Theatre (Director Herman Yablokoff), where he performed in Blum's operetta "Meyn veyse blum". In 1942 -- participated as "Lazar badkhan" in the star "Gordin Ensemble" tour across America and Canada (Frances Adler, Celia Adler, Jacob Ben Ami, Lucy and Misha German, Berta Gerstin, Jacob Mestel, Menachem Rubin and Yitzhak Roytblum).

Returning form the tour B. participated with his wife in various operettas and vaudeville troupes in New York and the province. In 1956 he acted in the "cooperative dramatic theatre" in Bimko's play "Father and Son" [Dembes] (Director Jacob Mestel). 1958 -- he went on a tour across America with the "Farband" troupe, and in the 1958-59 season he directed, together with Sheftl Zak, with "Unzer Theatre", where he performed in the Israeli play "Di ershte shvalb" (role of "Shmelke") and directed Chone Gottesfeld's "Parnose".

B. participated in the films "Yidl mitn fidl" (with Molly Picon), "Tkies khf (The Vow)" (with Jonas Turkow), "Dybuk (The Dybbuk)" (with Avraham Morevsky), "Purim shpieler" (with Miriam Kressyn and Hymie Jacobson), "A brivele der mamen" (with Lucy German), "Mamele" (with Molly Picon), "Got, mensh un tayvl (God, Man and Devil)" (with Michal Michalesko and Berta Gerstin), and "Catskill Mountains (Honeymoon -- ed.)".

In 1935 B. was a member in the ern-gerikht for the Yiddish Artists Union in Poland.

In 1943 B. was unanimously taken in as a member of the Yiddish Actors Union in America, where he has several times been a member of the Executive Committee.

B. is a member of the committee of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

M. E.

  • Dr. Reuben Feldshuh-- "Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon", Warsaw, 1939, pp. 543-545.

  • M. Ites -- Maks bozshik oyfn veg keyn argentine, "Idishe bilder", Riga, N' 20, 1939.

  • Morris Meyer -- "Idish teater in london", London, 1942, p. 321.

  • Julius Adler -- Meshus fun der idisher teater-velt, "Morgn Frayhayt", N. Y., 16 November 1949.

  • Chaim Ehrenreich -- Der koperativer "unzer teater" in edyukeyshonel elayens, "Forward", N. Y., 10 September 1958.

  • [Dr. N. Swerdlin] -- Di ekshnim, "Daily Morning Journal", N. Y., 11 September 1958.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2374.

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