Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Bridger


B. was born on 15 December 1907 in Markulesht, Bessarabia. He learned in a mtukn cheder, and in a gymnasium, In 1927 he completed the "Tarbut" gymnasium. In 1930 he became a teacher in the "Tarbut" elementary school in Otaki. In 1933 he immigrated to America, where he was a teacher in the school of the Jewish National Worker's Union, Arbeter Ring, Sholem Aleichem Folks Institute, and studied in the University of Akron, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y.

As a pedagogue B. recognized the great importance of theatre for Jewish education (see his article in "Dertsyungs Encyclopedia," Vol. 3, pp. 168-174), and he began to dedicate himself to creating a Yiddish children's repertoire for the school festivities, as well as for holiday events.

So afterwards, during his teaching in Buffalo, N.Y., he wrote "Di eybike megillah" (a historical scene of Jewish life), which in January 1940 was staged there; "Ratevet" (a satire in one act), 'Di alte shtul" (a play in two scenes), freely staged from the English story by T. Eyges, which was played by local dramatic circles in Buffalo, and "Dos groyse likht" (a Chanukah play), staged in October 1942 in Buffalo.

In 1942 in camp "Kinder Ring" there was staged B.'s "Kinder fun likhtikn morgn" (a play in two scenes of the ghetto), and in August 1943 in the same camp there was staged B.'s one-acter, "Cats and Mice."

 B.'s plays were published and staged: "Farn kontsert" (a Chanukah play) (also mimeograph in English), "In oremkayt" (per Avraham Reisen), "Kumshpetnikes" (a comedy), "Antshuldik, ikh bet eykh..." (Purim comedy) (also mimeograph in Hebrew through "Ved hmkhnkhim hebrim lmen eretz yisroel heubdt," also in English), "Di naye hashmonim," "In ergetz-land" (per Y.L. Peretz), "Di fon" (per Sholem Aleichem), "Di megillah dertsaylt," "Zay veln kumen" (a Lag B'Omer play), published mimeographed in Hebrew and in English, "Klasshpiln fun khumash," "Di khanukah-menorah," "Di kinder fun yisroel gayen ariber dem yom-suf," "Di eshrt hdbrut," "Der purim mishpat," and "Moshe un aaron far prehn." All the plays were performed.

B. also wrote the play "Shlomo hamelekh un di bin" (a children's play in four scenes), which on 8 June 1951 was staged through a Yiddish children's theatre in Los Angeles in the "Wilshire Ebell" Theatre, under the direction of Ten Veyen (sp).

In a monthly writing, "Der pedagogisher buletin," there was published by the committee of the Yiddish school for Jewish education in New York, the mimeographed plays:

  • "Di eybike megillah" (Purim play), published in N' 15.

  • "Dos groyse likht" (Chanukah play), published in N' 21.

  • "Shelakh-mones" (a Purim play), published in N' 24.

  • "Kinder fun likhtikn frimorgn" (play of ghetto life), published in N' 26.

  • "Di yidishe shul,"published in N' 27.

  • "Ruth" (Shavuous play), published in N' 37.

  • "Der mishpat" (play), published in N' 38.

  • "Haman klogt an hitlern" (Puriim play), published in N' 44.

  • "Klas-shpiln fun Chumash," published in N' 56.

Also every play was staged.

Since 1941 B. began to publish plays in New York's "Children's Journal," where he also composed children's songs and stories, later publishing articles on pedagogical themes in "Kultur un dertsayung," "Yidishe kemfer," "Tsukunft," "YIVO-Bleter," "Pedagogisher buletin" and "Khelmer far yidisher dertsayung."

B. also composed the teacher's book, "Der onheyber," which had reached nine issues, and a workbook for "Onheyber," "Genitungen in yidisher gramatik" (New York, 1947), and together with Israel Steinbaum and Yudl Mark a "Vokabular farn onheyb-klas in der amerikaner yidisher shul," 12 texts and work-books for the study of Hebrew in Hebrew elementary schools, and a shlisl-book for teachers (mimeographed).

Since 1948 B. consulted with the Bureau for Jewish Education in Los Angeles, and in 1952 received the title of Doctor from U.C.L.A.

In 1960 in Mexico there was published B.'s book, "Chona senesh," and other stories, issued from the local Yiddish school.

B.'s published plays:

1. (per Sholem Aleichem)
Di fon
freely staged from David Bridger
("Children's Journal," N.Y., October 1940, pp. 5-8)

1a. "Argentiner baymelekh," Buenos Aires, N' 65, 1946)

2. David Bridger
Farn kontsert
("Children's Newspaper," N.Y., Dec. 1941)

3. David Bridger
In orimkayt
loit Avraham Reisen's dertselungen
("Children's Journal," N.Y., May 1942, pp. 4-7)

3a. "Di yidishe tsaytung," Buenos Aires, 15 October 1942)

4. David Bridger
Kumshpetnikes (a comedy in one act)
("Children's Newspaper, N.Y., Nov. 1942)

5. David Bridger
anshuldikt, ikh bet eykh...
(Purim comedy)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., Feb. 1943)

6. D. Bridger
Di naye hashamayim
("Children's Newspaper, N.Y., Dec. 1943, pp. 7-10)

7.In ergetz-land
(play in two scenes)
per Y.L. Peretz
Freely staged by David Bridger
("Children's Journal," N.Y., June-July 1945, pp. 11-14)

8. David Bridger
Di megillah dertsaylt
(Purim play)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., N.Y., Feb. 1946, pp. 1-5)

9. David Bridger
Zay veln kumen
(tseytlekhe Lag B'Omer play)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., June-July 1946, pp. 4-7)

10. David Bridger
Klas-shpiln fun Chumash
("Children's Journal," N.Y., Feb., Mar., Apr. 1947)

11. David Bridger
Di khanukah menorah
(in two parts)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., Nov. 1947, pp. 6-11)

12. David Bridger
Di kinder fun yisroel gayen ariber dem im-suf
("Children's Journal," N.Y., May 1948.

13 David Bridger
Di eshrt hdbrut
("Children's Journal," N.Y., March 1948)

14. David Bridger
Der purim mishpat
("Children's Journal," N.Y., March 1951)

15. David Bridger
Moshe un aaron far prehn
("Children's Journal," N.Y., March 1951)

M.E. and Sh.E.

  • Lexicon of the New Yiddish Liteature," N.Y., 1956, Vol, 1, p. 464.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3161.

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