Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sonia Edelman


Born on 18 May 1889 in Konstantinograd, Poltava Gubernia, Ukraine. Father -- a rabbi and ritual slaughterer. She received a traditional Jewish education. Learned in a Yiddish school in Yekaterinoslav, wherein her parents soon moved over to soon after her birth, and later here she completed a six-class school, where she often used to perform with declamations. Through a neighbor, a theatrical property manager, she often was taken behind the curtains of the theatre, and so after she became connected to the theatre. Later she participated in "amateur" productions of Goldfaden repertoire.

1906 -- taken in to the professional troupe of Leyzer Bernstein, where she acted against the wishes of her parents. Through the recommendation of guest-starring actors with Bernstein, E. a year later was taken into the Kaminski troupe in Warsaw (Chmelnia 9), acting with Esther-Rukhl Kaminska until 1915, going on the tour across Russia, including Peterburg, and especially was popular in several Gordin types: "Sheyndele" in "Mirele Efros", "Sheyne Henye" in "Di shkhite", "Natasha" in "Kreutzer Sonata".

At the end of 1915 until the February Revolution, E. acted in various itinerant collectives, then in cooperative troupes, organized through the Yiddish Artists Union. During the October Revolution, she acted with the guest-starring Rudolf Zaslavsky acros the Ukraine. At the end of 1918 -- taken into the troupe of Esther-Rukhl Kaminska, and in the beginning of 1919 -- in Kiev's "Unzer vinkl". When Denikin's den (heyl) had seized Kiev, E. with

Menachem Rubin, and after several actors went off to Homel, where the Soviet might had organized a Jewish state theatre with folkbild.

1921 -- E. was gifted with an attestation from folkbild in Homel as a working (earning) actress. 1922-23 -- acted with Zaslavski in Leningrad, then across White Russia, and then she was the first to act in Russia as "Leah" in Anski's "Der dybuk" in Yiddish.

1925 -- E. entered into in Kiev the "Kunst vinkl (Artists Corner)", where she acted until the theatre closed. Due to a family situation, she had for a short time withdrawn from theatre, then she entered into the Jewish-Ukrainian State movable theatre.

E.'s sister, Nyuna Edelman-Klebovna, acts on the Yiddish stage.

Sh. E. from Mark Leyptsiker.

  • "Amator -- S. edelman, "Der shtrahl", Warsaw, 18 March 1910.

  • Noakh Prilutski -- "Yidish teater", Vol. I, p. 128.

  • Amelia Adler -- Dos leben fun a idisher aktrise, "Di idishe velt", Cleveland, 29 July 1930.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Zikhrunus fun a yidishn teater-kritiker, "Archive", p. 364.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1547.

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