Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Hirsh Ehrenreich

Born in the late eighth decade of the nineteenth century in Sukhari, Mogilev Gubernia, White Russia. He received a traditional Yiddish education and then learned in the local Russian municipal school, and in a trade school.

Around 1905 he came to America. The first several years he worked with various trades, while at the same time being active in the Po'alei Zion Party, and in the Jewish National Workers' Union [Farband]. From 1910 until 1922 he was secretary of the Po'alei Zion Party, and in 1919 he rose to the head of the founding of the newspaper, "Di tsayt (The Time)," and helped found the Yiddish radical national school.

Pinchas Kruzo characterized him this way:

"Hirsh Ehrenreich had love for Jewish culture and not with platonic love. Many times he dedicated time and effort to school affairs. In the year 1914 he became secretary of the management council of the folksshul [public school.] He had the rare quality of being able to be a general and soldier simultaneously. Thanks to his benefits at the East Side National Radical School, became a sample school, which generated a number of intelligent youths, who brought great benefit to the movement. ...It was difficult for Ehrenreich to adapt to the newly unavoidable course of the Party,
which tried to win the English-speaking element. He remembered that the former mood and atmosphere, when the personal


romantic, when  a drain/drive [drang] was heard nokh Yiddish experience, and the soul itirhdikeyt was so strongly felt."

E. was a member of the General Executive [Board] of the Jewish National Worker's Union, and for eighteen years the secretary of the Worker's Department with the Jewish National Fund, which he at first withdrew from in the last months, due to his illness.

E. helped found the Jewish Culture Congress.

In his great love of Yiddish culture, he turned his heart off in the work of Yiddish art theatre, and was for a season the main manager of the theatre. He was (together with David Pinski, H. Leivick, Peretz Hirshbein and Mendl Elkin) a co-founder of the art theatre, "Unzer Theatre." Also later, already being an employee in the National Fund, er fort opgerisn from his time, and assisted much when Maurice Schwartz created the societal movement for his "Art Theatre" in the season of "Shylock and his Daughter."

On 3 June 1953 E. passed away in New York.

E.'s wife, Chaya (Ida), is a co-founder of the Pioneer Women's Organization in America. E.'s sons are: Dr. Theodore Ehrenreich, chief of the pathology department in a hospital in New York; and Daniel Ehrenreich is a producer for television and radio programs.

E.'s brother is the theatre-lover Chaim Ehrenreich.

Sh.E. from Chaim Ehrenreich.

  • Necrology in the Yiddish Press.

  • Baruch Tsukerman -- Hirsh ehrenreich e"h, "Yidisher kemfer," N.Y., 12 June 1953.

  • Pinchas Pruzo -- Hirsh ehrenreich e"h, dort, 10 July 1953.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3584.

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