Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Bernard Elving


E. was born in Zyrardow, Poland.

His father was the owner of a steam mill.

H learned in cheders and in a Makow yeshiva, from where he was sent out together with his friend, the late writer Avraham Vyevorkefor, for reading books [khtsunym], and was a zingermakher in Lodz.

He later became a party member (at first a Zionist, afterwards a Poalei Zionist) and was arrested, and through his father was sent away to a sister in Berlin.

Vavynendik bshkhnut for Yiddish theatre, having a "high voice", he went around with the troupe (Bernardi, Feinman et al) as a chorus singer, and later in episodic roles and attended Tsugleyn Stern's dramatic school and also two years at the conservatory.

In 1906 he was sent away to Germany and [then] went to see a brother in America, where he became known to Nathan Rosenthal and also worked with him in Passaic as "Moshe khasid" in Gordin's "The Jewish King Lear".

 For three years then he traveled across province with Rosenthal, then spent two years with Silbert and a half season with Charles Nathanson. He had the opportunity to act with Adler, Kessler and Mogulesko.

He spent several weeks as the director of a small theatre in New York, acted afterwards for two years with Levitan in Boston, two years with Abraham Littman in Toronto vu di direktsyetsyt zikh tsurik un di trupe geyt iber oyf markn, two single seasons with Krim in Detroit, with Joseph Kessler in Chicago, again with Krim in Detroit and with Sidney Hart in Newark, afterwards with Shrage in Montreal, where he was director and he stayed on (the first time in Montreal), for the forty-one week season. Later he acted with Weisman in Toronto and a season with Jennie Valier at the Lipzin Theatre in New York.

In 1921 he was the director in Newark, where he acted the entire time at the Metropolitan Theatre, which was his property, and he guest-starred from time to time in Canada. In 1932 he guest-starred in Europe.

E. also wrote several plays under his own name and as David Bernard: "Der yid in poyln,a melodrama in 4 acts"; he put on in January 1918 in Monument National Theatre in Montreal "Der idisher zinger, offered in 3 acts", music by F. Laskowsky"; an offering in April 1928 at the Standard Theatre in Toronto, "Zayn tsveyte yungt, amelodrama in 3 acts"; an offering on 15 September 1929 in Newark, and "Di tsvey tantes, melodrama in 4 acts"; offering on 1 October 1930 in Boston.

E.'s brother, Israel, is manager of Newark's Metropolitan Theatre.

M. E.

  • Chaim Ehrenreich -- Newark and their Yiddish Theatre, "Forward", N. Y., 5 March 1925.

  • Shimas -- Bernard Elving in "Der poylisher yid", "Der idisher zhurnal", Toronto, 29 March 1929.

  • M. Ginzburg -- "Moderne froyen", "Keneder odler", Montreal, 24 December 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1566.

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