Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Faller
(Yakov Felnhendler)


Born on 15 April 1885 in Lukow, Siedlce Gubernia, Poland, to rich, Chasidic parents. He learned Talmud and puskim, Hebrew, Russian, Polish and German, and he also played several instruments and compositions.

At the age of twelve, he wrote personally a Hebrew play, "Esther", a study supporting the feasibility of Esther and Haman. Later he also wrote songs in Hebrew and Yiddish and took up copying and enlarging photographs, as well as with commerce in crops.

1906 -- immigrated to London, and from there to America, where he studied in Columbia University and attended courses in dramatic technique and classical drama.

Under the pseudonym of "Ben-Dov", F. printed articles, and under the pseudonym "Y. Bergson" -- sketches and stories in the local periodic Yiddish press. Through a close relationship with the actress Dinah Feinman, he came into contact with Yiddish theatre and took to writing for the stage in Yiddish and English.

On 23 November 1921 in the Lipzin Theatre, there was staged by Gustave Schacht, F.'s play, "Der eybiker plonter" with Jenny Valier as "Lulu".

In June 1925, in the Grand Theatre, there was staged his one-acter, "Oyf tsu morgens".

During his visit to Warsaw in 1922, F. there published his play, "Der shlikh" (with a congratulatory letter from Rudolf Schildkraut).

F.'s non-staged plays in Yiddish were: "Freie libe (a drama in four acts), "Di antlofene" (a drama in four acts), "Der prush" (a romantic play), "Shotns", "Halbe nakht", "Loynt es zikh?", "Der kranker mentsh", "Der yom tov" (a comedy in three acts), "Dos ummeglekhe" (a satire of the Yiddish musical comedies), "Tserisene neshamus", "Di makht fun gezets", and the one-acters, "Der shabes goy", "Tsu meyene shunims kep", "An a nomen".

In English, F. published seventeen plays and one-acters. Of these, there was staged: "Black and White" (11 December 1919 in Dyukeyn[sp] Theatre in Pittsburgh), "Miht the wife" (November 1921 in the Shubert Theatre in Plainfield, New Jersey), "How Hits" (June 1922 in the Belasco Theatre in Washington, D.C.), and "?" (February 1925 in the Cort Theatre in New York).

According to his profession -- an agent of an insurance company.

F.'s printed plays were:

Y. Feller
Der shlikh
in four acts
Warsaw [1922, 113 pp., 16]

Sh. E.

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. III, pp. 10-11.

  • Aksel -- "Der eybiger plonter", "Freie arbeiter shtime", N. Y., 2 December 1921.

  • L. S. Bieli -- Di tsvey neye piesn, "Yid. Tagenblat", N. Y., 2 December 1921.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2205.

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