Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sam [Shmuel-Berl] Ferkauf


Born on 11 January 1869 in Iasi, Romania. Father -- a sexton in Neyshatz's synagogue. He learned in a cheder and in the municipal shul, sang in a chorus of the synagogue, where his brother Yonah was conductor, and when Mogulesko took into "Pomul Verde" the chorus of the synagogue as chorus singers, F. performed for the first time on stage, at the age of ten debuting as "Feyvish" in "Shmendrik" with Mogulesko, and he then traveled with him across the province. Later he entered into Segalesko's [troupe], with whom he toured for three years across Romania, then a year with Bergman across Romania.

Due to passport matters, he remained in Iasi, and together with his brother Ignats, Margules in Zygmunt Hart, organized a Yiddish vaudeville troupe for Hungary, until F. entered into Treitler's in Galicia. And from here he went again to Hungry to Sheyner, then to Lemberg where, due to the ban on Yiddish theatre, he sang in bars under the direction of Chaim Bendl. Here he became engaged for a season to Gimpel, went on a tour with Juvelier across Galicia and Romania, became through Lobel engaged to Odessa and Kishinev, where he acted for three months, and due to the ban on Yiddish theatre, he went back to Romania.

In 1900 F. became, together with the entire troupe, was brought by "Professor" Horowitz to America, where he acted in the "Windsor Theatre" for two seasons under the direction of Horowitz and Chaimovich, two seasons in the "Grand" Theatre with Adler,


two seasons with him in the "Peoples Theatre", two seasons in Gabel's theatre, a season with Adler in the "Fourteenth Street Playhouse", two seasons in Philadelphia with Maurice Schwartz, a season in Cleveland, a season in the Irving Place Theatre.

His wife, Betty, was a Yiddish actress.

In an article "Diskount storm -- a yidishe erfindung", N. Zalovitz notes that the main owner Eugene Ferkauf, a grandson or great grandson, of Ferkauf the actor.

On 17 February 1931 F. passed away and came to his eternal rest in the cemetery plot of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance (in Beth Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, New York -- ed.)

M. E.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", New York, 1925, Vol. II, p. 149.

  • N. Zolovitz -- "Diskount stars" -- a idishe erfindung, "Forward", N. Y., 5 June 1962.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6,  page 5044.

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