Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Isaak (Itzhak) Gladstone


Born on 4 January 1906 in Krivoye Ozero, near Odessa, Ukraine. Parents -- Aaron and Yokheved Gladstein, wine merchants. He learned in a cheder and in a gymnasium in Odessa.

In 1923 he came to America with his parents and two sisters. At first he worked in an iron factory, then painted decorations on iron betn, and was a waiter in a summer place, later learning singing in the "New School" and "Julliard".

In 1929 he went to Italy, where he had studied music and voice training for two years in Rome and Milan. He returned to America and began to perform as a singer on various radio programs with the radio stations WACA and WEVD, where he became popular  as "The Jewish guest-singer".

In 1935 he was a member of the revue theatre" Tsu-Lakh'ts", where he helped write the sketches that he also directed and performed in.

In the 1938-39 season, G. acted in "Three Cities" with the Yiddish Art Theatre.

After preparing for two years, he, in 1941 became a cantor, at first in New York, then in Los Angeles, later in Baltimore, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and in the end in Brighton Beach, New York.


G. recorded an album of songs, including: "Po-khasidotskomu", "Hinter a grin boymelekh", "A briv tsum lyader rebin", "A kleyn melamedel", "Klinger gliker", "Fidler", "Motele", Der rebe elimelekh", and the cantorial compositions: "Hashkiveinu, "V'Shomru, "Kol Hashem", and "Kidush lrosh hashanah". He also wrote music to songs for Heinrich Heine, A. Lutsky, Jacob Glatstein, many for Itsik Manger's "Chumash lider", and several cantorial compositions.

On 22 June 1950, G. passed away during an operation.

He left a wife, Molly, and a daughter, Shimona.

G. was the co-founder of the Yiddish radio union and cultural director for the Cantor's Association.

He remained in the theatrical profession, especially among younger actors, and in the Yiddish writers' world, which had regarded him as their own, due to his great drkh arts and love of the Yiddish cultural world.

M. Yardeni writes about him:

"...He had calculated the tastes of the audience, both when he sang on the radio, as in concerts....everywhere he had, and with each opportunity sang, the fine Yiddish song, this authentic poetical word. Singing was his daily bread, and he had felt his entire vezn.

...He davened and sang Tefilot on the radio and in concerts with inspiring respect, both from a purely musical standpoint and from a Yiddish religious standpoint."

Sh. E. from his wife Molly.

M. E. from Tsvi Scooler and Yehuda Bleich

  • .[--] -- Idishe kinstler-velt un freynd bagleyten yung-farshtorbenem chazan gladston tsu zeyn eybiger ru, "Der tog", N. Y., 24 June 1950.

  • M. Yardeni -- In der velt fun chazzanut,m "Morning Journal", N. Y., 2 July 1950.

  • M. Yardeni -- Vort un klang, "New York Weekly (Vokhnblat]", N. Y., 31 August 1950.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2209.

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