Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Itsikl Goldenberg


Born on 1 January 1872 [according to his documents 1869] in Iasi, Rumania. His father was the owner of a bakery. He learned in a cheder and then with a Gemora teacher, completing three classes in the Yiddish-Rumanian school of Leibshe Zandberg, and he sang in temple with Cantor Honigman.

When the troupe of Finkel, Feinman and Mogulesko arrived, after the ban in Russia, in Iasi, they took G. into the children's chorus for the Goldfaden's historical operettas. After the troupe went away, G. got together some youngsters and young girls from the ages of twelve to fifteen and acted with them in the same repertory.

Two years later he joined up with Zakhariah Fishl Filipesko and his wife Janet to act in theatre across the small towns of Rumania. G. suffered a great deal during one winter in terrible poverty, and he then left for home on foot. Soldiers took him to Galatz out of mercy, and there G. sang in a garden together with Solomonesko until Segalesko came there in 1888 , and they both took him into their troupe, where G. acted in small roles. First in Botoshan G. began in the same troupe to act in responsible roles as "Absalom" in "Shulamis", "Max" in "Kuni Lemel". During Sukkos 1889 G. was engaged by Akselrad for Lemberg and Gimpel, where he acted for two years. From there he became through the Cohen brothers engaged (together with Eskryz, Kalich, Shramek and Veynshtok)


for Budapest for the winter season, and [then] he returned back to Lemberg, where he participated in Goldfaden's production of "Rabbi Joselman", "La tkhmud", "Judith and Holofernes" and "Baron Rothschild". Then G. went back to Budapest, where he acted again during the winter season, and at the end of the 1892 season he became associated with Morris Lieblich in the Bucharest Jignitza, where he performed as an actor and director. In 1904-5 G. directed for the first time the Gordin repertoire in Rumania. In 1908 he went to America, where he acted for seasons in the Windsor with Adler, with Thomashefsky, with Prager across the province, with Gabel and again across the province. In 1914 G. returned to Bucharest, where he came upon the defective Jignitza theatre, and he directed the American melodramas and dramatic repertoire, in which he acted in the main roles. Due to the war, they generally had to for a certain time transfer the productions, then G. opened the Jignitza again, where in 1919 he brought in Clara Young, in 1921 "Di freie folks bine" with Baratov, in 1921-3 -- The "Vilna Troupe", in 1926  -- Kompaneyets' operetta troupe, in 1927-8 -- Baratov. In 1928 G. was in America, and he gave several guest productions.

G. was in Rumania (in 1921) the first oysfirer in Yiddish of the title role in the play "Menasha" by Renat.

G. was a member in the Rumanian Publishing Committee of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

M. E.

  • Berta Kalich -- (Memoirs), "Tog", 27, June, 1925.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 273.

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