Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Goldstein

Born on 19 August 1886 in Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine. His father was a merchant. His uncle, Menashe Brendman, a conductor in the Borisov troupe of the State Theatre, often took Goldstein to the theatre and behind the scenes he received opportunities to appear in various children roles.

Goldstein ran away from home when he very young. Hoping to become accepted at a theatre, he wandered to Odessa. However, his dreams did not materialize and he returned home.

During the pogroms, he went to America with an older brother. There he attended evening classes but dropped out because he became drawn to the stage. He swept floors at the Windsor Theatre and did the most menial jobs, just so he could be in a theatre. Finally he joined a dramatic club and later had a chance to play the small part of the “black man” in “Chaim in America”, and then was given bigger roles at the Brownsville Metropolitan Singer Hall. He wandered about from one theatre to the next, and also played “The Wild Man" until he was engaged at Golden Rule Hall. From there he moved to the Thalia Music Hall where he appeared for two years. Next, Goldstein signed up with a province troupe that traveled around the United States and Canada.

In 1914 he appeared in English vaudeville. Next, Goldstein, together with Nathan Goldberg and Isidore Meltzer opened an agency for producers and directors in Toronto. However, soon afterwards, he joined Gabel's in New York.


Then he played at Schwartz’s Irving Place Theatre for two years, then with Joseph Shoengold and Sam Auerbach, director in Chicago.

Next he played in various theatres in New York. In 1925 Goldstein became the producer and stage director of the Capitol Theatre in Los Angeles. 

In 1926 he appeared at the National Theatre in New York, in 1927 at the Yiddish Art Theatre, in 1928-9 at the Folks Theatre, and in 1929-30 at Chicago’s Lawndale Theatre.

Goldstein was a member of the Executive Union.

[Editor's note: Jacob Goldstein, is the son of Yiddish actors Charles and Anna Shapiro, as well as the father of Yiddish actress Charlotte Goldstein.]

M. E.

  • Moshe Lempert-- Jacob Goldstein, “Di idishe shtime”, California, October 1925.






Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 381.
You can read the Lexicon's amended biography of Jacob, in its new volume 8, by clicking here.

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