Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Shlomo Grossman


Born on 23 June 1893 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, America. Father -- a rabbi in Philadelphia. He wanted to become a rabbi and learn in Schechter's Rabbinical Seminary, but after receiving his bachelor's degree from Columbia University, where he also had begun his literary career with the editing of the university journal, G. entered into the Office of Education, which was a part of the Yiddish kehillah in New York.

During the war G. worked at the Jewish Welfare Board, where he was director of entertainment, arranged productions and concerts for the Jewish soldiers in the military camps, and went off to write and adapt one-acters into English.

When Schnitzer founded the Yiddish art theatre in New York, G. left his office work and became manager of the theatre. Later G. was a long-time publicity manager for Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theatre, for which he translated into Yiddish Gogol's "Revizor", which was performed in that theatre.

Z. Segalovitsh had publicly accused, that in the Art Theatre, they had performed "Revizor" from his (Segalovitsh's) printed translation.

1926-27 -- G. was the director of an Anglo-Jewish playhouse, and here staged his English translation of Peretz Hirshbein's [play] "Di grine felder".


In 1927 he also was for a short time a publicity manager and member of the Repertory Committee in the Yiddish Irving Place Art Theatre.

G. also translated into English "Shmates (Rags)" by Leivick, and the play "Samson and Delilah", with which Ben Ami went over to the English stage.

For a certain time he printed in English-Yiddish journals one-acters and stories for children. The Bureau of Jewish Education had issued in brochure form around seventy of those one-acters, which were performed in the Yiddish communist centers.

The lat time G. had attempted to work for tokis.

On 5 August 1930 G., due to financial distress, committed suicide in Boston.

Alter Epstein characterized G.'s activities: "He was through and through Jewish. He spoke Yiddish very well and was famous for it. However, he had always encouraged his association with the English society and the American literary circles. He was at times a mediator between the two worlds, and they he many expectations of him. ... He was able to do much that was good for the popularization of Yiddish in the American world. ...Jewish life is the main motif in many of his one-acters and songs, which he had written.

M. E. from Jacob Mestel.

  • Alter Epstein -- Der trgisher suf fun dem yungen teatral, "Shliomke" Grossman, "Der tog", N. Y., 6 August 1930.

  • M. Bendov -- Shlomo grossman, idish englisher shreyber, shpringt fun 15th flor un vert der-hrg'et, "Forward", N. Y., 6 August 1930.

  • [--] -- Shlomo grossman, idisher dramaturg bageht zelbstmord, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 6 August 1930.

  • Z. Segalovitsh -- An erklerung vegn "revizor", "Theatre and Art", Lodz, 4, 1922.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 524.

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