Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Reuben Guskin


Born on 1 August 1887 in Bobruisk, Minsk Gubernia, White Russia. His father was an artisan/craftsman. He learned in a cheder and yeshivas in Bobruisk and Shidrik, other topics he learned privately.

Coming, through the Socialist Movement, in contact with workers, G. took it upon himself to learn carpentry, then he became a hairdresser, and with that profession he went away in 1901 to southern Russia.

Here G. was very active in the Socialist Movement, and he came back to Bobruisk as a Bundist. In 1903 G. became a member of the fighting department of the "Bund", and participated in the self-defense organizations at Bobruisk and Homel.

Because of that, he was sought by the police as a strike leader, and he wandered around in 1904, arriving in America. here he became a member of the "Central Association" of the 'Bund' in America", and later he became through the Bobruisk landsmanshaft split into the general executive of the "Bund".

In America G. took up this calling, and in the span of eight years was a representative of the Barber's Union. Through that office he became active in the general Jewish Workers Movement, and when the Jewish actors needed an organizational hand, he in


1919 entered into the Actors' Union as a manager and developed there an energetic and ibergeben activity.

Under G.'s management, the uniting of Local 5 (variety actors) and Local 1 (legitimate actors) took place. That opened the doors for new members and the Yiddish Actors Union to generally stand on a better economic basis (for details about this, see the history of the Yiddish Actors Union).

In November 1929 N. during his visit to Europe to resolve the conflict between the Yiddish Actors Union in Poland, and the Yiddish Actors Union in America.

G. is a member for thirteen years in the management council of the "Forward". For nine years he was a member on the Executive (Board) of the "Arbeter Ring". For eight years G. was chairman of a united Yiddish workshop, a member of the People's Relief Committee, and a delegate for the Jewish workers at the American Jewish Congress.

G. was a publishing- and editorial member for the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre".

M. E. 

  • R. Guskin -- Etlikhe vikhtige teater-fragen, "Forward", 9 July 1923.

  • A "Forward" reporter -- Der neyer sizan in idishen teater -- vos reuben guskin der menedzsher fun der aktioren-yunion zogt vegn dem, "Forward", 19 August, 1926.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum -- Reuben guskin ale reformator fun idishen teater, "Teater shtern", 1.

  • A. Frumkin -- Guskin shildert di troyerige lage fun idishen teater, "Morning Journal", 27 April 1928.

  • A "Forward" reporter -- Vet di idishe aktioren yunion kegen epshafen di shedlikhe konkurents tsvishen di teater-menedzshers?, "Forward", 14 August 1928.

  • Reuben Guskin -- Vi halt es in der amt'n mit'n idishen teater in amerika?, "Forward", 11 May 1928.

  • A. Frumkin -- Vi halt es mit'n idishen teater oyf der provints. "Morning Journal", 5 October 1928.

  • B. Weinstein -- Idishe yunions in amerika, N. Y., 1929, pp. 32, 136, 304, 514-5.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- An alveltlekhe teater-organizatsye, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 47, 1929.

  • [--] -- Teater yunions danken r. guskin menedzher fun aktioren yunion, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 2 August 1929.

  • Nachman Mayzel -- Vi es iz geshlosn gevorn der shalom tseishn der amerikaner idisher acioren-yunion mit der idishn artisten fareyn in poyln, "Forward", 6 December 1929.

  • L---r -- Dos yidishe teater in amerike, "Literarishe bleter", 48, 1929.

  • R. Guskin -- An ofene erklerung tsum filadelfier idishen teater oylem, "Forward", Philadelphia, 20 October 1929.

  • Gelegenheits-shrift tsu reuben guskins 10 yoriger tetikeyt idishe aktioren yunion, New York, 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 472.

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