Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jenny Kaiser


Born in 1872 in London, England. About her origins and youth, there is no information. B. Gorin, the historian of Yiddish theatre, says that at the age of fourteen she began as a chorister (together with the later-to-be-famous Anna Held, Fanny Vadya-Epstein and Dina Shtettin [Feinman] in London's Yiddish theatre.

Celia Adler recalls in her memoirs "that the 'four young choristers of their troupe were all becoming famous personalities of the Yiddish and secular stage', and that she iz oysgekumen "she went on one of the European tours. Her gorgeous, beautiful eyes  literally charmed me".

In the span of a short time, K. went from being a chorister to acting in roles in London's Yiddish theatre, until she became the main actress there, and after more years stood at the top of Yiddish theatre in England, excelling with her beauty and elegance on the stage.

The actor Boaz Young writes in his memoirs about the epoch in London's Yiddish theatre:

"In the Princes Street Club-Theatre, there were then two star-choristers who also had acted in episodic roles: Fanny and Jennie. Fannie ... was a 'Cinderella' -- that Indian prince with whom she fell in love ...Jenny was a brunette, a slim person, with two flaming, fiery eyes that cried out, 'Come, take me'.

Also she bore a 'prince', who then became the 'king' of the Yiddish stage; she used to come to the theatre to rehearsals with a youth of three years old -- the future, known Charlie Adler, the son of Jacob P. Adler and Jenny Kaiser".

In the necrology of the London Yiddish newspaper "The Times", it was said:

"Jenny Kaiser had more talent than a theatre school. For the last several years she expanded, bur as it was said, down from the stage', and died (that is to say, lived) in retirement. Only several of her devoted friends knew that she was ill, and they in part were taken as her sole companion".

Jenny Kaiser passed away on Sunday, 22 February 1940, after a long illness, a forgotten person, the known Yiddish actress who yearlong acted in Yiddish theatre in London with the famous actors Adler, Feinman, Moskovich et al.. Jenny Kaiser excelled in acting in dramas, comedies and melodramas; she was especialy very good in the role of 'Mirele Efros' by Jacob Gordin".

K. also acted on the English stage.

K. left a son, the dance instructor Charlie Adler, whose father was Jacob P. Adler, and a daughter of the actor Joseph Sherman.

M. E. from her mother, and Sh. E. from Sh. Y. Harendorf.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 152.

  • Necrology in "The Times", London, 27 February 1940.

  • Boaz Young -- "Mayn lebn in teater", New York, 1950, pp. 53-54.

  • Celia Adler -- "Tsili adler dertseylt", New York, 1959, pp. 83, 123.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2900.

Copyright   Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.