Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Bertha Kalich
(Beilkhe Kalakh)


Born 1872 in Lemberg, Galicia. As she describes in her reminiscences, she was an only daughter, born ten years after her parents married. Her father and grandfather were brush-makers. At the age of eight years, after frequenting the opera "Carmen,"  she was singing the arias. While attending Goldfaden’s productions in Lemberg’s Garden Theatre, she decided that she could sing as well as the actors and actresses, and therefore went home, put on her mother’s clothes and performed a whole "theatre-piece." Thanks to the initiative of Mrs. Shapiro, whose husband was a violinist in Harmonia, her parents placed her in a music school. Later, she studied in a Yiddish school with Shatsky. At the age of eleven, she began to work toward a goal, later entered the Lemberg Conservatory and had dreams of becoming a Polish actress. As her family income decreased and her parents needed help, she returned to them at age thirteen, staying until she was sixteen. She was in the choir of the local Polish theatre and also played a role in "La Traviata." Kaminski, the choir director, paid her ten guilders a month more than the other choristers, and when they found out they were madly jealous. In the opera "Mignon" she performed beautifully in a small role—"the little girl who leads the donkey by its bridle." At age fourteen she began to attend a private school where she learned the arts of declamation and acting. She studied German diligently, learned declaiming, mimicry, and piano and participated as "the daughter" in the German one act play, "I Marry Off My Daughter."

Patrons who heard her sing wanted her to travel to Italy to cultivate her voice, but the Yiddish theatre director Yakov Ber Gimpel persuaded her to become a leading lady in his Yiddish theatre. Her first appearance was as a young girl in a scene from "Shulamis," when she sang "Come to Me, You Handsome Young Man." Subsequently, she performed in "the two shows." First, thanks to the initiative of the actor Tabachnikoff, she had the opportunity to perform as "Shulamis" and was promoted as "a Yiddish daughter from Lemberg, Bertha Kalich." Later, she appeared in Shliferstein’s "A Millionaire as a Beggar" in a speaking role, without singing.

At age seventeen, she went with Eskreyz to Budapest, Hungary, where they performed in the "Imperial Cabaret," and where she sang numbers from "Shulamis." Disregarding the fact that the non-Jewish audience was there to hear chanson-songs, they transformed the chanson-songs into songs from "Shulamis." She returned to Lemberg, and in 1890 she performed there, together with Asher Zelig Schorr, in Dr. Y.L. Landau’s "Hordus and Miriam," which he translated himself from his Hebrew original, and when Goldfaden arrived at that moment in Lemberg and took over the direction of the local Yiddish theatre, he staged there his plays, "The Messenger of Justice" (Rebe Yozelmann), "Rothschild, Thou Shalt Not Covet (The Tenth Commandment)," and "Time of the Messiah." Subsequently, she went back to Hungary.

K. married Leopold Spachner, retiring for awhile from the stage because her parents didn’t allow her to perform, but the prompter Bernard Wilensky persuaded her that she should perform in an evening event honoring Gimpel, and thereafter she continued acting in the Yiddish theatre. Here Avraham Goldfaden persuaded her family that she should, for a few months, go with him and Morris, happy to perform in the Yiddish theatre in Bucharest, but after the season she found herself in Hungary. She sang solo and performed in the Yom Kippur choir in the synagogue, where the actor Segalesco was the cantor. The organist who accompanied her, a member of the Romanian National Theatre, persuaded other members of the theatre that they should come and hear [her]. They were impressed, but because of her Jewishness, they did not hire her. K. went back to Budapest where her parents were taking care of her son. A rumor arose that she had died, and there was even an obituary in the newspaper. Subsequently, she performed vaudeville and sang German songs. Liblich brought her back to Bucharest, where the public gave her a ceremonial reception in the street. She performed here together with Kalmen Juvelier in "The Gypsy Baron." Actors from the Romanian National Theatre came to hear her, the director Stefanescu came to her in the theatre and invited her to a tryout in his theatre, where she was engaged by Prince Cantacuzino. The anti-Semites withdrew their plan to pelt her with onions and instead pelted her with flowers. She began to come in contact with Romanian aristocrats, but at the same time the director, the scoundrel Barman, and the other leading ladies prepared a plot to kill her, and she ran away with Josef Edelstein, a day before she was scheduled to perform for the king of Romania. At the end of 1896, she departed through Bremen with her family to America, where she performed in the Thalia Theatre. As K. describes it, she was performing "Shulamis." On December 4, 1896, she performed in "Perele" by Rudolf Marks, and afterwards the leading female roles in Shakespeare’s "Othello" and "Romeo and Juliet."

Regarding K.’s first years on the stage, a historian of the Yiddish theatre writes on the basis of conversations with actors from that era:

 "Bertha Kalich was only a young girl when she performed for Gimpel. Her father had a brush factory, and her mother had a workshop where women’s clothing was sewn, but they were not people to worry about serious business. Her father loved to play the violin, and her mother often took her daughter to the opera. Bertha showed an inclination for melody from an early age. She had her first impression of the Yiddish theatre when the Grodners were on tour in Lemberg on their way to Russia. At that time, they were playing "The Sorceress," and years later, she forget the lady Grodner. When she was ten years old, she met the Polish leading lady Babinska, who lived in the opposite apartment. She often used to look out the window to watch her while she was practicing, and from time to time Babinska would take her in and familiarize her with the critical elementary rules of singing. Her passion for singing was greater than anything. A director from the German theatre was interested in her and taught her piano, declamation, and under his supervision, for the first time she performed in a one-act play. The performance was in a big hotel. But then, she showed a talent for singing, and the director succeeded in arranging for her to enroll in the state conservatorium, and a neighbor helped her with it, and she was able to enroll without money. She was in the conservatory for half a year all together and from there, she was soon working in the Polish theatre as a chorister. In that same theatre, there were opera performances, drama, and operetta, and it was not long before they began entrusting small roles to her, and immediately she aroused the jealousy of the Christian choristers. In the chorus, she there met Fraulein Prager and Gimpel, and there the latter spoke to her and persuaded her that she should work with him in his theatre. As one who had exhausted himself for forty years in the chorus, he explained to her that she would gain nothing by staying there. However much more she would distinguish herself, she would have that much more persecution, people would trick her, and he wouldn’t be surprised if they poisoned her. With him, in contrast, his theatre would open a career for her and during her time with him, she would occupy a great position. She was in the Polish theatre one-and-a-half years, and then she went to Gimpel. She was in the chorus there, and they also gave her small roles. The leading lady Tanzman made a strong impression on her, and she paid attention to her acting and observed her dancing. At that time in Lemberg, Mandelkern arrived from America in search of a leading lady. Mrs. Tanzman did not wait to be asked and soon left together with Mandelkern. Gimpel was left without a leading lady, and Bertha Kalich now had the rare opportunity to step into the shoes of the leading lady.

Gimpel hesitated, but he had to give in, and Kalich performed in "Shulamis," "Solomon the King," and "Bar kokhba." At that time, theatres were also staging the operetta "Samson the Hero," and the music for that piece was composed by the Lemberg cantor Baruch Schorr. After the second act, the audience called for him and Kalich, who played the role of Delilah, pressed his hand on stage. For this sin, the Lemberg community removed him from his position [dismissed him from the kiosk]. Before long, Avraham Goldfaden was in Lemberg … He was soon gone to Bucharest and was hired as director in the Jignitsa Theatre … Goldfaden soon imported Kalich and [Karl] Shramek and staged "The Tenth Commandment." Kalich was a big hit with the theatre-goers, such that her name became known to an impresario from the Romanian National Theatre, and when she finished the third season with Goldfaden, he engaged her for the theatre. Soon she was learning a Romanian operetta, 'The White Lady," and she became an imperial singer. A Romanian tenor warned her not to drink any water in the theatre, and not to smell the flowers that people sent her, because the other singers were very jealous of her and she should be afraid because they would not hesitate to poison her. That circumstance had such an effect, that when Edelstein came shortly after to Bucharest from the Thalia Theatre in New York and begged her to let him take her to America, and she would appear in such a theatre that the Romanian National Theatre would look like chaos in comparison, and she would meet there all actors she had performed with for Gimpel, she listened to him and broke her contract with the National Theatre, and in a short time she departed with him from Romania together with her husband, Leopold Spachner."

On September 5, 1898, K. played Miriam in Sigmund Feinman’s operetta, "The Jewish Viceroy." On September 18, 1898, she played Elvira in Sharkanski’s "Kol Nidre."

Regarding K.’s first years performing in America, B. Gorin writes:

"Bertha Kalich performed together with Kessler in the Thalia Theatre. She came to New York as a leading lady, and she soon demonstrated her dramatic talent. The pieces she performed in earlier didn’t offer the possibility for her power to shine forth, and as an artist she perceived that the clichéd plays were burying her talent. She sought to rescue herself by taking the same measures as actors before her, when she saw them in such a position. That is to say, she looked over some European plays and had some plays from Sarah Bernhardtt’s repertoire translated for her, and the result was the same as it was for earlier actors. The lower-class audience yawned in the theatre, and the better-class audience didn’t show up and among the intellectual circles. People didn’t even know that a highly gifted actress waited for the opportunity to seize her place of honor on the stage."

The dramaturg Leon Kobrin, who saw K. perform at the beginning of her career in America in the melodrama, "The Two Orphan Girls," described her acting thus:

"… I saw her for the first time—before she appeared in the better play—in the famous melodrama, "The Two Orphan Girls" …Madame Kalich was one of the orphan girls. She was blind, draped in rags, hated by the evil woman—the drunken one … and the distinctive elegance and grace and refinement of Kalich, even in those borrowed rags, in that blindness and suffering, was not lost … she gave the impression of an artistic personality which, because she did not lose herself in the role that she was playing, her own character never lost its bearings."

In 1899, K. performed in Kobrin’s play, "The East Side Ghetto," and regarding her acting in the play, the playwright wrote:

"Afterwards, my play 'The East Side Ghetto' was staged in the Thalia Theatre. Kalich took the role of the young working girl. There she noticed her opportunity, and with what zeal she worked on her role. After the tryout in the theatre she came with Moskowitz to me at home in order to go over the role again and again. And that was not enough—I had to go to her home to study the role with her … with each role, she made a real furor, almost like Kessler and Mogulesko with their roles … from this play on, she became more and more famous. She sought out the best plays and acted in the best plays. and with each of these plays she developed more and more, becoming beloved both by the public and by the critics."

As K. describes in her memoirs, the actress Sophia Karp [a famous leading lady on the Yiddish stage at the time] wanted to make "a trust" with her. K. was overcome with a desire to go back to Europe and did not engage for a third season. A half winter went by with nothing. After that, she made a star tour to Philadelphia, and later she was in the Roumanian Opera House, where she acted with Kessler and Feinman and appeared as Khanele in Feinman’s "Chanele the Finisher" [seamstress]. A season later, she was the director of the Thalia Theatre with Spachner, Kessler, Mogulesko, Feinman, and Simowitz. There, she acted together with Kessler in Shomer’s play, "The Greenhorn." Performing in Kobrin’s play and feeling overextended, she gradually withdrew from her role in the operetta, until Keni Lipzin came into the theatre to act on Saturdays and Sundays and K. during midweek.

On September 21, 1900, K. appeared as Freydenyu in the first offering of Jacob Gordin’s "God, Man, and the Devil."

K. says in her memoirs that when she suggested to Gordin that he should write a special play for her, he turned her down with the declaration that he would absolutely not write specifically for actors, that he wrote for the stage. In that regard, Bessie Thomashefsky wrote in her memoirs:

"We were made up and were speaking with Gordin. He made a remark about Kalich’s beautiful hair, and Kalich said to him: 'Mister Gordin, write me a role for my hair. Have you heard of the writer Tolstoy? He wrote a book in which there is a heroine who has beautiful, long hair like mine. Write me a role for my hair'."

Gordin stroke his black beard and with a sarcastic smile, answered:

-—Yes, Madame, I have 'heard' of the writer, Tolstoy. And Gordin wrote 'Kreutzer Sonata' for her."

In the 1900-1901 season K. played the title role in Jacob Gordin’s "Sappho," which was written specifically for her, and in January, 1902, the play written specifically for her, Jacob Gordin’s "Kreutzer Sonata," was staged with K. as Ettie.

Regarding her performance as Ettie in "Kreutzer Sonata," Sholem Perlmutter writes:

"Through her acting, one had to admire the strength, the full-bloom, the great dramatic power that the play possessed. Her notes in 'Kreutzer Sonata' were like the sweetest music, and her dramatic scenes and transitions engraved themselves deep in the memory and left behind an unforgettable impression. So much womanly tenderness and at the same time, such dramatic movement in one role has only been know through such a gifted artist as Bertha Kalich."

In his memoirs, the actor Boaz Young speaks about Ester-Rokhl Kaminska’s tour in America and compares her with the acting of Bertha Kalich:

"Kaminska was appearing in the Thalia Theatre in Gordin’s repertoire: as Etenyu in "Kreutzer Sonata," in Sappho, and in "The Truth"—in all the roles that the Kalich woman had played. She was already forty years old at that time, and her figure made her look even older … The difference between the two actresses, Ester-Rokhl Kaminska and Bertha Kalich (if one can distinguish them) was like the difference between the Duse and Sarah Bernhardtt. Duse was the naturally great actress of all time. She moved hearts with her simplicity, with her natural style. In contrast, Bernhardt—with her effervescent temperament … Kaminska was the Yiddish Duse, and for the masses, the woman Kalich--Sarah Bernhardtt had more success in the roles."

Regarding her acting in the plays, Ab. Cahan writes:

"A little later, as an actor in Gordin’s work (in his 'Sappho,' 'Kreutzer Sonata,' and others), Bertha Kalich acquired a great name. She had the temperament, and she was also young and very beautiful. Her husband (Spachner) was the director (or one of the directors) of the theatre in which she acted."

B. Gorin dwells in detail about this:

"… the 'Yiddish Sappho' quickly attracted the attention of the better public to Kalich and here, for the first time, she had the opportunity to show herself in her full glory and to demonstrate that she possessed an extraordinary talent."

Speaking about her performance in 'Sappho,' William Edlin writes in her obituary:

"She made such a deep impression on me in the role of Sophia Fingerhut, that I could not forget it. The play was indeed one of Gordin’s best and most interesting, but who knows if it would have had the same importance and the artistic success if Kalich had not played the title role. The role is a daring one, a role that Kalich had not played. In her character, Gordin had instilled an Ibsenish streak. She was the free woman of the new era. … Bertha Kalich used to play the same role with such artistic insight and with so much elastic elegance, that the audience was enchanted. The innocently romantic moments with her second lover in the plot, the pianist with the musical name Apolon Zonenshayn, were performed by Kalich like the finest notes in a musical symphony. This was theatre as it was understood when one spoke of Sarah Bernhardtt or Eleanora Duze. Such was the high standard of acting offered by Bertha Kalich."

On December 18, 1902, K. was performing the Thalia Theatre as Lydia Hoffman in Jacob Gordin’s "One’s Own Blood."

In 1902, through K.’s word of honor, Jacob Gordin’s scene, "The Crazy Actress" [opening in Gordin’s "one-act plays"] was staged.

On February 13, 1903, K. performed as Hanele in Z. Libin’s "The Jewish Medea," and on April 10 as Sonia in N. Rakov’s "The Loafer [The Clever Student]," and on May 8, 1903 as the Adela of Solotorefsky.

On October 12, 1903 in the Thalia Theatre, Jacob Gordin’s "The Orphan, or, "Chasia from Karatshekrek" [later popularly known as "Chasia the Orphan"] was performed, with K. in the title role, shortly after which Keni Lipzin took over the role.

The writer and translator A. Frumkin writes:

"In the Thalia Theatre, Bertha Kalich occupied a place of honor, not the place of honor, but a place of honor. Keni Lipzin wore the crown, the original Mirele Efros—the 'Queen Lear.' …She had a strong position. Her husband, Michael Mintz, was not only one of the major partners of the Thalia, but also the publisher of a newspaper, The Daily Jewish Herald … But Kalich had her plays, where she played first fiddle, occupying first place. Naturally, she also had patriots, enthusiastic followers, but as I remember, they did not rage, did not make any tumult, just took pleasure from her great talent. It was a true spiritual pleasure to see her act. A transcendent satisfaction for the soul. A delight to the eye, and separately, for the ear. Bertha Kalich had a diction that was seldom heard on the Yiddish stage and particularly among the female players. In addition, there was the clear, understandable speech, the impression of intelligence." In the same season, Jacob Gordin’s "The Truth" was staged, with K. in the main role, Roza.

In 1904, K. performed in Yiddish in the title role of Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" [the anonymous Yiddish translation can be found in the YIVO Archives].


In November 1904 in the Grand Theatre, Gordin’s play The True Power was staged and K. was the first to play the role of Fania, which was soon taken over by Sara Adler. And regarding her singing in Gordin’s plays, Josef Rumshinsky writes: All the European languages are easy to learn and sing. But to sing in Russian, one must be a native. But, how astounded I used to be when in Jacob Gordin’s plays, which are, for the most part from Russian-Jewish life, Madame Kalich used to find herself singing a little Russian song, a little folksong such as "I’m Heading for the Road Alone." When she sang it, I could never believe that the person singing was born in Lemberg and brought up on Goldfaden’s melodies. Only a person who was born on the Russian steppes and was nursed on Russian milk—only such a one could sing a Russian folksong like Madame Kalich used to sing it."

On May 11, 1906, K. gave some presentations in Yiddish and on May 18, she appeared in the Kalich Theatre in The Sister by Peretz and Pinski

photo: on left, Kalich as the "Dollar Princess"; on right, Kalich as "Hamlet."

[actually two one-act plays were performed: Peretz’s Sister with K. as Leah and Pinski’s Forgotten Luck with K. as Fania, but as Pinski states, "It seemed that Spachner, the husband and impresario of Madame Kalich, feared to announce a one-act play. By promoting The Sister by Peretz and Pinski, he would give the impression of a connection that made something bigger."]

In November 1904 in the Grand Theatre, Gordin’s play The True Power was staged and K. was the first to play the role of Fania, which was soon taken over by Sara Adler. And regarding her singing in Gordin’s plays, Josef Rumshinsky writes: All the European languages are easy to learn and sing. But to sing in Russian, one must be a native. But, how astounded I used to be when in Jacob Gordin’s plays, which are, for the most part from Russian-Jewish life, Madame Kalich used to find herself singing a little Russian song, a little folksong such as "I’m Heading for the Road Alone." When she sang it, I could never believe that the person singing was born in Lemberg and brought up on Goldfaden’s melodies. Only a person who was born on the Russian steppes and was nursed on Russian milk—only such a one could sing a Russian folksong like Madame Kalich used to sing it."

On May 11, 1906, K. gave some presentations in Yiddish and on May 18, she appeared in the Kalich Theatre in The Sister by Peretz and Pinski [actually two one-act plays were performed: Peretz’s Sister with K. as Leah and Pinski’s Forgotten Luck with K. as Fania, but as Pinski states, "It seemed that Spachner, the husband and impresario of Madame Kalich, feared to announce a one-act play. By promoting The Sister by Peretz and Pinski, he would give the impression of a connection that made something bigger."]

K. was now renowned on the English stage, and she performed on September 3, 1906 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and on September 10, 1906 in New York’s Lyric Theatre as Miriam [the name changed from the original Etty] in Jacob Gordin’s "Kreutzer Sonata" [earlier played by the American actress Blanche Walsh] in an English translation by Langdon Mitchell.

Regarding her crossover to the English stage, Sholem Perlmutter writes:

"This was in the year 1905 [1906]. After Kalich ended her great success in the Windsor Theatre with Y.L. Peretz’s Sister, she abandoned the Yiddish stage and was off to Broadway. With her departure from the Yiddish theatre it was impossible to stage many plays from her repertoire [she had the exclusive rights to them], and thus Sappho, "Kreutzer Sonata," The Truth, and many other plays in which she excelled fell silently underground."

Regarding her crossover to the English stage, her English director, Harrison Gray Fiske, wrote in 1931: "One evening in May a quarter century ago, I was in the American theatre when Madame Bertha Kalich made her modest, experimental performance in English as the heroine of Sardou’s Fedora. Although I had often heard her spoken of as the darling of the East Side public, I never saw her perform before. Her acting was for me a completely unexpected revelation … I saw a tall, elegant woman with burning eyes, an original, mobile face, magnificent hands, and a body that was fully charming. I heard a voice with a remarkable timbre, powerful, sonorous, that completely mastered every level of drama. Oh, what a voice! And her performance of the role, although part of the time it felt restrained and there was the slight expression of a foreign accent, was strong and expressive. The beloved memory of the Duse and Bernhardt in the same role did nothing to diminish the new actress, who made such an impression on me, as if she possessed a holy fire. The next day, I asked Madame Kalich if she would want to cross over forever to the English stage and begin the upcoming fall in my Manhattan Theatre and play the title role in Maeterlinck’s "Monna Vanna"."

Fiske says that there were obstacles in the way, first of all being that K. was in charge of her own theatre and to cross over would mean removing from that theatre its greatest strength, then there was the question of her accent. About that and her performance as "Monna Vanna", Fiske writes:

"She worked some months on the Maeterlinck role, which she went over with me each day, mainly in order to lose her Polish accent, to obtain a genuine English pronunciation of the words and to remove every trace of exotic notes and the like. She was concentrated, accommodating, and patient. And when she performed, everyone was astounded by her authenticity in English … She played the role to a nicety … with dramatic effect … and many people felt that a great new talent had come to the stage."

Regarding her performance on the English stage, William Edlin writes:

"… in a short time she spoke English well enough and clearly enough, that she was trusted with a major role in Sardou’s Fedora. This was actually a test that she passed so well that such Broadway theatre directors as David Belasco, Daniel Froman, and Harrison Gray Fisk were delighted by her. Mr. Fisk, whose wife, Minnie Maddern Fisk, was at that time one of the famous actresses of the English stage, offered Kalich a contract to act on Broadway, thus Kalich became one of the most important stars of the English stage. She played in literary plays and also in melodramas—in MacKaye’s Sappho and Phaeon, in Jacobi’s The Riddle: Woman, in Maeterlinck’s "Monna Vanna", in Zola’s Térèse Raquin, in Gordin’s "Kreutzer sonata." 20 years ago, when the lavish New (Century) Theatre was built in Central Park, which was intended to become the home of American national theatre arts, Bertha Kalich was included among the highest ranked actors and there she performed in the play The Witch. In short, the Lemberg-born Jewish actress was ranked as one of the most truly important personalities of the American theatre world. At that time, the situation of the English theatre was changing. The period of great theatre directors had almost ended. The concentration of capital, that had ruined so many smaller artists, had moved over to the theatre system, and the Broadway theatre was in the hands of real estate agents [agents of housing and lots] and finance magnates. In the passage of time, their art deteriorated, and the career of Madame Bertha Kalich on the English stage ended. Her name remained renowned, but she had to end her acting career there."

And regarding the same matter, I.B. Bailin writes:

"From time to time, the directors of American-English theatres took a look at what was happening in the non-English theatres, which at that time were not much greater in number than the English. They could not be blind to Bertha Kalich’s style of acting … to her whole stage personality … the Yiddish theatre felt the loss strongly. In certain circles, people criticized her for abandoning the Yiddish theatre … her first performance in Fedora made an impression. … Her second performance, in "Monna Vanna", was even more successful, and the critics in the English theatre press sang her praises … For a period of nearly thirty years, Madame Kalich was mentioned in the theatre columns of the English press. She played in The Unbroken Bride, in The Riddle: Woman, and in Bernard Shaw’s version of a part of Trebitsh’s Jitta’s Atonement … I saw her in a sequence of Ibsen plays and I found Nazimova more appealing. But her role in "Kreutzer Sonata" was the best that I have seen anywhere."

Regarding this epoch, Jacob Mestel notes: "Bertha Kalich also tried to perform the Sarah Bernhardtt repertoire, but without success."

And regarding her time as an English-speaking actor, speaking about the "star system" that the Yiddish theatre had taken over from American-English theatre, which had for the first time imported its stars from England, Jacob Mestel noted that despite that, "Yiddish performance art in America raised itself to a distinguished height, thanks only to a great number of vigorous talents. The Yiddish stage in general is famous for good actors and today, America possesses the best Yiddish dramatic material. Indeed, there a whole line of them are invited to appear on the English stage (Adler, Kessler, Bertha Kalich …), but very few of them have been able to adapt themselves there."

And about another opportunity for Yiddish actors on the American English stage, Jacob Mestel writes:

"Yiddish tragedians and dramatic actors already have a great deal of …. success in the wide world (Bertha Kalich)."

M.P. Kremer passes on the following dates about her from a conversation that he had in 1916 with actors: "In 1904 she became ill and a theatre was obtained for her, her husband rented the Windsor Theatre and named it the Kalich Theatre. At the end of 1905, she concluded a contract with the American theatre director Fisk. She first performed in English in Gordin’s "Kreutzer Sonata," subsequently in Maeterlinck’s "Monna Vanna". Both plays were successful in New York as well as elsewhere in the state, and made her very popular. She later performed in several plays which were not successful, mainly plays that failed in New York. She had success performing in English one-act plays in vaudeville, earlier in New York, later throughout the provinces. In 1913 she performed in English in Rachelle and again had no success, after which she appeared in Osip Dymow's one-act play. Kremer remarks: "She is a deep thinker. She reads a great deal and her opinions on literature are interesting, and when she isn’t reading, she spends her time painting."

Bertha Kalich as "Sappho" (lt.), and in "The Soul of a Woman (rt.)

In September 1915, K. again turned back to the Yiddish stage and gave several performances with David Kessler during the opening of the Second Avenue Theatre and she also appeared on September 19, 1915 as Katiusha Maslova in Tolstoy’s Resurrection [raising the dead].

In September 1916 she again gave several Yiddish performances there and on April 7, 1917 in Thomashefsky’s National Theatre, there was a performance of Dr. H. Solotorefsky’s play, For Her Children with K. in the starring role as Dvorele Ginzburg.

In March 1917, K. had a guest role in Yiddish with Mike Thomashefsky in Philadelphia.

Regarding this period of her return to Yiddish theatre, A. Frumkin describes the following episodes regarding her acting in Philadelphia:

"I believe that it was in 1916 [1917], that the Yiddish theatre audience in Philadelphia had a great surprise. It was announced that ‘the famous Bertha Kalich, who performed with great success in English on the American stage, had agreed to give some performances in Yiddish’ in the American Theatre there … She performed in Gordin’s "Kreutzer Sonata" as Ettie Friedlander, a role in which years earlier she made a great impact, but this time she disappointed me. She lacked the charm of the earlier performance, the former diction, the former naturalism. All those years on Broadway had an effect on her—not for the better ...

Subsequently, she performed with a poor, very weak ensemble ... in short, the performance was not festive ... but Madame Kalich was not satisfied merely to perform in the theatre; she used hold talks, and in a "speech" after a performance, she first reminded theatre-goers who stood for them. They should be thankful that she, the famous Kalich from the grand American stage, made an effort and "condescended" in Philadelphia to perform for them in Yiddish ... Secondly, they should know and remember what theatrical performance signified. Just so must one perform in the theatre."

F. says that the speech irritated him greatly and he wrote an article under the title, "Just so must one perform in the theatre," in which he criticized the actress very sharply, and the article aroused a great commotion in theatre circles. Understandably, as the actress became very angry with him, he stopped going to her performances. In 1931, when he was working for the Morning Journal in New York and used to publish interviews with "stars," he naturally avoided interviewing K., but nonetheless, the actress demanded that he come to her for an interview in which she expressed her meaning regarding the state of Yiddish theatre and what must be done to rescue it.

"She kept me for four hours’ time—writes Frumkin—and talked and talked—only about herself. Not about her past, not about her former "glory," not about her greatness on the Yiddish and English stage. That would be natural in her sad, melancholy situation but no, she spoke about her "future"; about big plans that she had, about wonderful plays that were being written especially for her. In addition, she declaimed pieces of "prose" in English and in Yiddish and played all the scenes."

In May 1918, K. appeared in Kessler’s Second Avenue Theatre in her Yiddish repertoire and soon after returned to the English state, where appeared in the play, The Bag Lady.

In April-May 1921, K. again appeared in some Yiddish productions and performed at the Irving Place Theatre: Sappho, The Truth, and The Orphan.

On September 26, 1921, under the direction of Osip Dymow, the Irving Place Theatre presented Rose Shomer and Miriam Shomer-Zunzer’s One of the People.

Rose Shomer writes that in 1920 when she and her sister wrote their play, One of the people, K. had already been on the English stage for 20 [?] years. She was sick from a nervous breakdown and when she regained her strength, the doctor ordered her back to the stage. She at once returned to acting in the Irving Place Yiddish Theatre, because she knew the Yiddish repertoire by heart. Her success was so great that the manager, Max Wilner, engaged her for the coming season, but she had already undertaken a search for new repertoire and Avraham Shomer recommended his sister’s plays to her. Rose Shomer describes coming into close contact with her:

.".. the energy that Madame Kalich possessed was unusual, a dazzling wave that never rested. She did not study her role; instead she read a book out loud, or she used to paint pictures, sing or speak, and interesting speech—about literature, about music, about Zionism. Above all, she loved to speak about religion and the Bible. Deep in her heart, she was a believer, a religious person, and she believed in a personal God who watched over her and protected her from harm ... her mood used to change like the weather in spring, happy and sad, laughter and tears following in order. She was very sensitive as well. She used to take a difference of opinion as a personal insult. She would work herself into a frightful anger but a good word, a compliment, drove her anger away quickly."

And her feelings about the play were characteristic, as K. expressed it:

It was a strange sort of play. The words arose not from my lips, but from my deepest depths ... what did she meant to do to me, that in the whole play I had not one scene where I wore beautiful clothing? It is unheard of that I, Bertha Kalich, who is known on Broadway for her artistic way of dressing, should not have the opportunity once in the play to appear in a beautiful dress ... I will not perform in the play. Do you hear? You write a scene for me to appear in beautiful clothing."

But a compliment, that she didn’t need beautiful clothing because her acting was so beautiful, calmed her down. One of the playwrights, Rose Shomer, writes about the play:

"One of the People was a big success when it was produced that season, but the artist Bertha Kalich was an even greater success. The press was not tired of loving her, her wonderful acting and her fine interpretation of the role of Esther Shteynberg. The following season Madame Kalich toured with the play around the country and she presented the play numerous times in all the big cities."

On January 20, 1922, K. again gave four performances in Yiddish in the Irving Place Theatre and remained there for a week, and later she was a guest artist in Yiddish in Gabel’s Theatre in Harlem and later in Kessler’s Second Avenue, performing in the play, Child of the World by Peretz Hirshbein.

In May 1923 in Irving Place, she revived Libin’s play Henele (The Jewish Medea).

On May 31, 1923, K. performed in the Second Avenue Theatre as "Shulamis" for the Vilna Assistance Committee.

Regarding her performance as "Shulamis," Joseph Rumshinsky says that when he received an invitation from Ab. Cahan and Vladek regarding an undertaking for his hometown, Vilna, he soon had the idea to mount a big production of Goldfaden’s "Shulamis" with Bertha Kalich in the title role. His plan was executed. The actress was informed about the plan and she invited Rumshinsky to come to hear her sing through the role. And as Rumshinsky tells it:

.".. She lived in a very aristocratic apartment on Park Avenue. First I had to be announced by a Swiss guard and then by various servants until I came into the waiting room, where I had to wait until Bertha Kalich finally appeared in her long, black silk dress and began to speak about her success on the English stage, and indeed, she chose the most difficult words in the English dictionary and listed all the great people she had recently encountered and for whom she performed."

R. was struck by the thought that his whole plan was becoming futile so he took a chance and interrupted her in Yiddish:

"Tell me, do you still have a voice? Can you still sing?" And she answered me immediately in her pungent Yiddish: "What do you mean, do I still have a voice? I sing better than all your prima donnas that you have now," but she immediately added: "Except for my friend from my youth, Regina Prager."

Rumshinsky soon went to the piano and began to play the music from "Shulamis" and as he further describes it:

.".. right from her first appearance, when she came down from the mountain with her uncle Menoach, the public remained seated, transfixed. Her intelligent and careful treatment of the melodies, her celebratory singing under the accompaniment of the symphony orchestra, which was composed of well-trained, resounding musicians, was wondrous. The mad-scene of "Shulamis" in the third act, where the long monologue was accompanied by the orchestra, was so moving to me that I almost lost my place as I was directing."

Her success was so great that she again performed "Shulamis" one more time in October 1923 and on November 1, 1923 in honor of the visit of Israel Zangwill, and in December 1923, she gave a week-long performance in the Liberty Theatre of Gordin’s One’s Own Blood.

On May 24, 1924, she revived the English production of The "Kreutzer Sonata" in the Frazi Theatre in New York.

In February, 1925, she made a guest appearance in the Hopkinson Theatre and from the middle of May, 1925, in the Lenox Theatre. From March 7 until May 27, 1925, she published in The Day [written by Ts. H. Rubinstein], her life story, in which she undertook to describe her former life in Lemberg, her native city.

On September 27, 1927, she performed in the Irving Place Theatre in Moshe Schorr’s play, Midway.

Regarding her performance in this play, Hillel Rogoff writes:

" ... Madame Kalich took full advantage of this opportunity. In several scenes, she was a romantic, love-struck young girl. In other scenes, she was a playful young wife, in many scenes she was a deeply suffering, frightened woman who sees the danger of losing her beloved, and in others, she is the excited, struggling woman who is ready to fight for leadership ... Madame Kalich carries through each of the scenes with an artistic power of a very high level. She is just as convincing and impressive in the tender scenes of romantic life as in the stormy scenes of great suffering or brave resistance."

On March 2, 1928, she appeared in the Hopkinson Theatre in Moshe Schorr’s play, The Foreign Woman, and afterwards performed in Moshe Schorr's Midway.

On April 9, 1929 she appeared once as Ettie in "Kreutzer Sonata" in the Roland Theatre.

On February 14, 1930, K. performed [in an arrangement with] Izidor Casher in the National Theatre in H. Kalmanowitz’s play, The Soul of a Woman.

On January 18, 1931, the English theatre arranged a big performance for her benefit in the Majestic Theatre and raised $12,000 in recognition of her career.

On October 20, 1932, a benefit performance for the same purpose was held in the Yiddish Art Theatre.

On February 23, 1933 there was another benefit performance by the American theatre profession and K. finally performed in a part of Louis Untermeyer’s play, Heinrich Heine’s Death.

In 1934 she appeared as Sara in Goldfaden’s Binding of Isaac, and regarding that performance, Moshe Shemesh writes:

" ... Many Yiddish prima donnas of the Yiddish theatre have sung the role of Sara. I emphasize this word sung, because each Yiddish prima donna knows only that Sara is a historical figure whose role must be sung, and she must have a fine voice to be able to play Sara, and indeed, many are excellent singers, and that’s all. Since Sara is the tragic role of a mother ... thus all the Saras could not really express themselves by singing the role. So now comes Bertha Kalich, the great artist, in her old age, and rejuvenates, revives the role of Sara ... from the first minute she appears on the stage, you are electrified by the emotion that arises from the artist over the footlight [electric lamps] to you ... and if you want to talk about her singing of Goldfaden’s music, that he wrote for The Binding of Isaac, even the music was improved by Bertha Kalich’s singing, so full of voice and sound and color, but particularly her interpretation of Sara’s role. It is enough to see how Sara wakes up after her song of sleep and doesn’t find little Isaac, and how like a desperate tiger she bolts awake from her dream. ... and who can surpass her performance of the scene where the angel announces darkly to Sara that her son Isaac was going to be slaughtered. The artist’s entire body suddenly shrank."

And speaking about her portrayal of unfortunate mothers from her life, in her blindness, Rumshinsky wrote:

"It is remarkable that when she was already completely blind, she used to come to the rehearsals and shine every night on the stage, she lit up every corner. We were all ready to see a frightfully sad personality, but her resounding "Hello" with her lovely smile used to make everyone forget about her closed, darkened eyes. Among her roles in the later years, she once performed as Sara in The Binding of Isaac. It is remarkable that though blind, she used to know when the decorations were not the way they should be. Then she would ask: "Why is there such poverty on the stage today?," and she would assess for me the number of musicians I had in the orchestra and which instruments, because her sense of hearing had become keener since she lost the light from her eyes."

K. still appeared from time to time in sporadic performances. Thus, she appeared as Sara in one act of The Binding of Isaac for her benefit on December 15, 1938 in the Parkway Theatre. But she did not resign. Regarding that, M. Osherowitch writes: "

I remember how two years ago, for a number of weeks she performed each Sunday on The Forward’s radio hour. For her performance, she chose scenes from Goldfaden’s historical operettas—from "Shulamis," form "Bar kokhba," and from others. Not only did she act on the radio, but she also sang ... and the listener couldn’t help but see then how happy she felt and how she was filled with pride when she heard how strong her acting and singing sounded. The listener also couldn’t help but see how seriously, with artistic seriousness, she prepared for her short performance which lasted no more than ten minutes. She rehearsed more than all the others. She rehearsed all week, and each time she was at the microphone, she trembled as though it was her first appearance before an audience.

I remember at that time that she asked me to write a dramatic sketch for her in which she would play the role of the famous Russian revolutionary, Vera Figner. She was greatly interested in the life of that great revolutionary, and when I wrote the short radio sketch for her, At Least Five or Six Weeks, she learned the role thoroughly. And afterwards, she telephone me several times every day and each time she had something new to say about how well the role suited her and what sort of stress she would make here or there."

On April 18, 1939, K. died in New York. Jacob Botoshansky, the Argentine Yiddish writer who was just then in New York and attended the funeral, writes:

"Up to the last minute, she did not stop talking about theatre and deluding herself about Yiddish theatre. Perhaps she performed more English than Yiddish, but in the last years she spoke only about Yiddish theatre. She was superstitious and pious. She did not believe that the doctors could help her. But, she did believe that God could help her. The postponement of the funeral [several days after her death] was done with the intention of making a big funeral. The newspapers gave the sad occasion a great deal of space. In the Yiddish papers, they wrote obituaries and memoirs and appreciations. Articles were written not only by theatre critics, but also by journalists, who usually wrote about politics. Speeches were made on the radio, but nevertheless it was not a big funeral ... Bertha Kalich’s funeral took place at Sigmund Schwartz’s "Chapel," which was located on right on Second Avenue between Ninth and Tenth Streets, two neighborhoods over from the Café Royal and in the area of the Yiddish theatres and they expected that a big crowd would come, but that’s not how it was. Not even the immediate neighborhood was full. By my estimate, about 1500 people attended ... the older generation did not did not attend, although they could not forget her, if they saw her in her better roles. But the fact is, it was not a big funeral."

The theatre historian B. Gorin characterized her acting thus:

 "She could be majestic, intelligent, wanton, coarse ... with the command of diction she had, she could speak in a natural way, and her voice would reach the farthest corners of the theatre. Her temperament allowed her to express the deepest, strongest, and most honest feelings, and she had such control of the muscles of her face that without the least effort she changed over from one mood [mood] to the next. Her eyes were soft with love one moment and then kindled into hellish fire. The flexibility of her voice and face made it possible for her to communicate the most honest shades of feeling, and made her invaluable for intelligent roles."

The theatre critic, Dr. A. Mukdoni describes her importance thus:

"It was more than the usual womanly-charm, it was more than stage-personality and more than an expansive dramatic bearing. It was innate majesty ... I did not see her in her young, blooming years. When I saw her she was already a middle-aged woman, in rather poor health, detached from both the Yiddish and the English stage, and disappointed, as every actress is when old age pushes on her with fury. But even in those years, she was an exceptionally imposing female persona on the stage ... Bertha Kalich came to the Yiddish theatre as a singer. She had a great success as a singer with Goldfaden’s repertoire, but she was essentially a dramatic actress, a dramatic actress with melodramatic overtones ... she was through and through a Gordin actress ... Jacob Gordin was the first Yiddish dramaturg to really understand Yiddish dramatic actors. He created for them great, mature leading roles ... and that put a stamp on their acting careers. The Gordin tone was in their blood forever. They could not free themselves of it. Jacob Gordin personally chose and popularized great female roles from the world repertoire and the Gordin actors and actresses were popularized by the great female roles. They always had the instinct for the little something that makes a role truly great, genuinely great. The Gordin actresses used to be interpreters, declaimers, emoters of the great roles ... Bertha Kalich very much loved to exaggerate a role, laying herself out on the plate as they say, to reveal everything so that nothing would remain for the spectator to think about ... she was aware of her physical majesty on the stage and therefore, she used to pay great attention to her innate appeal. And in that regard, she often used to come into conflict with Gordin. Gordin would make his heroines into modern female prayer leaders. But, she would not follow Gordin there. A proper tilt to her fine head, a correct angle of her slender neck, was to her more important than a correct look, a slight moan, a little sigh. She had a wonderful Yiddish diction. Yiddish words were polished in her mouth. A sentence came out tasty from her mouth. She possessed the purest and fullest voice, not overly musical, but clear and pure. Her usual poses were full of appeal. When she was seated, it was like a picture. When she was standing, it was even more of a picture, of a slim, majestic woman. She knew and loved her body and knew what to do with it on the stage. She was strongly dramatic, but Jacob Gordin often used to cast her in melodrama, but without hysterical screams and without wild animals."

.".. she possessed good acting quality. That quality had to be refined a little, a little bit cleansed of waste, but a good quality, a vigorous quality. Like all actors from the first generation, she loved to give speeches after the performance. She used to perform her speeches, as though she was acting a role. She did not simply speak, she came out with a fiery manifesto. She used to come from acting on Broadway to the Yiddish theatre in order to turn back to her beloved Jewish people that she longed and yearned for, there in the alien environment. ... She was acting, always acting, constantly acting ... She believed that she was a star by the grace of God, unlike other stars. She used to prove to prove on stage, demonstrate clearly that she was a star. She saw it, she felt it. This might have appeared naive at the time, but it was also impressive ... She was even a star when she was not on the stage. I once saw her in the street, she was not just walking, she was stepping out like a star, and it was understood that the objective was to feel as though she was on stage. She performed, she reigned. The other actors were her pages, the ladies-in-waiting and simple supernumeraries. She wore the paper crown of the theatre as though it was a genuine diamond crown that the people had placed on her head."

The actor Maurice Schwartz characterizes her thus:

"Bertha Kalich was as beautiful as a Greek goddess. Her Ettie in "Kreutzer Sonata" and her Sappho delighted and enchanted the Yiddish theatre audience. Young and old ran to see the goddess-like Kalich. Her every movement, her every pose, her high figure, her long hand with the elegant finger, took the spectator’s breath away. In the theatre, along with the applause, you could hear people sighing, "Oh, how beautiful! May she be healthy! A flower, a fragrant flower, an orange from the land of Israel." In addition, her voice—in her throat, Kalich possessed a whole orchestra, and she knew how to use the instruments. At the first moment, she began high, almost like the sound of a fiddle, now she is a cello, and then a moment later she speaks out in a bass tone. I admired Kalich, but I was never inspired. Although her Sappho was a daring figure, a modern young woman with a bohemian character, I could not believe that a woman would speak thus, would feel and live her life the way Kalich played the character.

Bertha Kalich’s success on the English stage was exceptionally great, and Jews hastened to see the slim, beautiful Broadway actress in Gordin’s repertoire. Profits were in the thousands, but Kessler did not smile from happiness. He did not hold with that sort of acting. "It is false theatre—he grumbled—moving pictures." And the poet Moshe Nadir writes thus:

"Madame Kalich’s position was that she was not acting literary or dramatic, but musical and sculptural. She gave herself to the eye—like a person who poses as a statue—a statue that could remain fixed in wondrous beauty, not breathing, so that one couldn’t know for sure if this was a living thing, or a masterwork, or a dream. Among other (crude) stage-models there were probably precious "madonnas," but Bertha Kalich was from the beginning of her appearance the only one who was purely sculpted, clearly-lined, a sovereign among all materials in stone, that didn’t need to move. With a wondrous inborn feeling for rhythm, her body was also musical. Although she could not dance (in my opinion), it seemed that within her, her silent limbs danced a hidden ballet of colored snow, a fanaticism of 177 dead swans. Bertha Kalich was the representation of motionless music and animated sculpture."

In speaking about the roles she created earlier on the Yiddish, and later on the English stage, Moshe Nadir also asserted:

"Allow me to deliberately examine the roles she created in this parade of memories.

Deborah? Hm. A type of style seen in all parts of the world. She finds herself tied up in knots, but she easily licks them off with her pliable tongue! In how much velvet fluff did she drown her helplessness! Her entrance on the stage—like a leopard walking with soft, stealthy steps, but in her eyes she carried two captivating lights.

"Kreutzer Sonata"? Bravo! Bravo! The chandeliers in the theatre trembled, the crystals sounded. Hearts sang. It was completely romantic ... the time ... absolutely romantic!

Lealke Hoyz? The Truth? Pliable figures by which her physical and vocal elasticity served her like a mother.

As for the Goldfaden repertoire? No problem. The heart melted. ... Afterwards, from the "non-Jews":

Every Woman – Imposing, because cold and transparent.

"Monna Vanna" – A moon bathing itself in a silver river.

The secret becomes more mysterious ... the magic-fiddles close with a bang, and you sweat awhile before they open again and show that there’s nothing there! Térèse Raquin? Rashelle? – a sort of success, because it is east Broadway on Broadway. Broadway is pushing itself down closer to 23rd Street and Second Avenue. In the middle is "the wonder of the East Side," the Yiddish actress Bertha Kalich, who doesn’t tear up the wings, doesn’t wear size eleven shoes ... and doesn’t speak through her nose.

Madame Kalich taught herself, became a worldly person. She spoke other languages well, but in no language did she have roots."

The theatre critic N. Buchwald describes her character thus:

"In the career of other actors, the decades on the Yiddish stage were not more than a long episode, but Bertha Kalich created for herself a legendary greatness, nearly—the greatest Yiddish tragedienne. The same legend is not the least bit diminished because Madame Kalich left the Yiddish stage for Broadway. On the contrary—in the eyes of her "patriots" it was new evidence and an extra confirmation of her greatness. What explains the enigma of Bertha Kalich’s legend? How did she come to leave such a deep impression in the consciousness of two generations of Yiddish theatre-goers and, as a legend, continue to be treasured in our generation? Partly—because of the "golden epoch" of Yiddish theatre, which Kalich symbolized. Her name is associated with "great roles" from Gordin’s repertoire, such as Sappho and "Kreutzer Sonata," and from the European repertoire such as Zunderman’s Homeland and Magda. ... She was a sort of priestess of high drama (whether the height was genuine or not—is another question). And she represented the lofty, the deep, the greatness theatre—in contrast to the banality and ordinariness and insignificance of daily reality. But, Bertha Kalich was not merely one of a group of distinguished actors, that made a difficult living on holidays from the Jewish immigrant masses. Her personality elevated the stage with a distinct enchantment, with a type of awe and a romantic strangeness. All her years—on the Yiddish and on the English stage—she was an envoy from a foreign world. Whether that world was genuine or a romantic invention—she was assuredly from an unknown world.

People used to say about Madame Kalich, that she was a European artist. They used to praise her with such words as "majestic," "noble," "masterly." For all her years on the Yiddish stage, she remained a guest, a great guest from another spiritual state. She charmed the Yiddish spectator just that way, because she seemed "exotic." Among the Yiddish characters in a play, she always played an aristocratic type of woman, and her method of acting possessed the authority of a lady of the manor. No matter what kind of role she played—we veterans of the "golden epoch" are so sure—she played a queen in her art. In the biography of Bertha Kalich, we read that she came from poor parents in Galicia. Her father was a brushmaker, her mother—a seamstress, who used to make clothes for actresses. In the style and the repertoire of Madame Kalich we find opposite of her childhood environment—in her exacting approach to her romantic acting and her deep and stormy roles one could find a recompense, a compensation for the week of poverty, for the meager emotional experiences of her childhood and early youth. And it seemed that she brought the same spirit of compensation, to her Jewish immigrant spectators, who by her merit lived with her the deep emotional storms of heroic women from an unknown world. Also on Broadway, Madame Kalich played heroic roles from a romantic, exotic world. She also stirred up the non-Jewish audience with her "Europeanness." In place of the familiar type of women, with their superficial, naturalistic precision, Madame Kalich brought to the stage not small, individual people but great "universal roles," deep emotions. She did not play people, she played emotional experiences, and however little the experiences of her heroines had to do with daily life, they were that much more stirring." And regarding a personal impression of her acting, N. Buchwald writes:

"I came twice to see Madame Kalich, and both times I left the theatre with a heavy heart. Once I saw her on Broadway—I don’t recall any more in which play it was—and I was saddened by her artistic, romantic style of great pretense and trivial emotions. I saw her a second time in the Irving Place Theatre in 1927[8] when her star on Broadway was already dimmed and she was attempting to return to the Yiddish stage and to her thousands and thousands of "patriots." But it was a sad homecoming. Madame Kalich was already fifty-three years old at that time, but she played the role of a young girl. Her voice did not serve her, and her makeup could not create the illusion of youthful charm. At that time, I wrote about her appearance in the charming melodrama, Midway: "You might love her style or not—she is a power, a totally significant one ... her personal routine is interesting. Her technique is fluid, confident. Her plasticity—overwhelming. She drew out an inventiveness that turned the time to her own account. She carried out each particular truth with effect." But at that time, I could not persuade myself to write that in that melodrama, Bertha Kalich made a tragic attempt to turn back to her youth, her pure voice, her stage-mannerism. Her former "patriots" said that to her. They came, they saw, and they told their friends and enemies that—it was no longer so. Ailing and disappointed, Madame Kalich left the Irving Place Theatre after performing a few weeks.

Her tragedy was a double one. She did not perceive that her style already belonged to a past epoch, to the stormy, romantic theatre of the nineteenth century. She was bitter toward the new generation of theatre-goers, exactly as though it was their fault that the former standards of the romantic theatre were played out. Under no circumstances would she or could she make peace with her age. And when a great sorrow befell her—she began to go blind, she clung even more to the illusion that she was the same actress as she was some thirty years ago."

The writer B.Y. Goldstein had a completely different interpretation:

"Everywhere, in whatever play she was performing, she transported the spectator into the middle of a room somewhere, where a symphony orchestra was giving a concert. In about a minute, the room was filled with pathetic, melancholic melodies that moved the heart and haunted the soul with their sweet sadness and aching enchantment. Close your eyes and you catch sight of the wondrously supple figure, the charming face, rich and impressive, that could with a small nuance describe what she felt in the depths of her soul; that could with a wave of the hand say more than a book of illustrations, and that had the power with her voice to do with you whatever she wanted—a voice that she could modulate in infinite variations and call out, awaken, and overwhelm all feelings that excite the heart. Close your eyes and you see for yourself that magnetic personality with the brazen temperament and innate intelligence. You hear the sound of that bell-toned voice that stormed in the Gordin plays and that soothed and caressed ... in the quiet, mellow dramas ... sometimes she was heard singing in various Goldfaden operettas, but in drama her voice had more magic for me, had more power to awaken in me a feeling of sweet melancholy, more than the melancholy melodies of the operetta.

She may have performed in an outdated, windy drama that had no scrap of value as dramatic literature, but she brought new life to it, freshness—she gave the drama delight, instilled fresh life in its decrepit body. Close your eyes and remember: A slim figure floated over the boards, supple and graceful, wonderful, impressive eyes, the lively, eloquent face, and when she was lover, there was not and could not be anyone better, anyone more beautiful, any more attractive beloved. And if she was a sister, a mother, or a daughter, the spectator wished only to have such a magical personality for a sister, a daughter, or a mother. A gesture, a movement, a flick of the hand, a twitch of the face or an articulated word with a bright tone and a full timbre—thus did she come close to the heart of each man and woman who sat in the theatre. Thus did she strike amazement in the public that came to the theatre to see beauty, wealth, talent. Even in the moments when she sang her 'prose' too softly, or when she tried to be a princess, to declaim—moments that for them, she was not creative and that shocked the expert—even here, you could not forget, that here stands before you a talented person."

The writer I.B. Bailin is more critical:

"Certainly she was lauded by her admiring masses, also with a considerable amount of sincere affection. But, the attachment to her and the devotion were more from reverence than from love ... her talent was first deployed properly in the process of playing great dramatic roles. She became a legend early, before she had yet managed to reach the highest point of her successful career ... many believed that the short renaissance that Yiddish theatre experienced in America was more connected to the Bertha Kalich phenomenon than to other factors. If that is an exaggeration, there is a greater truth in the assertion that a better, more artistic Yiddish theatre in America achieved the brief, beautiful destiny that it had through her dramatic appearance on the Yiddish stage.

The number of roles that she played in her life was more than one hundred and forty, when you include her first opera period. Every time she performed, her face was so individualized that she literally became another person. Only her warm, remarkable voice was recognizable here and there.

In early 1931, she suffered her first serious breakdown. She had to withdraw from the stage. In 1932, in honor of her fortieth jubilee and theatre service the theatre profession gave her a 'testimonial' exhibition in the Yiddish Art Theatre. In 1934[3], the English theatre profession gave her a second testimonial in the Vanderbilt Theatre in New York. From time to time, she appeared again in a better Yiddish play. It was thus that she performed in Peretz Hirshbein's obscure, strange, half-symbolist play, 'Child of the World,' but the audience did not understand her and she failed. She appeared in a play by Rose Shomer [sister of Shomer], which also had a short run. People believed that this was her attempt to return to Yiddish theatre. They thought the same thing when Madame Kalich staged two new Yiddish plays in the 1921-1922 season in the Irving Place Theatre. But the thirties could not deal with any returnees ... she began to go blind."

The theatre critic William Edlin is more enthusiastic:

" ... she was one of the very few from the Yiddish theatre who had in herself the spark of a genie. She was a born artist, naturally gifted with all traits of an artist—beautiful in appearance, a slim figure, graceful in every movement, with a colorful voice, a clear diction, and a passion for theatre. In addition, she was not ignorant, as many great actresses were. She studied the finest dramatic literature and she expressed her roles with an intelligent approach—not superficial, even though she was creating an illusion, but deep, in order to make the correct interpretation, in the spirit of the writer."

The theatrical composer Joseph Rumshinsky said the same:

" ... each time that I met Bertha Kalich, she used to remind me of the London Zionist meeting in King’s Hall, where I met Dr. Herzl, when from the various interesting personalities who were found there, people noticed one person, one majestic figure—Theodore Herzl. ... Madame Bertha Kalich was, in a conscious sense, on the stage as a woman there, and Jacob P. Adler was there as a man ... just as Adler used to bring a holiday spirit with him, with her appearance on the stage, Madame Bertha Kalich also banished her weekday life. It didn’t matter what she was playing: a seamstress or a princess, a poor woman or a queen—the holiday tone, the holy theatre spark was always there. ... Madame Kalich had a whole organ in her throat. Just like an organ with all its human and instrumental tones, just so could Madame Kalich produce every tone with her throat. In a long monologue, where it’s often necessary to change tones, she used to play the "organ" in her throat, and you would hear such tones, that you would scarcely believe that they came from one throat. ... She could laughingly pass from side of the stage to the other in one breath; her quiet, heartrending weeping used to dig deep into the spectator’s soul ... Madame Bertha Kalich was one of the naïve and impractical persons that I met among actors. For her, the whole world was a big theatre. For her, good people or bad people didn’t exist, only good actors and bad actors. She hated bad actors and used to dream only of great artists. ... Her favorite pastime was reading Heine’s poetry and listening to Chopin’s music."

Comparing K.’s acting on the English and the Yiddish stages, Joseph Rumshinsky writes in his book of recollections:

"When the American four hundred built the Century Theatre, which would become an American art theatre, they staged the Greek tragedy Sappho with Bertha Kalich. The staging, the symphony orchestra, the lighting—all was the greatest and most beautiful that an eye could see and an ear could hear; her majestic figure, her "organ," her acting—all harmonized with the rich outfit and the accompaniment of the symphony orchestra. Sitting at each performance, chiefly at each performance which I attended to see Bertha Kalich on Broadway in English, I used to begrudge them our Bertha Kalich, but at the same time, I felt a bit of revenge that they, the Americans, had the artificial Bertha Kalich and we had the true Bertha Kalich. Her authenticity used to fall away to a great extent during Madame Kalich’s performances in English, and the one who could so genuinely cry and laugh, and who could Yiddish songs so sweetly—we had that Bertha Kalich. ... The silence and sorrow of Etenyu in Gordin’s 'Kreutzer Sonata,' the clash between Jew and Christian in 'The Truth,' the lock in the second act of 'The Orphan,' and even more such similar roles—the English stage never realized such acting from Madame Bertha Kalich."

And regarding her acting on the English stage, Dr. A. Mukdoni writes:

"When I saw her for the first time on the English stage, she was already not a little outmoded as an actress. She was not suited for the English stage, for the new requirements of acting. She came with her Yiddish acting baggage to the English stage and would not part with it. ... She performed with her senses, with all her limbs, she burned the scenes. She occupied the entire scene. She pushed all the other actors into a corner. The old, the good acting was lost both from her virtues as well as from her faults. For the English stage, where they sit peacefully and they converse even more peacefully, she was too stormy, too melodramatic, and too old-fashioned. But she was after all more of an actress, a much greater actress than many, many famous actresses on the English stage."

Regarding her move from the Yiddish to the English stage, Zalmen Zylbercweig writes:

"Her Yiddish had an original charm. On rare occasions, she would sneak in a German nuance. But the language was so full-blooded because one of her greatest advantages was her natural tendency to philology and her ability to adjust to foreign languages as though she had absorbed them with her mother’s milk. Yet, this talent for languages internationalized her in her attitude toward culture. Yiddish theatre was indeed not where she began her stage career, but the steps to Olympia from the goddess Thalia became for her not more than a mantle, and when the English coat was richer and more beautiful, with a light spirit she swapped the Yiddish stage for the English stage, and there she warmed herself with that mantle for so long, until the mantle became worn and threadbare, and then she came right back to the Yiddish stage. But meanwhile, the Yiddish theatre story continued to write its pages and Bertha Kalich, one of our most talented Yiddish artists, did not even exhale her breath onto the fragrant leaves of the better, more artistic Yiddish theatre. That is a great pity."

Bertha Kalich, as "Etenyu" in "Kreutzer Sonata."

Afterward, because the situation in the American theatre changed so radically that there was no more place there for K., she returned to the Yiddish stage, and regarding that period William Edlin writes:

.".. But there too, with us, the situation had already changed. The great personalities that produced the Yiddish plays for the illustrious world, were already old, weak, or dead, and the theatres, though many in number, were already composed of second- or third-class artists, theatres that had faded and no longer had a place for first-class artists. In addition, we must not forget that the returning Bertha Kalich was already middle-aged, with a deep-rooted style of acting that was no longer suitable for the new masses of Yiddish theatre fans. She realized that her former place was no more, that in fact there was no place at all for her. She would perform only from time to time, and although each time she was received with warmth and enthusiasm, she had already become almost a stranger from the past. ... But the fact is that until her death, Bertha Kalich yearned for the stage. Performing in the theatre was her greatest passion. Her greatest sorrow was that in her later years, she began to suffer from the loss of her eyesight—the eyes that had had such dramatic enchantment. Gradually, her eyes began to be extinguished, and more than once in the last ten years, she performed on the Yiddish stage more blind than sighted. Recently, she has become completely blind, and yet she makes appearances on stage in scenes from her famous repertoire ... it was for the great stage tragedienne a genuine personal tragedy, that in her old age she had to maintain such a difficult struggle for her existence, and from time to time she had to resort to her colleagues to ask if they would help her stage an appearance in order to assist her. The whole time, she was spiritually active. She took a deep interest in the news of the world in general and in Yiddish life in particular. She had her own outlook. She was an enthusiastic Jewish nationalist. If she saw an opportunity to speak about matters other than theatre, she must do so with whole-hearted conviction. She was emotional and strongly temperamental, and regarding theatre, as an artist and creator of culture, she would always speak with enthusiasm."

Regarding her return to Yiddish theatre, the dramaturg Leon Kobrin writes:

."... later, when she returned from the English stage, she no longer recognized her former Yiddish theatre. The Yiddish theatre had at that point already lost its earlier luster, its earlier ambition, and its earlier dramaturgs. And when at that time she performed once in a new play, it was a completely different sort, not like the other plays that she made famous. Not once did she write to me or say that I should write a new play for her. But just a few years back, she called me on the telephone: 'Kobrin, I am still beautiful enough, I am still young enough, why don’t you write a play for me?' ... She would not acknowledge her age. Perhaps she didn’t even feel it. Her soul remained young, disregarding the formidable physical pains that she suffered in her last years. Disregarding even her blindness ... One had only to hear her voice from stage or her song from the radio ... in order to feel at once her internal youthfulness."

In the summer of 1932, K. was a guest in Los Angeles, and there she met with Rose Shomer-Bashelis, who writes this about their meeting:

"Later, when we were alone, she opened her heart to me. She told me what she had been going through during the years that we had not seen each other. She was half-blind, but she hoped that she could be cured and would again perform on stage.

'I still feel so young in spirit and in body'—she said—'I can still give so much to the world. I know that my God will not forsake me. Do you see, Rose, what I have here?' I keep this with me wherever I stay or go.

From her handkerchief, she took out a small white piece of paper and unfolded it. On the paper was written in English, in big letters so that she could read it, an excerpt from David’s prayer:

'God is my shepherd, I lack nothing ... I fear no evil, for you are with me.'

" ... her last years were not completely extinguished, more like the eruption of a smoldering volcano. From time to time she used to burst out again at that moment, she would make almost the same impression as in the years of her glory. One thing that she would naturally demand of herself, was that no one would have occasion to say 'pity' about her. Even her main vanity, her face, was well-cared for and did not betray her age. Her voice, the divine gift with which she alone was blessed on the Yiddish stage, had not changed, despite the voices and recitations with which she thundered out for a hundred important and secondary roles in not quite fifty years of acting on different stages. Her hands, that could serve as models for painters, were still as lively and powerful as in her younger years, when she used them so often to supplement the mute language of the Latayner and Hurvits heroes.

Her elegance and freshness were and remain a dissonance in our ghetto-womanhood on the Yiddish stage ... She herself was many lives. She actually did not need to adopt other types. It was enough that she would open her own treasures of love and hate, of pride and depression, of struggle and humility, of mood and dejection, and we would see so many types of women. In this sense she was a poet. She wrote her own poems, that were rich in tone and color."

Regarding the fight that she waged against her demise, the author M. Osherowitch says:

"Until the last day of their lives, deceased artists truly revolt against the laws of nature—against age. She lived the whole time with her youth and with each new, shining beginning that she made both in her career on the Yiddish and on the English stage. She always remembered the great successes that she had in good plays that she performed in in her life, and if she had on occasion a failure in a badly-matched play, she cleaned it out of her memory, tried to forget it as soon as she could. In speaking with friends and acquaintances, she—like every artist—spoke a great deal about herself, and always about her successes on the stage. And this was not merely boasting. It was because for her each success was connected with the beginning of an artistic creation, and in each beginning she felt a youthfulness and an absolute denial of age ... it is difficult to find another woman who could carry the youthfulness of life and creativity with her in old age as well as Madame Bertha Kalich could ... as a woman, she might possibly be able to persuade herself that she had aged. But as an actress, she could not convince herself at all. Her sharply open, theatrical personality revolted against it, and until the last day of her life she stubbornly maintained the majestic Madame Kalich figure and her old style of acting. In this manner, she was always drawn back to the beginning of Yiddish theatre—to Avraham Goldfaden’s historical operettas and also to the "Gordin epoch," which was the beginning of a better Yiddish theatre in America, because each beginning was connected with her youth and glory in her career, and also in her life."

I.B. Bailin recounts that in 1937 or 1938, he called on the artist and that she rejoiced in his visit and expressed herself:

 "People have already completely forgotten about me. Years ago, so many people applauded me with such delight ... clapping their hands, sending air-kisses ... I had my fill of them then, too much. Now I have nothing."

Bailin recounts further, that K. spoke about the tragedy of the artist, and expressed herself about it:

"Who can understand the tragedy of Milton, a man with visions ... he saw deeper, farther, than all the men in his generation, and he was physically blind. Who can feel deeply the tragedy of Beethoven when, because of deafness, he could not hear his own wonderful compositions?"

The editor Yakov Fishman, who saw K. perform in her glory-period, and who was her neighbor in the last five to six years of her life, writes:

"It is incorrect to believe that Bertha Kalich usually used a 'theatrical' or declamatory speaking voice with friends. The world believes that her manner was artistic or studied. It’s not that she play-acted in life, but rather that life for her was theatre. She knew nothing else. It was as natural for her as daily speech was for other people ... Certainly, she was a little egocentric. She used to emphasize her art and her ambition in contrast to other performing tendencies. But if anyone had a right to be self-involved, it was Madame Kalich. She was an artist in her whole being, with all of her corpus. And not only was she an artist, she was one of the few Yiddish actresses who possessed a native intelligence, which over the years she used to build up a true culture. And in addition to her artistic ability, Madame Kalich was a domineering personality with great magnetic power, endowed by nature with all the attributes that a woman, and especially an actress, could wish for: a luminous face, a slim figure, a voice that she controlled like a musical instrument, penetrating eyes and an ability that aroused attention and admiration. ... If Madame Kalich made a mistake, which was to leave the Yiddish stage for two decades, she suffered enough from it. She had grievances from managers and the public on the other side as well. And who can say what the truth was there? ... In her tragic period, when some others would have had a breakdown, Madame Kalich showed a wondrous courage and endurance. You could say that in her last years she lived merely with the spirit and the thought to prove to her 'beloved audience' that Kalich could still electrify them with her art after all. In this regard, she was exactly like the immortal Sarah Bernhardt. Both overcame their bodily ills as soon as they mounted the stage."

The theatre-lover Sholem Perlmutter characterized her thus:

" ... the stage was a shrine for her until the last minute of her life, and her acting—a prayer to God to which she dedicated all her nerves and senses, no matter how great or how small her audience might be. ... She herself would outlive each role that she played. She never once cried real, non-theatrical tears on the stage ... even her caprices and strange collapses had a wonderful artistic charm."

And the composer Joseph Rumshinsky writes:

"She sacrificed her personal life for the stage. She neglected her own life. In her earliest years, she even dismissed the ordinary and extraordinary compliments with which she was showered because she saw and heard only theatre and thought only about studying, besides her roles, also languages, and everything that had a relation to theatre. She even sacrificed her nearest and dearest, even her one child. Yes, you could say that Madame Kalich’s daughter [Lilian] was also sacrificed on the altar of her mother’s art."

The actress Sonia Gurskaya—as accounted by Jacob Botoshansky—explained that Bertha Kalich used to beg her to come and read her the new Yiddish poetry, in which she showed a great interest. She especially loved Kadia Molodowsky. Her daughter read to her in English; a stranger had to read Yiddish to her.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre, Vol. II, 126, 143-146, 160-61, 163, 176-77.

  • D.B. [Sh. Yanovsky] -- "In the Theatre," Fraye Arbeter Shtime, N.Y., May 26, 1906.

  • Wm. Edlin -- "Kreytzer sonata," same, Oct. 6, 1906.

  • A.K. [Ab. Cahan] -- "A Few Words to Madame Kalich," Forward, N.Y., January 20, 1912.

  • Gershom Bader -- Former, "Theatre and Moving Pictures," N.Y., N. 4, 1913.

  • Dr. Markoff -- "Bertha Kalich in Rachelle," same, December 4, 1913.

  • Bessie Thomashefsky -- "My Life Story," N.Y., 1916, pp. 235, 249.

  • M.P. Kremer -- "Bertha Kalich Tells her Life Story for a Researcher from the Forward," Forward, N.Y., Dec. 24, 1916.

  • Wm. Entin -- "Dr. Solotaroff's Drama and Madame Kalich's Acting," The Truth, N.Y., April 11, 1917.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "For Her Children," Forward, N.Y., April 18, 1917.

  • Israel the Yankee -- "In the Theatre World," Jewish Daily News, N.Y., May 3, 1918

  • M.A. Herbert -- "Bertha Kalich," The Day, N.Y., May 25, 1918.

  • Hillel Rogoff -- "Bertha Kalich in a New Role on the English Stage," Forward, N.Y., Dec. 11, 1918.

  • Moyshe Nadir -- "My Hand Forgot This Blood," New York, 1919, pp. 105-9.

  • The Critic -- "The Bag Lady," Justice, N.Y., No. 1, 1919.

  • Elbert Aidline-Trommer -- "A Yiddish-English Star Who Loves the Yiddish Stage in the Best Way Possible," The Day, N.Y., Sept. 2, 1921.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "Madame Kalich in a Play Written by the Two Shomer Sisters," Forward, N.Y., Oct. 6, 1921.

  • S. Dingol -- "The New Play in the Irving Place Theatre," The Day, N.Y., Oct. 7, 1921.

  • Abba Lillien -- "Madame Kalich in the Irving Place Theatre," The Time, N.Y., Oct. 7, 1921.

  • William Edlin -- "The Art of Bertha Kalich," The Day, N.Y., Oct. 11, 1921.

  • D.K. -- "One of the People," "The Alarm," N.Y., Oct. 15, 1921.

  • B. Gorin -- "In a Female Empire," The Morning Journal, N.Y., Oct. 16, 1921.

  • Aaron Rozen -- "An Interview with Bertha Kalich," The Jewish Daily News, N.Y., Nov. 18, 1921.

  • Leon Elmer -- "Bertha Kalich and the Jewish Drama," Jewish Times, Baltimore, Sept. 2, 1921.

  • Bernard A. Bergman -- "Kalich Returns to Her People," The Jewish Tribune, Sept. 2, 1921.

  • Elbert Aidline-Trommer -- "The Art of Bertha Kalich," The Jewish Courier, Chicago, Sept. 27, 1921.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "Madame Kalich and Maurice Schwartz in Two Passover Plays," Forward, N.Y., April 19, 1922.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Bertha Kalich in 'One of the People,' The Jewish World, Philadelphia, June 8, 1923.

  • Ray Raskin -- "What Bertha Kalich Has to say About Theatre Dramaturgs and Grooming," The Day, N.Y., March 22, 1924.

  • Leon Kobrin -- "Reminiscences of a Yiddish Dramaturg,? N.Y., Volume 2, [1925], pp. 35-39.

  • Ts.H. Rubinstein -- "Bertha Kalich in 'One of the People,' The Day, N.Y., April 24, 1925.

  • Goldfaden Book, N.Y., 1926, p. 38.

  • Viktor Mirsky -- "Bertha Kalich Plays Magda, her own Tragedy as a Yiddish Artist," The Jewish World, Philadelphia, March 24, 1927.

  • Ts.H. Rubinstein -- "Bertha Kalich in a New Drama," The Day, N.Y., September 30, 1927.

  • Hillel Rogoff -- "Bertha Kalich in a New Drama, 'Midway," Forward, N.Y., Oct. 12, 1927.

  • Jacob Kirshenbaum -- "Bertha Kalich in 'Midway,' The American, N.Y., Oct. 14, 1927.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Yiddish Theatre Must Change in Society's Hands," The Morning Journal, N.Y., March 2, 1928.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "What the Yiddish Actor Says," Vilna, 1928, pp. 10-11.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "Pages from my Life," Volume 4, New York, 1928, pp. 345, 348, 353, 358.

  • Amelia Adler -- "The Life of a Yiddish Actress," The Jewish World, Cleveland, August 19, 1930.

  • D. Kaplan -- "Madame Kalich in a New Play in the National Theatre," Forward, N.Y., Feb. 21, 1930.

  • B.Y. Goldstein -- "On the Theatre Avenue," The Free Hour, N.Y., February 18, 1930.

  • Dr. Jacob Shasky -- "Archive of the Story of Yiddish Theatre and Drama,"  Vilna-New York, 1920, pp. 275, 507, 509, 516, 518.

  • Harrison Grey Fiske -- "Mme. Kalich and the Brilliant Years," New York Times, N.Y., Jan. 11, 1931.

  • G.A. Falzer --"Bertha Kalich Content in Life's Tragic Role," Sunday Call, Newark, Sept. 4, 1932.

  • Moshe Shemesh -- "Bertha Kalich as Sara," Jewish Baker's Voice, N.Y., March 30, 1934.

  • Joseph Rumshinsky -- "Note on Mme. Kalich," New York Times, N.Y., April 12, 1936.

  • An Admirer -- "Bertha Kalich" -- "The Embodiment of Artistic Acting," The Day, N.Y., May 15, 1938.

  • "Bertha Kalich, 64, Famous Actress," New York Times, N.Y., April 19, 1939.

  • "Bertha Kalich, 65, Brilliant Actress, Died in Hospital," World-Telegram, N.Y., April 19, 1939.

  • "Bertha Kalich," New York Sun, N.Y., April 19, 1939.

  • M. Osherowitch -- "Bertha Kalich on the Stage and in Private Life," Forward, April 20, 1939.

  • Jacob Kirshenbaum --- "Bertha Kalich Began as a Chorister in a Polish Theatre," Morning Journal, N.Y., April 20, 1938.

  • H.L. Zhitnitsky --"On the Death of Bertha Kalich," The Press, Buenos Aires, April 20, 1939.

  • William Edlin -- "Bertha Kalich" -- "A Glittering Star of the Yiddish and English Stage," The Day, N.Y., April 20, 1939.

  • N. Buchwald -- "Bertha Kalich" -- "A legend," Morning Freedom, N.Y., April 20, 1939.

  • Y. Fishman -- "From Day to Day," Morning Journal, N.Y., April 20, 1939.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- "Bertha Kalich and her Generation of Great Pioneering Actors," same, April 21, 1939.

  • B.Y. Goldstein -- "How Bertha Kalich Played the Theatre," The Day, April 21, 1939.

  • Leon Kobrin -- "Bertha Kalich," same, April 21, 1939.

  • Chaim Gildin -- "Goldfaden and Bertha Kalich," Morning Freedom, N.Y., April 23, 1939.

  • A. Frumkin -- "Bertha Kalich," The Free Hour, N.Y., May 1939.

  • Yankev Botoshansky -- "The Epilogue from the Tragedy of Bertha Kalich," The Press, Buenos Aires, May 9, 1939.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "Theatre Mosaic," N.Y., 1941, pp. 16-17, 318.

  • Jacob Mestel -- "Our Theatre," N.Y., 1943, pp. 17, 25, 37, 66.

  • Joseph Rumshinsky -- "Sounds From My Life," N.Y., 1944, pp. 398-412.

  • Boaz Young -- "My Life in Theatre," N.Y., 1950, pp. 171-72.

  • Jacob Mestel -- "70 Years of Theatre Repertoire," N.Y., 1954, pp. 19, 20, 32,42, 59.

  • Rose Shomer-Bashelis -- "As I Knew Them: Portraits of Well-Known Yiddish Personalities," Los Angeles, 1955, pp. 133-143.

  • I.B. Bailin -- "Bertha Kalich" -- "She Was a Legend in Her Lifetime," Morning Freedom, N.Y., May 24, 1959.

  • I.B. Bailin -- "Bertha Kalich in Her Glorious Roles," same, May 31, 1939.






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 2425.

Translation courtesy of Beth Dwoskin.

Copyright ©  Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.