Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Hirsh Meir Kirshenbaum

Born in 1889 [according to Reyzen -- 1892] in Lipsk, Radom region, Poland, into a Chasidic family. Received a strong religious education. Learned in a cheder and yeshiva and went on to become a ritual slaughterer. Under the effect of Michael Veber he published in 1909 in "Unzer leben" a Tisha b'Av picture, then published in other periodical editions, and collected folksongs by Noakh Prilutski.

In 1913,  for the First World War, he immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he immediately threw himself into societal work and began to write in the Canada Yiddish press. 1915 -- became a contributor to the "Idisher zhurnal", the daily Yiddish newspaper in Toronto, and in 1922 became one of the owners of the newspaper, since 1927 manager of the newspaper, maintaining at the same time further is editorial contributions, until 1931 when he left the newspaper and opened a private printing shop.

Since 1916 he has often written reviews about Yiddish theatre, and composed the play "Der farbrekher", a lebensbild in four acts (dramatized from his novel, printed in a newspaper), staged on 26 January 1923 in the "National" Theatre in Toronto by Bernard Elving's troupe, and "In azoy lebn", a one-acter, staged in the "Standard" Theatre in Toronto, by Morris Novikov, as well as a one-acter "Der antoyster man".



K. was a directing personality in the Jewish National Workers Union in Toronto, and was active in every city institution and agency. He was the founder and first executive secretary for the Polish Union in Canada, active in a number of Jewish-Polish mutual aid societies, and for many years chairman of the city committee of the Jewish National Workers Union in Toronto.

K. was deeply given over to the interests of Yiddish theatre, and a huge moneymaker for the Yiddish actors.

His wife's brother is the actor Israel Mandel.

On 21 January 1941, he suddenly died in the streets of Toronto, and there was brought to his eternal rest on the grounds of the Jewish National Workers Union.

M. E.

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", Vol. III, p. 662.

  • Necrology in "Idisher zhurnal".






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2594.

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