Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Kreplak

Born in 1885 in Zabludow, near Bialystok, Russian Poland. He was arrested in various cities due to his revolutionary activities, serving in the military in Helsingfors. He had to flee abroad, and he settled in Antwerp, where he worked as a diamond polisher, while at the same time being active in the Jewish cultural social life. His literary activity began in 1911.

In 1915 he came to America, where he published articles in various Yiddish periodical editions and became the secretary of the monthly journal, "Di tsukunft." K. also published several small booklets, and the novel, "From the Barracks and the War" (New York, 1927).

K. wrote many children's articles, and the children's play, "The Green Youth ("Kinder Land," April 1923, separate edition; New York, 1928, 24 pp., Workmen's Circle Children's Library, number 11), which won the first award at the competition of a children's play for the Yiddish Workmen's Circle School (given out by the Education Department of the Worker's School.)

Naftali Gross writes:
"'The Green Youth,' a play about children's lives here in the country. It is the only artistic children's one-acter that is available to us. A green youth falls in between American children in a public school. To some children, he called out to be merciful with his silent conservation. To other jests. They created jests for him, encouraged him, wanted him to strike. However, this was the only way to get in touch with him. His strangeness irritated them and attracted them [to him], that he is a happy orphan. Me tseredt zikh, half-Jewish, half-English. The green one is found out, that most children were Jewish children. They understand Yiddish well. In the home they speak Yiddish with a grandfather, with a grandmother, with the parents, become friends, they are playing in the 'classroom.' Everyone wants to show their knowledge. They ask him questions, he--them. The green recalls a story by Eliahu HaNovi. The children were curious. They became good brothers. They saw one, that is not that green. He can do many more things than them.

Kreplak brings in his playing a scene of Jewish children's life in a big American city. The entire play is dirty and filled with humor."

K. passed away on 21 September 1945.

  • Zalmen Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vilna, 1929, Vol. 3, pp. 788-790.

  • Naftali Gross -- "Bikhlakh far undzere kinder," Tog," N.Y., 4 July 1931.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5323.

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