Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Shifra Lerer


Born in the colony Santa Catalina, Argentina, remote and isolated from the greater Jewish communities, but thanks to the warm attitude of her family, eyngezapt in herself from her early childhood familiarity with Yiddish literature, especially after the family moved to Buenos Aires.

At the age of eight years, according to the recommendation of her sister, the actress Miriam Lerer, she began to act in children's roles with the guest-starring Boris Thomashefsky, and she continued along for a certain time. So at the age of ten she participated in Jacob Botashansky's production of L. Melakh's "Ibergus" with a dramatic circle.

As an adolescent, she began to study dramatic arts in a Spanish drama school, and then acted for three years on the Spanish stage.

L., through her success in her examinations from the Yiddish Artists Union, became a member, and she began to act in Yiddish with the guest-starring Miriam Karalova-Kambarov, then with Moyshe Oysher and Florence Weiss, and she completed the season with Zygmunt Turkow in the main dramatic roles in the plays "Urteyl", "Hirsh Lekert", "Ivan Kruger" and the "Glokn-tsyer fun notr-dam (Bell Ringer of Notre Dame)". L. acted then with the guest-starring Jacob Ben Ami and Berta Gerstin (as "Ruth" in Wolf's "Professor Mamelok", "Babe" in Leivick's "Der poet iz blind gevorn", and "Berta" in Strindberg's "Der foter (The Father"), with


Samuel Goldenburg ("Hymie" in Kalmanowitz's  "Heyntike kinder") and with Maurice Schwartz ("Malkele") in Singer's "Yoshe Kalb", "Reyzl" in Sholem Asch's "Thilim-yid", "Elizabeth" in Leivick's "Ver is ver", "Chava" in Sholem Aleichem's "Tuviya (der milkhiger)", and in Sholem Aleichem's "Sender Blank").

In 1943 L. was recommended to Samuel Goldenburg, was engaged in Brooklyn's Parkway Theatre through Goldberg-Jacobs, and she performed in the play "Fun nyu york keyn berlin (From New York to Berlin)". After acting there for a season, she took to performing in concerts in various activities of the Yiddish organizations, such as the Arbeter Ring, Jewish National Arbeter Farband, and Histadrut, in the summer of 1944 in Camp "Boyberik", and in the summer of 1945 in the Arbeter Ring camp.

In 1946 L. traveled back to Argentina, where she performed together with Ben Zion Witler in the "Mitre" Theatre, and since then has followed the same itinerant path and theatrical career as Ben Tzion Witler with whom she married in 1957.

In 1949 L. became a member in the Yiddish Actors Union. In 1950 L. participated in the role of "Freydenyu" in the film "God, Man and Devil" with Michael Michalesko and Gustave Berger.

In 1952 L. participated in Herman Yablokoff's production of Benjamin Ressler's "Uncle Sam in Israel" in the Public Theatre in New York.

Sh. E.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- Tsum heyntikn yom tov fun shifra lerer in "mitre", "Di prese", Buenos Aires, 18 October 1951.

  • Shmuel Rozashnski -- Shtrikhn, "Di idishe tseytung", Buenos Aires, 30 September 1953.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2259.

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