Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


A. [Avraham-Mordechai] Leyb


Born on 20 July 1898 in Lodz, Poland. Father -- a melamed. In order to help out with the family income, his mother sold food in a small store. His father went to the mlmdus and became a textile shearer. He received a traditional education. When his father went to Palestine, from whence he later returned, (was, during the Second World War, killed together with his wife by the Nazis). L. went into a governmental school and then studied Russian, German and Hebrew.

During the First World War, he was forced by the Germans into forced labor in "slaughter pits" on the train. After the war, he was smuggled through the border to Denmark, where he was illegally from the end of 1918 until 1922. Here he became a librarian in the local international library, and learned Danish, French and English with a Danish teacher, and general subjects so that he could enter into a university, from time to time prompting with Yiddish theatre productions, and at the same time was a Yiddish teacher.

In 1922 he arrived in America where he studied teaching courses given by the Workmen's Circle, and here he became a Yiddish teacher, earlier in the impartial(?) Workmen's Circle school, then in the school of the Jewish Progressive Movement.

L., after collaborating in Europe with the original children's stories and translations in "Grininke beymelekh", and since his visit to America, in "Yungvarg", "Proletarishe dertsiyung", "Argentimer beymelekh" and in children's corners of "Morgn frayahyt". In the span of many summers, L. worked in the summer colonies, in

"Camp Boyberik" of Sholem Aleichem Institutes, as the director in the Montreal "Kinderland", in New York's "Kinder-land", and in Camp "Lakeland", where he directed with the cultural work for adolescents.

Thanks to the initiative of L., since 1965, the city Seaside Park in New York, staged through the Farye Ofene concerts in Yiddish, which were attended by thousands of Jews (in 1965 -- 2 concerts, in 1966 and in 1967 for 3 concerts).

L. wrote and published many children's plays, a part of which were also performed, such as "Mir forn in 'Artef theatre" (staged in Breytener shul 4), "Tsu gast", "Kolektiv", "In di gasn tsu di masn", "Der kluger rikhter", "Yidn fun amerike" (staged in Philadelphia), "A sud" (staged in Breyter shul 4) and in a mimeographed form: "Der shd", "Vert a pyoner", "25 yor kinderland", "Di hihlekh kegn der shlang" (staged in Camp "Kinderland"). L. also staged on 31 May 1925 in the Williamsburg Yiddish Workmen's Circle school, G. Kaplan's three-act children's operetta "Blumen".

L.'s printed plays were:

[1] A. Leyb
Mir forn in "Artef teater"
children's play, New York 1931 [5 pp.]

[2] Kolektiv
A children's play by A. Leyb
Freely adapted from a Soviet story by M. Belikovskaya
["Morgn frayhayt", N. Y., 8 January 1933]

[3] In di gasn tsu di masn
by A. Leyb
(a children's play, freely adapted from the Russian)
["Morgn frayhayt, N. Y., 18 June 1933]

[4] A. Leyb
Tsu gast
one-acter for children
Publisher "Royte fedim", New York, 1934 [16 pp.]

[5] A. Leyb
Der kluger rikhter
a children's play in three scenes
based on a story of the hundred-and-one nights
["Yungvarg", New York, May 1939]

[6] Yidn fun amerike
a historical play
(from the English) from Erik Lukas, Yiddish A. Leyb
["Yungvarg", New York, November, December 1939]

[7] A sud
by A. Leyb
["Yungvarg", New York, January 1945]

Sh. E.

  • Carl Wasserman -- A. leyb -- der lerer un kultur-boyer, "M'F", N. Y., 4 November 1948.

  • Mlkh Tsesna -- Fun folk tsum folk, "Forward", N. Y., 18 December 1966.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4961.

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