Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sarah L. (Leah) Libert

Born on 27 April 1892 in Kutno, Poland, in a well-to-do religious family. Her father was a Torah scholar, multilingual and a "yeshuv"  for the Sochachow rabbi.

In 1906 the entire family wandered off to America. here L. worked in a tailor's shop, and in the evening attended school and later graduated Hunter College, as well as the Jewish teacher's seminary. When she couldn't survive the examinations to become a public school teacher, she became a supervisor (overseer). She continued to study and received her master's degree in social work in Columbia University and as such a worker in the Welfare Department.

In 1919-20 L. became a teacher's assistant in the Sholem Aleichem school 3, then a full teacher.

According to Lipe Lerer, the National Council of Jewish Women, she was appointed in 1929 to be a Yiddish teacher for the Jewish farmer children in the city of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Her work consisted of traveling around to the farms, taking the children together and teach them. She used to determine that a mother or two should pay attention, that the children should prepare for and do the homework, and then she


used to turn around and control whether everything was done correctly. She had this kind of work written in a series of accounts under the name, "Mit yidishe farmerkinder" in "Kinder zhurnal" (1929).

Her interest in Jewish history was also expressed in this. What she wanted to bring into the minds and memory of the children in a theatrical way, and she dramatized and wrote several children's plays: "The Megillah of Esther," "The Little Chanukah Lamp" (per Yehoshua), "Moshe der bafreyer," "Di mayse fun chanukah-gelt," "A shavuous spiel," "Mayn korb" (adapted from Elma Ehrlich-Levendzer) in "Der shveynendiker flikhtling," which were published in New York's "Kinder zhurnal," where she also composed a great number of accounts, stories, plays, reviews, also including a part in "Kinder zhurnal," and in other journals and newspapers.

In 1933 in the publishing house "Matones" (New York), there was issued her teaching book, "Vort un bild," illustrated by Nate Kozlovsky, which was a new way to teach children Yiddish, and therefore had evoked a very good response. In 1952 in the Biderman publishing house (New York, 80 pp.) there was published her book, "Mirele," with "Grine dertseylungen," illustrated by Moshe Fisher. The Bloch Publishing Company also published in English, her two books of biblical stories.

L. passed away on 28 January 1955 in New York.

Lipe Lerer characterized her as such:

"Born and raised in a traditional Jewish home, Sarah Leah Libert from her youth realized in herself a love of Jewish traditions, for Jewish knowledge and for our Yiddish tongue. ...She had a strong love for reading, for learning with children, they became familiar with Jewish history, with Yiddish literature, which was her great pleasure. She was of the first teacher and activist in the Sholem Aleichem Folk Schools. She remained an activist until her last day of her life.

Sarah Libert was a lover and idealistic human being. She was able to attract people to herself, and they made friends with her and assisted her in her cultural and educational activities.

She created and directed the 'Sholem Aleichem Women's Organization.' She helped create the means for the rescued children of Europe. She was active in creating stipends for students in a Jewish teacher's seminary, attracting young people to become Yiddish teachers. She helped found and maintain the children's garden at the Sholem Aleichem Folk School. She also was active in the teachers' seminary.

Sarah Libert did not have She did not only ask others, but she alone gave the first, and gave with a generous hand as much as she could."

L.'s published plays:

1. Sarah L. Libert
The Megillah of Esther
(in five scenes)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., February 1929, pp. 1-9)

2. Sarah L. Libert
Moshe der bafreyer
("Children's Journal," N.Y., April 1929, pp. 6-8)

3. Yehoshua
Dos khanukah lempl
scenes by Sarah L. Libert
("Children's Journal," N.Y., December 1929, pp. 1-2)

4. Sarah L. Libert
Di meyse fun khanukah gelt
(A khanukah shpiel)
("Children's Journal, " N.Y., November 1931, pp. 103)

5. Sarah L. Libert
A shavuous shpiel
("Children's Journal," N.Y., June-July 1932, pp. 3-6)

6. Elma Ehrlich-Levendzsher
Mayn karb
A purim-shpiel
Adapted from the English by Sarah L. Libert
("Children's Journal, N.Y., February 1948, p. 1)

7. Sarah Libert
Der shveygndiker flikhling
(A khanukah-shpiel)
("Children's Journal," N.Y., November 1950, pp. 10-14.)

Sh.E. from her sister Regina Libert.

  • M. Melamed -- Literarishe notitsn, "Di yidishe velt," Philadelphia, 18 September 1933.

  • Lipe Lehrer -- Sarah leah libert e"h, "Kinder zhurnal," N.Y., February 1955.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3214.

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