Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Moshe Litvakov


L. was born circa 1875 in Cherkassy, Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine. His father was a melamed (religious teacher). Until the age of seventeen he learned Talmud, then as an extern he completed a gymnasium. From 1902 until 1905 he studied in Paris.

He began his political societal activities as a Zionist of the Ekhud-hems system, and L. was then one of the first activists of the proletariat Zionists (Po‘ale Tsiyon). In 1903 he belonged to the group of Zionist socialists who organized the conference of "Vozrozhdenye (Rebirth)", later he became one of the major leaders of the S"S party (Zionist socialists), from where there crystallized the "Vozrozhdenye". During the World War he took an active part in the hilfs-arbet, participating in the hilfs-baratung in Peterburg (1916).

After the March Revolution -- one of the founders and leaders of the party "Fareynikte". In May 1919 he directed the division in his party and as a leader of his ofgeshfaltenem wing, they cast it together with the Communist Bund (Kombund) into one organization (Komfarband, or the Jewish Communist Union), and since then has continued one of the important Jewish communist leaders in the Soviet Union and editor of "Emes".

L. has always participated as a contributor and often as an editor in the various periodical publications that were issued through the party to which he has belonged.


As to his literary debut in Hebrew, L. later developed a broad, critical literary activity in various Yiddish periodical publications. Some of his works were also published in separate books.

L. is closely associated with Yiddish theatre in the Soviet Union. In a series of his critical assessments about the productions of the Jewish State Theatre in Moscow, L. has issued in a book: "Five Years of the Yiddish Chamber Theatre (1924-1929)" (publisher "Shul un bukh", Moscow 1924), [144 pp., 16°].

On 9 April 1922 L.'s translation of Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta" was staged.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of the Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, pp. 135-141.

  • Dunyev -- A bukh vegn idishn kamer-teater, "Frayhayt", N. Y., 26 December 1924.

  • N. Warshansky -- Di fihrer fun der "Yevskektsye", "Haynt", Warsaw, 6 May 1927.

  • Jacob Mestel -- Fir yidishe teater-bikher, "Archive", Vilna, 1938?, pp. 489-91.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1050.

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