Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yeshua Lubomirski

Born in 1884 in the town of Brusilov, Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine, into a very poor family. Until the age of thirteen he learned in cheders. Being taken by his father to Kiev, he, since the age of fourteen, began as an auto-didact, to study there according to a program from the then Russian classical gymnasium. In 1907 he received an certificate after oyshaltn exams for eight classes and getsoygn khiunh for giving private lessons (Russian literature, Latin, mathematics and history). Later he became a teacher in 1911 in the town of Makarov, and at the same time he also was (as a stage director and actor) a director of this secret literary dramatic circle.

In 1911 be became a student of the Kiev Commercial Institute in economics-yuridshn facultat, and at the same time a teacher of the Yiddish language and literature in a covert Yiddish school. In 1914 he graduated the institute, with the title of, "Candidate of Economic Science," and was a teacher of literature in a school, where he had prepared students for high school. In 1917 and 1918 he lived in Moscow, where he was a manager and teacher in the Yiddish pre-school and organized evening courses for adults, where he was a teacher of Russian literature and language. He fled in 1918 from the bands [bandes], which had terrorized the Jewish towns and settled in Kiev, where he entered into the study of theatrical arts in a Yiddish theatre studio, which became organized there. In 1920, during the eve of the Occupation of the "white" policies, voluntarily joining the Red Army, where he was a teacher and stage director in the Army's independent circles. After becoming demobilized at the beginning of 1921, he became


 taken in to the then first Kiev Jewish State Theatre as an actor and stage director, and he played the role of the "bandit" in Hirshbein's "Haunted Inn" and "Soloveichik" in Sholem Aleichem's "The Big Winner." At the end of 1922 he went away to Moscow and joined the theatre studio of the Moscow Yiddish Chamber Theatre, which was under the direction of Al. Granowsky.

In 1924 he became a theatre critic, and in the span of many years he published in print articles about the Moscow theatres in the Russian theatre journals, "Novi zritel," "Rabotshi zritel," "Zhizn iskustvo," "Sovremiengi theater," and in the programs of the academic theatres, working in the journals "Zhizn iskostvo" and "Kolchozni teater," where he had in the years 1935 and 1936 published in print articles about famous Russian actors and stage directors from Moscow's Mali Theatre, under the pseudonym of Lensky, folk artists of the Soviet Union I.S. Moskvin, folk artist Shlomo Michoels, folk artist Igor Ilinsky, and about the deserved actress Yehudis Glizer. Since 1925 L. also has published in print in the journals "Shtern" (Minsk), "Di royte velt," "Prolit" (Kharkov), "Farmest" and "Sovetishe literatur" (Kiv). Since 1934 he is a member of the Union of Soviet Writers. L. also was a member in the "Yiddish Anti-Fascist Committee" in Moscow, where he has been a resident since 1922.

L. wrote over four hundred articles and essays and published in Yiddish, as well as in Russian, several books about theatre, generally and about Yiddish theatre specifically, such as "The Revolutionary Theatre," with a forward by A. Granowsky, (Moscow, 1926), "Cinematography," (Moscow, 1930), "State Jewish Theatre in the Ukraine" (a monograph about the Kharkov State Jewish Theatre (Kharkov, 1931, 180 pp.), "Far der iberboy of dramatic circles" (translation and adaptation) by M. Veprinsky, N. Sen and V. Auspensky (Moscow, 1932), "Theatre Reconstructions" (a collection of articles about theatre and dramturges, Moscow, 1933, 192 pp.), "Vi azoy tsugreytn a spektakl" (methodic onvayzungen for independent dramatic circles, Moscow, 1937), a monograph in Russian, "Michoels" (Russian publishing house, "Iskostvo," 1938). L also had in manuscript form a monograph about actor Benjamin Zuskin.

L. translated into Yiddish "Der shnips," a communist comedy in three acts, nine scenes, with stage direction remarks by B. Gliebov (publisher "Emes," Moscow, 1932, 112 pp.) L. translated from the Yiddish to Russian N. Zabar's novel, "The Father" (publishers "Sovetski pisatel", 1961), a volume of stories by Moshe Altman (the same publisher). Until 1941 L used to, from time to time, start up with the research of the Jewish State Theatres in Odessa, Kiev, Minsk, Birobidzhan, which he often used to visit and read for their collective lectures about the history of theatre, and about creative methods of actors. L. also used to, through stories, analyze the prominent spectacles, all in all engaged by the Russian journal "Kolchozni theatre," he also used to be sent oystsufarshn non-Yiddish theatres of the periphery. For a certain time L. was a methodist of Moscow's regional center for artistic independence and several times was sent oystsufarshn the young theatres of Kalinin, Tula and Ariechova-Zoyeva. In 1940 L. was sent from committee for art matters in Moscow to White Russia to inspect the preparations of the alfarbandisher olimpiade of independent arts and there had read lectures about actorial creative methods. L. also gave a course, lecturing about the history of Yiddish theatre in the Kiev theatrical institute, and in Moscow's Jewish State Theatre Institute.

At the start of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, L, at the age of fifty-seven, volunteered to join [the fight], as a simple soldier, in the Soviet Army, participated in very bad, divided Moscow and received a medal "for victory over Germany." In 1942 he, on the drive of his command wrote the history of the 665 Battalion of the Erodromisher movement which in the meantime remains in manuscript form.

Being demobilized in 1943, L. returned to performing his literary work, and most of the time wrote according to the order of the Soviet Information Bureau, as well as scientific articles according to the order of the All Russian Theatrical Society, and according to the Cabinet for the History of Yiddish Theatre, under the name of Michoels.

During the last years L. published in print reviews in Russian journals: "Yidishe kultur," "Yidishe shriftn," "Parizer tsaytshrift," Folksshtime," "Naye prese," "Morgn frayhayt," and in "Soviet Heimland," where he prepared to publishe his memoirs.

L. was married to the composer Rivka Boyarska (see pp. 5354-57), and a brother to Dr. Chaim Lubin, chairman of the Writers' Union, "Ikuf," in Los Angeles, which from time to time published articles about the plastic arts and artists and had translated into English H. Smoliar's book, "Der vidershtand in minsk."

L. provided many materials for the edition of the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre."

  • B. Gorolov -- "Rezets," Leningrad, N' 7, 1939, [Russian].

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," New York, 1963, pp. 76-77.

  • Y. Surkov -- "Sovetish heymland," N' 6, 1964.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5646.

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