Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Neymark

N. was born in 1866 in Szczerzec, by Lemberg, Eastern Galicia, into a poor family. He was raised under the influence of his widowed mother, a connoisseur of Hebrew, whose children had become the breadwinners by the application over the house of chicken, meat, etc.

From childhood on, he manifested exceptional abilities. Already for six years he learned Gemora, and for eight years learned by himself in the kloyz. Later he [gehaltenerheyt] to begin to learn German and he left his studies for Lemberg, where he nourished himself with Hebrew lessons. After enduring exams in an eight-class gymnasium, he went away to Berlin, and there he studied in "Lernanshtalt far der voysnshaft fun yudntum", and in the university, which he graduated as a doctor of philosophy and was accepted as a rabbi in Rakonitz (Bemen). He participated in the first unionist congress, and after a personal conflict with Dr. Herzl, he withdrew from from [efntlekhn] part of the movement.

In 1908 he was invited as a professor of Yiddish philosophy by the "Hebrew Union College" in Cincinnati, where he remained until his final days.

N. issued several philosophical works in Hebrew, German and English.

In his youth, N. wrote articles in the Yiddish publications of Galicia, and he belonged to a circle ([that included] Adolf Shtand, Shlomo Shiler, Yehoshua Thon, Mordechai Erenpreyz, Shmuel Gutman, Avraham Korkis, M. Berkovitsh, I. L. Landoy et al), which had for one of its goals to reform the Yiddish theatre. Gutman [the current head rabbi of Lemberg] then wrote a drama "Aleksander ferara", and N. -- a drama "Ruth". However Avraham Golfaden (who had then written in Lemberg), to which the group had turned to, rejected this drama [oyftsufirn], because in the Yiddish theatre then they had success only with operettas and melodramas.

On 20 December 1924 N. passed away in Cincinnati.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, pp. 566-68.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2,  page 1422.

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