Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Joseph Oberlander


Born on 26 October 1881 in Iasi, Romania. Parents -- Owners of a bakery. He learned in a cheder and with his mother's brother -- German. He was a choir boy and acted in children's roles with Yiddish actors. At the age of eleven he was given from his home to Strudler, and he toured with him in Shtefaneshty to act in vaudeville, where he debuted in a father role. His mother came over and took him home, he learned for a bit of time, but it drew him fully to the stage, and when Jacob Silbert arrived, he took him with him, and gave him in Czernowitz a role to act in, "Tsigeyner" in "Di eyngemoyerte froy". Treitler took him from Silbert and toured with him, but there was neither success nor income, but for singing for the officer after the performance. At a very early age he acted in "Rabbi Yozelman" in Gura Amara, then toured across the province, coming home to Iasi and touring with Moshe Ziegler to act in vaudeville, then into a member troupe with Shrage, where however once again his mother took him back home.

In May 1898 he arrived in America, at first settling in Minneapolis, there performing  in a shul with a concert, then he acted in Chicago in the "Apollo", "Metropolitan" and "Pavilion" theatres. By himself he put together a troupe and toured with her for several years across the province. Later he acted for two seasons with Mike Thomashefsky in the "Arch Street" Theatre in Philadelphia, then in the "Maynard" Theatre in New York, where he acted in the main role in Zolotarevsky's "Diamond", a season in Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo and Syracuse as first lead, and three months under the direction of Weissman in Winnipeg. Then he toured in the province, arriving in Los Angels, where he made an unsuccessful attempt at films, went back to Chicago where he

entered into business (fur), and became a "politician" in City Hall. In the summer of 1931 he again acted with several actors across the Chicago provinces.

A. passed away on 24 December 1953 in New York and was brought to his eternal rest at the cemetery [plot] of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.

Sh. E. and M. E. from Charles Cohen.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4877.

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