Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chaim Ostrovsky


Born on 15 July 1896 in Lakhva, Pinsk region, White Russia. Through his father, a well-known cantor, he absorbed himself from childhood with Jewish instruments. He learned in yeshivas, and there indeed participated in the holiday yeshiva student "theatre" performances.

In 1915 his family immigrated to the steppe of Russia, where A. studied and also came into contact with modern Russian theatre. 1917 -- he was engaged as a regisseur for the Vologda theatre, where he founded a special studio for Jewish youths with whom he directed productions in Yiddish, Russian and Hebrew. 1921 -- moved over to Poland, where for the first time he developed an intimate relationship with popular Yiddish theatre, and he directed there with drama circles and performed with Yiddish-Hebrew word concerts.

1925 -- arrived in Eretz Yisrael and took over the leadership of the first Hebrew theatre "Hiatrun Evri" and also participated often in the work of the "Hiatrun Laumi" in Ht"ay", where he performed in Hebrew, Sackler's "Yizkor" and "Dem tsadik's nesie (The Saint's Journey), Gordin's "God, Man and Devil", Sholem Aleichem's "Dos groyse gevins (The Big Winner)", "Tuviya der milkhigher (Tevya the Milkman)", and "Shever tsu zayn a yid (Hard to be a Jew)", Piski's "Oytser (The Treasure)", Dymov's "Yoshke musikant (Yoshke the Musician)", Asch's "A shnirl perl (A String of Pearls)".


In 1931 he performed with word concerts in Canada, and in 1932-33 performed in Pittsburgh with the Hollander troupe.

1946 -- arrived in New York and acted in the Hebrew theatre "Prgud", and in the English-Yiddish "Yugnt teater".

1959 -- settled in Los Angeles, where he dedicated himself to the Yiddish word arts and directed from time to time Yiddish artistic evenings. In 1961 O. performed with word concerts in Mexico.

O. issued two record albums, one of which was "Fun der yidish klasisher literatur", which included: "Nakhus fun kinder" by Sholem Aleichem, "Alef beys" by Sholem Stern, "Chasidim" by A. Lutski, "Der kuntsenmakher" by I. L. Peretz, "Der amerikaner" by Sholem asch, and "Yidin zingen" by the Tunkler, and the second -- "Shabes yom tov'dike yidn", which contained: "Der khkh fun a nigun" by David Pinski, "Rabbi zishes tants" by Shimson Meltser, "Lmd v'v" by Arye Shmri, "Der bratslaver" by Yakov Glatshteyn, "In beit hamedrash" by Sholem Stern, and "Mkublim" by H. Leivick.

Sh. and M. E.

  • N. Y. Gotlib -- Oyf di vegn fun a nayem idishen teater, "Keneder odler", Montreal, 16 January 1931.

  • Y. Rabinovitsh -- Der kontsert fun khayim ostrovski, same, 29 January 1931.

  • Chaim Ostrovsky -- Haynt ovent ershte forshtelung fun "in kaynem's land", "Di idishe velt", Cleveland, 11 May 1941.

  • Shmuel Epstein -- "Yidisher dramatisher farayn" [in the book "Brnubits", Tel Aviv, 1953, p. 169].

  • D. Plat -- Idishe fonograf-rekords oyf 2 shprakhn, "Morgn frayhayt", N. Y., 25 October 1960.

  • Dr. N. Swerdlin -- Baym forhang, "Daily Morning Journal", N. Y., 5 October 1961.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3163.

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