Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Daniel Plotkin


Born in New York, America. Father -- R' Tsvi Brv Meir Plotkin, a cantor and rabbi in New York. As a child he sang with his father, then with the cantors Krnial, Kuper, Hilman, Kaminski, Katchko and Yudele Belzer.

Each time they used the best choir boys, and also exploited them for the Yiddish theatre. Thus P., with his sharp alto voice, became aroused at Thomashefsky's theatre, and used to sing a solo from a "box" (loge) to the "heroes" (Bessie and Boris Thomashefsky) on the stage.

Due to his father's illness, he davened later during a Shabbes, already having a tenor voice, in the Etz Chaim school in Flatbush, and he was popular there for eight years as a cantor, but he went away fully from the Yiddish theatre. When Max Gabel had staged in the People's Theatre "Ir groyser sud" with Jennie Goldstein, P. there used to make the "mla" as a "cantor". Laater he performed in solos during afternoon concerts with Yiddish stars, and in 1913 he entered into a provincial troupe with whom he traveled and acted in Bayonne, New Jersey, Lateiner's "Satan in the Garden of Eden", and in Patterson Kornblit's "Kapital un arbet" in Zolotarefsky's "Portretn fun der heym".

P. also was manager of a Yiddish vaudeville in the former Lipzin Theatre, then in Hartford and in New Haven. In 1926 he "managed" across the American province Boris and Harry


Thomashefsky, in "Shteyger protses" and sang by himself between the acts.

In 1932 he visited, as a cantor and folksinger, France, Belgium and Hollland. Later he left the chazznut, opened a handbag factory, and also, as one of the very first to perform with a Yiddish radio program in New York.

In 1935 P. moved to Los Angeles, where he directed his factory, and at the same time was a cantor for your years with a mixed chorus and an official in the Hollywood temple Beth El. He later became the owner of the "El Morocco Hotel" in Palm Springs, davened during the High Holidays in various synagogues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Stockton, Oakland and visited Mexico in 1950, where he davened in the Ndkhi Israel synagogue.

During his travels across Europe in 1952, P. sang in the sanatorium of Grata Feroto for refugees from Hitler's hell in Milan, Italy, later in the Fernwald camp in Germany and in the Munich synagogue. He also gave concerts for six weeks in cities and colonies in the land of Israel.

P. for a certain time was on the executive (board) of the Cantors Association in New York.

In 1953 P. issued a book "Psalms With Music", which presented in Hebrew and in English collected compositions of eighteen chapters of the Tehilim, organized by Pual Discount.

Sh. E.

  • Sh. Opatovsky [Zalmen Zylbercweig] -- khazan daniel plotkin -- der man mit a skh feikeytn, "Five-year anniversary of Zylbercweig's Weekly Yiddish Radio Hour", Los Angeles, 1953.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2210.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.