Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Saul Raskin


Born on 15 August 1878 in Nogaysk (Nageyski), Tavrisher Gubernia, Southern Russia. He was raised in a small-village Jewish-Russian environment. He learned in a religious elementary school (cheder), and in the Russian high school (folksshul). At age fifteen he went away to Odessa, where he learned lithography and at the same time attended an art school. At age eighteen he began to travel around across Europe: Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, where he studied in art academies, attended lectures in various universities and worked in lithography.

Returning to Russia for military service, from which he became liberated, in 1904 he immigrated to America, where he pursued his artistic training.

For a significant number of years he was the rooted in the memories of the Jewish shtetl (town) with its types and its customs, lay in R. behind a thick coat of a strange curtain, languages and movements, first in America, coming into contact with Jewish life on the East Side, having all the old images for him return to rebuild and claim a rectification (tikun.)

He began to write articles about general and Yiddish art problems and artists in "Tsayt-gayst," "Tsukunft," "Dos naye lebn," "Fraye gezelshaft," and "Dos naye land." At the same time he began to draw caricatures and cartoons of political, literary and theatre themes in "Der groyser kunds." A large crossover (iberbrukh) in his approach to his artistic work was the Balfour Declaration and

his first voyage to the Land of Israel as a collaborator for "Di tsayt," for which he wrote correspondences and drew cartoons. He returned as a "Yiddish painter," and from then on R. continued with his work of writing, especially in the "tog," articles about art, Yiddish theatre, caricatures and cartoons about Yiddish actors, dedicating his pen and pencil to the Land of Israel, and to themes of Yiddish content. He visited five times to the Land of Israel, where he published lithographic albums of his drawings and painted about the Haggadah, Ethics of our Fathers, Siddur, Tehillim, Chomash Megillah, a book, "The Land of Israel in Words and Scenes" (New York, 1925), a mystical novel "An oysgetrakhter emes" (New York, 1956), has exhibited his scenes in fifteen museums and collections, besides his scenes that can be found in  many Jewish homes. A great part of his scenes in the beginning of 1963 he had sent away to the Land Of Israel, in a special art museum in Sefad. R. also illustrated many Yiddish books.


1. Jennie Valiere in "The Dancer." 2. Bina Abramowitz and Rudolph Schildkraut in "Silent Forces." 3. Maurice Schwartz and Berta Gerstin in "A Son of Two Nations." 4. Abraham Teitelbaum as "Hershl Dubrovner." 5. Jacob Ben-Ami in "Samson and Delilah." 6. Ludwig Satz in "The Tailor's Daughters." 7. Fannie Lubritsky and Hymie Jacobson in "The Rabbi's Melody."

Caricatures and cartoons drawn by Saul Raskin.


1. Anna Appel. 2. Henrietta Schnitzer in "Silent Forces." 3. Max Rosenthal in "Through Eyes of Love." 4. Regina Prager. 5. Boris Rosenthal in "The Rabbi's Melody. 6. Bina Abramowitz. 7. Gershon Rubin in "The Haunted Inn."

Caricatures and cartoons drawn by Saul Raskin.

R. also is a social activist. For a series of years the chairman of the Y.L. Peretz branch (83) of the Farband, and now its ceremonial chairman.

R.'s son Jean (architect by profession) is, as his wife, Francesca, an eygnartiker international folk singer.

Sh.E. from H. Waxberg.

  • Z. Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vol. IV, pp. 220-222.

  • Moshe Kristol -- Saul raskin, barimter yidisher  kinstler, "Forward," N.Y., 15 February 1959.

  • Herman Quint (sp) -- Gehert un fartsaykhnt, dort, 16 February 1963.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3632.

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