Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Louis Reingold
[Eliezer David Azharav]


Born at the end of December (according to Reyzen – 20th of November) 1875 in Ciechanow, Poland. He was descended from a local rabbinic lineage family background. From his mother’s side – a grandson of the head of the Jewish community; from his father’s side – a grandson of Alexander II’s Jewish advisor, who was shot during the Polish revolt (uprising) in 1863. Father – Rabbi in Sherpts [today Sierpc, Poland]. Educated in a Jewish elementary school, where his father allowed him to learn more Tanakh than Gemara, and later in synagogue, where he caused a commotion because the Rabbi’s son studied without wearing his headgear. His father was invited as Rabbi to New York, but he only worked for a small group of countrymen. In 1889 his father brought him and a younger sister to New York. There he learned tailoring and attended an evening school.

R. becomes active in the Jewish Worker’s Movement, secretary and executive member of the tailor’s union, and he organized a branch of women workers in 1893. In 1896 he became a member of the Socialist Worker’s Party, became a district secretary and a delegate, for a short time he was an employee, but soon he withdrew and left for Rochester, where he became a simple worker, returned to New York, where for a month he was a "labor reporter" for the "Forverts." After that a business agent of the childrens' suit union, became a staff member of the Brownsville weekly paper, "Hoyz fraynd," but not deriving any income from


that, he became a prompter in the Yiddish Vaudeville theatre in the "Metropolitan Music Hall." In 1908 he became an employee at the daily paper "Forshteher [Representative]" in St. Louis. After that he became its editor, and a short time after that he left for Chicago, where he became a member of the "Yidishe arbeter velt," where he published sketches and stories (tales). After that he became labor editor of "Di teglikhe velt," a sketch writer and theatre critic for "Der yidisher rekord," and finally labor editor for "Der yidisher kurier," where he also reported on theatre news. In 1926 he also published a larger piece of work in the "Yidishe Arbeter Velt." ("Secrets of a Pencil," in more than twenty installments.)

R. used to take part as speaker and organizer for several charity organizations.

Still in 1895, as president of a drama club, he wrote for them two one-act plays, which were staged. According to Z. Reyzen there was staged in 1903 his play, "Hirshl Leckert." In 1917 there was staged his play, "Di zindike neshome," with Berta Kalich and Morris Moskowitz on March 5 in Gertner’s Pavilion Theatre in Chicago, and "Di naye velt," staged by J.P. Adler in the "Grand Theatre"; in 1918 in Chicago there was staged at the "Empire Theatre" by the Germans his play, "Dos milkhome kind," which was also staged by Blank in Cleveland and by Jacob Kalich and Diane Feinman in Boston. According to Kalmen Marmor R.’s plays, "Yidisher velt khurbn" and "Tekhter fun ukrayne," were staged in 1919.

On the December 5, 1924 there was staged by Jacob Silbert at the Rose Silbert Theatre [later the "Hopkinson Theatre"] in Brownsville R.’s motion picture. "A grus fun der heym" (music by H. Zolik). When Boris Thomashevsky staged in February of 1927 his operetta "Bar Mitzvah," R. sued him and accused him of plagiarizing his play, "A grus fun der heym," which was staged by Thomashevsky one year earlier in Toronto, as well as "Fargesene froyen" with R. as the writer.

Furthermore R. has written the following pieces: "Libes flamen," "Kluge naronim," "Ir eyntsike shvester," "Der yidisher tsigayner," "Zayn vaybs tokhter," "Zaynen froyn shuldik?", "Libe un biznes," "Tserisene hertser," and "Kunst un libe," Der  eybiker kamf," and "Leymene mentshn," in two acts, with a prologue as well as twenty-eight sketches, of which "Sha, sha, der Rebbe gayt" was staged with great success. In his last years R. was employed as a publicity and organization administrator in the office of the American Jewish Congress in Chicago, where he passed away on August 27, 1944.

Sh. E. and M. E.

Sh. E. from Jacob Seigel.
  • Zalmen Reyzen – "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Volume IV, pp. 386-387.
  • Uziel Fleischman – "A grus fun der heym," "Tog," N.Y., Dec. 12, 1924.
  • Mikhl Aronson – "A grus fun der heym", "Yidishe bleter," N.Y., Dec. 19, 1924.
  • Z. Libin – Vos ez makht erfolg in Bronsviller teater, "Forverts," N.Y., Dec. 22, 1924.
  • [-] – Yidisher dramaturg klogt on Boris Tomashevsky, dort March 25, 1927.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 3173.

English translation courtesy of Silvia Hoffmann.

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