Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Benjamin Rothman


Born in September 1898 in Ciechanow, Poland. He received a traditional Jewish education. He learned in the famous Ger yeshiva, later switching to secular studies. In his younger years, he continued in the Poalei Zion youth movement, and he participated in their organ "Freie yugent".

Due to political reasons, he left Warsaw and arrived in Vienna in 1919, where he worked in Ts"b in the Borokhov archive. After the split during the world conference of Poalei Zion, he left Vienna and arrived in America. Here he became an active member of the left  Poalei Zion party and participated in the "Proletariat shtime", and later with publicity work in "oyfkum", "Di feder" and other literary editions. He also was the correspondent for the Vienna "Morgenpost", later of the "Neye tseyt", where he wrote often about Yiddish theatre in America.

R. continued in the Yiddish theatre and became a press agent for various Yiddish theatres. In 1929 he took on a tour of Europe a single Yiddish marionette theatre "Modicot". In 1935-36 he issued a monthly theatre and radio journal under the name "Teater un radio velt (Theatre and Radio World)", where he printed reviews and theatre articles.

In 1953 he took over the Broadway "President Theatre", where there was staged, under his management, "A House on Grand Street" by Kadya Molodovska, and in 1954 -- in English, the Israel play "Berbus hngb" by Igal Mosenzon.

 In 1958 he took over the "Anderson Theatre" for troupes with Leo Fuchs and Maurice Schwartz.

Asides from the theatre, B. was associated with various "Treyd journals", such as "Der idisher grosery-man", "Delikatesn un steyshonery", et al, and by himself issued a journal for the "Yiddish londry treyd", and for "Klining un deying". For the last ten years, he issued a yearly "Bezunt almanakh", the only one in the field of Yiddish, who until today tsugangen in over 50,000 examples.

Sh. E.

  • [--] -- A barikht fun konferents fun folks farband kunst teater, "Frayhayt", N. Y., 18 December 1924.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2145.

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