Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Jacob Shargel


Born on 4 February 1884 in Rawa Ruska, Galicia. Father -- a pious tailor. Until age five he learned in a cheder. As a child of four-and-a-half, he acted during Purim in the home as "Oyzsa"(sp) in an amateur production of "Ahasuerus."

Early on he immigrated with his parents to America. He had a cousin who had participated as a chorus singer in the "Windsor" Theatre, and taking her home to eat he had come to love Yiddish theatre, and thus as he had owned a very beautiful voice, he began to sing songs into the gramophone.

Until age fourteen he learned in a public and then in a high school, but as he knew well the songs sung on the East Side, the actor Louie Hyman had him included in the "Manhattan Lyceum" Theatre to act in Rudolf Mark's play "Der yesoyme in gefar," then S. was engaged to Philadelphia in a Yiddish vaudeville house there. Returning to New York, he entered into vaudeville, then he acted with Max Gabel in the "Third Street Theatre," in the beginning in three-act sketches, later in a span of ten years in full plays with Gabel. Meanwhile he also performed as a comic in several plays under the direction of Sidney Goldin.

From Gabel S. went over to English burlesque theatre, where he acted for five years, then he returned to Gabel in the "Mount Morris" Theatre, where, together with Louis Friedsell, he wrote the "lyrics" to the play "Der golem."

S. later acted with Thomashefsky, Kessler and Adler in New York and for several years in the province.


S. wrote very many songs and also music that was sung and performed on the Yiddish stage.

On 12 July 1955 S. passed away in New York and was brought to his eternal rest in the burial plot of the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance (Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, Queens, New York - ed.)

M. E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4952.

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