With this troupe he played
in all the biggest cities of Bessarabia. While playing
with them in Kishinev the local director of theatres,
Zhitomirski, secretly showed up and allowed him to play
in "In nadan" (In the Dowry) after (the Yiddish theatre)
having being forbidden to do so, for the previous twenty
years. Finally he was allowed to perform in the Yiddish
theatre in Rostov. What's more, he was showered with
many gifts. He signed up to perform, but after only
playing there for four weeks to packed audiences, the
play was shut down. This was due to someone from the
local Russian theatre accusing the Yiddish theatre of
stealing their audiences. They had to cease their
productions, and after a short while the troupe was
forced to leave Rostov. They moved on to Nikolayev.
There W. received a telegram from his father that W. had
to present himself for military service. But instead he
became provided with a ship's card to America, sent from
his sister, who had already been living there.
In 1910 W. came to New York
and joined Agid's Music Hall, then in a regular theatre
across the province. In 1911 he joined the Actors' Union
Local 5, where he then became an executive member. In
1913 he played for a season in legitimate Yiddish
theatre with Isidore Lillian, in 1914 Yiddish vaudeville
in Detroit, and the summer in Cleveland. From 1916 until
1918 W. had, together with Esther and Saul Wallerstein,
took over the direction of the local Royal Theatre, and
in the beginning of 1918 the "Globe" Theatre , but due
to his marriage to Jennie Gross, W. went on the stage,
settling in Detroit, as in the span of about forty-five
years he and his wife were active in the national and
local social institutions and were the founders of the
Sholem Aleichem Institute. W. for many years was the
local chairman of he "Federation of Polish Jews in
America," helping to raise tens of thousands for the
needy Jews in Poland. For many years W ordered yearly
bazaars for the Sholem Aleichem Institute, which had
helped strongly the existence of the institute.
In the summer of 1936 W.
brought to Detroit the Israeli Maccabi soccer players.
From 1932 until 1955 W.,
together with his wife, with the assistance of their
children, managed in Detroit with a Yiddish radio
program, which consisted of an appropriate cultural
W. also founded the daily
newspaper, "Der veg" in Detroit.
Although he went away from the stage
and radio, W. remained strongly given over to the
Yiddish arts, and with his heart and soul, everything,
and he slowed down with Yiddish theatre. From the first
moment when the committee was formed to publish the
"Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" (1931), day after day
he served in the committee with this and that, organized
and directed through its creation the material means
through which donors and subscribers [could participate]
in Detroit. His home was always open to the Yiddish
artist, and was considered to be the "ambassador" in
For his social activity W.
received remuneration for the Jewish Welfare Federation,
for the Federation of Polish Jews in America, for the
Sholem Aleichem Institute, for which he gave away a lot
of money, and quite especially for the American Finance
Department, for buying a million dollars of bonds in
W. was instrumental in the
publication of the memoirs of his young friend Menasha
Skulnik, who devoted much space in it to him.
"Lexicon of the Yiddish
Theatre," Vol. 1, New York, 1931, pp. 680-81.
Menasha Skulnik -- Menasha
skulnik dertseylt, "Forward," N.Y., 31 March, 23 June