Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Israel Weinblatt


Born in 1853 in Sadagora, Galicia. His grandfather R' Shabtai'le was cantor, his father a Hebrew teacher. According to Mrs. Weinblatt, her husband's brother was a military doctor, another brother was a civil doctor.

W. learned in a yeshiva, was a choir boy and yearlong toured with a cantor, at first as an "alto," then as a tenor. Later he learned skhith, but in him the better appeal was that of a free life of a cellar singer, and he had left to go that way: he sung with Velvel Zbarzher and became a good brother to Gradner, Tsukerman and Mogulesko, and he sang with them. He thus however was not able to maintain his wife, and he took to thinking about the end. A soul farzorger had spoken to him about converting to Christianity, and due to this purpose, he went away to Bucharest. However, here he entered into Goldfaden's troupe, where he served for 170 francs a month. Mogulesko's troupe took him out of Goldfaden's to Iasi, and paid him 250 francs a month.

From Romania, W. migrated to Russia, but soon thereafter Yiddish theatre was banned there, so he left and went back to migrating across Romania. Several years he matern zikh there with other actors, until in 1887 when he went with Moshe Finkel's troupe to Galicia and performed then again in Gradner's troupe in Romania. From then, together with Horowitz, W. went to Vienna, where he acted in the large German Ring Theatre.


From there he wandered back to Galicia and then to Odessa, where he acted in Marinsky's Theatre and again across Romania to Constantinople and back to Romania, under the direction of Mogulesko and Finkel.

On 28 September 1887, Mogulesko brought him together with the entire Romanian troupe to New York, where they began to perform in the Terrace Garden Theatre, then in the Romanian Opera House. Later W. went with the Yiddish theatre across America and Canada and also acted often in New York.

On 1 January 1891 in the Romanian Opera House, there was staged his own comedy, "Nachman Zlatopoler," or "Father and Son," music by M. Abramowitz.

W. was very popular with the public, his published (dersheynen) on the stage used to evoke enthusiasm and laughter. However, with time he became placed in the shadows, and due to the time he withdrew from the stage with the design to educate his children as farmers. He bought a farm near Roisenheim, New Jersey, and settled there, but when he spent several years there, he farbenkt to the stage, returning to New York and performed in the People's Theatre, but without success. He turned back to his farm, but in 1914 he farbenkt again to the boards. W. wrote now a play "The Scandal," which soon became thereof staged on Grand Street. However, the play fell through and W. now returned to his farm where he on 27 May 1918 passed away and there was brought to his eternal rest.

W.'s best roles were: "Shmerke der mshrs" in Shomer's "Coquettish Ladies", "Kalman Krotsh" in Linetsky's "Dos polishe yingel," and "Hotzmakh" in Goldfaden's "Bobe Yachne."

W. is survived by a daughter, the actress Sabina Rosenthal, and a son, Charlie, a theatre lawyer and manager.

M. E. form Weinblatt's wife and Max Rosenthal.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 191, 201, 202, 237, 242; Vol. II, p. 35.

  • B. Gorin -- Israel veynblat, "Morning Journal", New York, 30 May 1918.

  • Lead Pencil -- Der ersht farshtorbener aktyor isreael veynblat, "Forward", New York, 3 June 1918.

  • Jacob P. Adler -- A idisher aktyor iz via, Lhbdil, a yid -- er halt in eyn arumvandern, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 25 January 1919.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "Bleter fun mayn leben", Vol. II, pp. 386-88.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 679.

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