Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sol Weinstein


As Goldfaden had delivered/passed told to Sh. L. Citron, W. had sung for several years with Minsk city cantor Israelke Shavelzon. Later W. arrived in Odessa and there became a folksinger, and when Rosenberg and Spivakovski in 1879 put together the first Yiddish group in Odessa, they took in W., who also remained there when Goldfaden united with this troupe. W. also may have first acted in the title role of "Di kishufmakherin".

Jacob P Adler characterized him as such: "Was a Jew with a yellow beard, with a natural face, so derived and rich in grimaces, that he had, seemingly, been able to act without color and without makeup".

Later W. had shaved his beard and performed as "the grandmother" in Goldfaden's offering of "The Grandmother with Grandchildren" in Odessa. [It is also possible that W. there he was the first to act as the "grandmother" in "Grandmother with Grandchildren", not "The Grandmother" in "Di kishufmakherin"].

According to Goldfaden, "W. always masterly acted in the difficult female roles in the various poses [characters], from a young lover to an aged person in their eighties".

After traveling around Russia with various troupes, he wandered around with the Berger troupe, and then with Spivakovski and Weinstock to Warsaw, from where he went to Lemberg.


Here he froze, was taken into a Christian hospital where he passed away around 1896, became geplmst and, had without the knowledge of the Yiddish actors, been prepared to be taken to a Christian cemetery, but with a difficult effort, these Yiddish actors succeeded in having him brought to an Israeli grave in given linen cloths.

M. E. from Jacob Katzman and Moshe Schorr.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of the Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 209, 238, 240.

  • Sh. L. Citron -- "Drey literarishe dorot" I, pp. 44-5.

  • Jacob P. Adler -- 40 yohr oyf der bihne, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 18, 29 October 1916.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 693.

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