Born in 1868 in Odessa,
1893 -- Went away to Paris
and there finished the medical facultat, in 1897 debuted
in Russian with the story "A Tailor" in "Russkoye
Bogatstvo". 1902 -- published his, in "Sunrise", after
his years as a student he wrote down his story "Tsefalung".
In the span of his
thirty-years of literary activity, Y. had written about
twenty five volumes of novellas, novels, and dramas, of
which a large part was published in the well-known
Russian publishing house "Banner".
From his dramas that he had
begun to write in 1905, and which were performed on the
Russian and European stages, were his plays were however
translated under his dictation.
Y.'s play "Der hunger (The
Hunger)" was in 1906 published in M. Olgin's translation
in Warsaw's publishing house "Di velt", and often was
performed by Yiddish non-professional theatres. On 3
October 1918 the play was staged by Boris Thomashefsky
(in his "adaptation") in New York's National Theatre.
Y.'s play, "Der kenig, oder,
David grosman der mihlbezitser" in 1907 was published in
Warsaw in the translation of Renkop. The play was very
often performed by various Yiddish troupes, and on 19
October 1908 it was staged by Boris Thomashefsky (in his
"adaptation") in New York's People Theatre.
The play also
was performed in Hebrew in Eretz Yisrael.
In 1909 Y.'s play
"In shtot", in the translation of Wolf Zilberberg,
was staged by the "Hirshbein Troupe". The play
later was in another translation staged by
various other troupes.
In June 1915 the
play, in Max Gabel's adaptation, was staged in
Gabel's theatre in New York under the name "Dos gasen-meydel
(The Girl of the Streets), oder, der yid mit di tshvekes".
In 1910 in Odessa,
there was published Y.'s play "Di heyratskomedye"
[in an anonymous Yiddish translation], which
soon thereof was performed. On 6 November 1925,
the play in A. Kartazhinski's translation under
the name of "Der luft mentsh", was staged in New
York's Yiddish Art Theatre (director -- L.
Sniegoff). In 1925 the play in the translation
of L. Kadison under the name "Der luft-mentsh'' was staged by the "Vilna Troupe" in Chicago. On
31 January 1929 the same play under the name "Di komedye fun heyrat", in the
translation of Wolf
Goldfaden, was staged through the translation in
New York's Folks Theatre.
In February 1913 in
Gabel's comedy theatre in New York, there was
staged by Max Gabel (in his adaptation) N.
Rakov's translation of Y.'s "Mentshn un khyus, a
life drama in four acts".
In 1917 the "Vilna
Troupe" staged Y.'s play "Miserere", which was
published in print in Odessa.
On 25 February 1925
in New York's Yiddish Art Theatre, under the
direction of Leonid Sniegoff, there was staged
by the "Freie yidishe folks-bine" the play under
the name "Miserere" (despair).
In 1918 in the "teater
far kinstlerishe eskizn bey der kunst-gezelshaft
in vilne", there was staged Shabtai Bliakher's
translation of Y.'s one-acter "Zeyn eydem".
After the October
Revolution, Y. left the Soviet Union, and he
went over to Paris, and arrived in America in
1921, where on 17 February there was staged in
the Yiddish Art Theatre (director -- Maurice
Schwartz) his comedy "Di geshichte fun h' sonkin"
under the name "An orimans libe" [translation by
Avraham Teitelbaum]. Later the play under the
name "200,000, a comedy in four acts",
translated by Ida Kaminska and Zygmunt Turkow,
was performed by them in Russia, and then under
the name "Di geshikhte fun h' sonkin", oder,
"Dem orimans mazel", staged (director -- Z.
Turkow) by Vik"t in Warsaw.
The comedy also was
performed in Hebrew in Eretz Yisrael under the
name "Mesh badun sunkin".
In "Tsukunft" (N.
Y., September 1921), Y. published his one-acter
In 1925 in Gabel's
theatre there was staged in Abraham Blum's
translation of Y.'s play "Teyvls-gelt".
On 23 January 1926
in the Yiddish Art Theatre, there was staged
(director -- Maurice Schwartz) Y.'s "Mendel
spivak", a drama in three acts" (decorations --
On 22 November 1928
in Gabel's People's Theatre there was staged by
Gabel Y.'s play "Der gelt-got".
According to Z.
Reyzen in New York there was staged Y.'s play
"In a reykh hoyz".
Not staged were Y.'s
play "Ale in maskes khuts eyner", translated by
Mendl Elkin, which was prepared for the Irving
Place Theatre (with Jacob Ben-Ami).
In the beginning of
1927, Y. traveled to Paris, where on 12 February
1927 he passed away and was brought to his
eternal rest in the Bonye Cemetery. On his grave
was erected a gravestone, according to the
composition of the sculptor Aronson.
After Y.'s death, in
Paris there was founded a committee that
published in the Yiddish translation Ruchel
Feigenberg his three volumes of stories.
characterized Y.'s productions as such: "A
splendid connoisseur of the Yiddish milieu, in
which he used to constantly write; he had seen
it through and through. Neither trifle nor
nuance of the ridiculous of the zatn
kleynbirgrtrum, which wishes to climb ever
upward and upwards, not to remain unnoticed by
his eye. He saw and felt, laughed and also
seemed to enjoy the laughter....his own people."
characterized him entirely differently. By
himself he grew out, outside the sphere of the
traditional Yiddish life. Y. had a scant
understanding of that life, for his motions and
regungen, and the deep ine?t, the
artistic vert for his work, which was
often schematic and dry, tendencies, with a
desire for external effects".
characterized his productions: By himself, a
realist through and through; there emerged in
him a strangeness in his heroes -- the Odesser
Yiddish tailor and shoemaker, and the glat
poor soul, speaking with him in Russian, he had
tried to violate the Russian language because of
them. He had tried to give its spirit in Russian
and the tone in Yiddish, but from that also
nothing good came of it -- not for the Russian
language, nor for Yushkevich's
heroes/....Russian critics had complained to him
because he mutilated so very much the Russian
language, and Yiddish critics had complained to
him because he mutilated in the same way Yiddish
Sh. E. by N. Frank.
Z. Reyzen --
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, pp.
D. B. [Sh.
Yanovski] -- In theater, "Fraye
shtime", N. Y., 31 October 1908.
Kirschenbaum -- In di new-yorker teaters, "Keneder
odler", Montreal, 27 February 1913.
-- "Geklibene shriften", Vilna, 2nd volume,
D. B. -- In
theater, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 12
Ab. Cahan --
Yushkevitshes "hunger" in thomashefsky's
theater, "Forward", N. Y., 5 October 1918.
J. Entin --
Yushkevitshes "hunger" in nashonal teater, "Di
varhayt", N. Y., 7 October 1918.
B. Gorin --
Neye shtiker oyf der idisher bine, "Morning
Journal", N. Y., 9 October 1918.
-- Iden in der rusisher literatur,
"Forward", N. Y., 28 November 1920.
Ab. Cahan --
Semyon yushkevitsh'es talent, "Forward", N.
Y., 11 February 1921.
Ab. Cahan --
Yushkevitsh in shvarts's theater, "Forward",
N. Y., 19 February 1921.
B. Gorin --
An orimans khlum, "Morning Journal", N. Y.,
21 February 1921.
-- A gute piese, gut geshpielt in shvarts's
kunst teater, "Forward", N. Y., 11 November
L. Kesner --
"Der luft mensh", "Yidtgbli"t", N. Y., 13
-- "Der luft mensh", "Tog", N. Y., 13
Mukdoni -- Der luft mensh, "Morning
Journal", N. Y., 13 November 1925.
Big Ben [B.
Finkel] -- Shvarts un baratov in der bester
komedye fun sizon, "Di naye varhayt", N. Y.
14 November 1925.
-- A tenh tsu kesnern, "Yidtgl"t", N. Y., 20
Ab. Cahan --
Yushkevitsh'es "Mendel spivak" in shvarts's
kunst theter, "Forward", N. Y., 28 December
A. Glants --
Di neye piese ins idishen kunst teater, "Der
tog", N. Y., 30 December 1926.
Mukdoni -- Mendel spivak, "Morning
Journal", N. Y., 31 December 1926.
Weichert -- "Teater un drame", Warsaw, II,
Kirschenbaum -- In der velt fun teater, "Der
amerikaner", N. Y., 7 January 1927.
-- "Mendel spivak" in shvarts's kunst teater,
"Der veker", N. Y., 15 January 1927.
Biografie fun semyon yushkevitsh, "Parizer
haynt", 14 January 1927.
W. Grossman --
Semyon yushkevictsh. Same.
-- Semyon yushkevitsh der barimter
idish-rusisher shriftshteler, "Forward", N.
Y., 15 February 1927.
Feigenberg -- Shmeon yushkevitsh, "Literarishe
bleter", Warsaw, 19, 1927.
Kritikus [Kirschenbaum] -- Semyon
yushkevitsh toyt, "Der amerikaner", N. Y.,
25 February 1927.
Berlovitsh [Leyzerovitsh] -- Der toyt fun
barimten shriftshteler yushkevitsh in pariz,
"Forward", N. Y., 26 February 1927.
Yushkevich -- Farvos hob ikh ongehoyben
shreyben fun yudishen leben?, "Lodztgb"lt",
7 April 1927.
-- Vos far a sort iden hot geshildert
yushkevitsh?, "Forward", N. Y., 25 December
Lustig -- Gastrolen "vikt". "Dem orimans
mazel", komedye in 3 akten fun sh.
kushkevitsh, "Morgen", Lemberg, 7 January