Lives in the Yiddish Theatre



Yitzhak Zandberg


Born in 1871 in Lodz, Poland. Father -- owner of a laundromat. From his early youth he manifested a desire for singing, singing in various quartets and with itinerant singers. Then he performed in the former Yiddish troupes of Kaminski, Fishzon, Sabsey, Kompaneyets, Bernstein. Possessing a beautiful voice, Z. for the first time performed in a lover role in: "Absalom" in "Bar Kochba", "Gedalyahu" in "Khurbin yerushalayim (The Destruction of Jerusalem)", and the like), then he switched over to character and comical roles ("Kuni lemel", "Natan hakhasun" in Goldfaden's "Shulamis", "Pinke" in Lateiner's "Khinke un Pinke", et al.) .

Although most of the time he came to act in shund repertoire, Z. had however, thanks to his natural tone and artistic intuition, created lively types of human beings. Z. especially was popular in the roles "Peretz" in Goldfaden's "La skhmud" and "Khnukh" in Lateiner's "Ashe Re", which became associated with other actors from his generation.

In 1905 Z. became director of Lodz's Grand Theatre, and in the span of the nine years that he had directed with this theatre, had created there the strongest point of support for the Yiddish stage in Eastern Europe. He himself withdrew from the stage and contented himself with performing once a year to his benefit, that most were old roles. Z. used to engage for his troupe the preeminent forces of the Yiddish stage in Europe, with special regisseurs, such as Meerson, Titelman, Julius Adler, and he was the first to invite prominent Yiddish actorial powers from

America (Morris Moshkovich, Boris Thomashefsky, David Kessler, Jacob Silbert, Elias Rothstein, Malvina Lobel), and was the first to be allowed to direct (in the presence of the authors) several plays of Sholem Asch, Peretz Hirshbein and Yitzhak Katzenelson.

In 1914, with the outbreak of the World War, the productions of the Grand Theatre was halted, and the theatre was transformed into a hospital for the wounded soldiers. Z. went to Warsaw, and there he became ill and settled into a neighboring health resort in Otwock, where he passed away on 24 June 1915, severed from his family.

M. E. from Amelia Adler.

  • Boris Thomashefsky -- Tomashevsky beshraybt a idishen teater in rusland, "Forward", 12 October 1913.

  • Boris Thomashefsky -- Tomashevsky beshraybt zayn ershte forshtelung in Lodz, "Forward", 19 October 1913.

  • Boris Thomashefsky -- Tomashevsky gezegent zikh mit lodz un fort keyn varshoy, "Forward", 26 October 1913.

  • Yitzhak Zandberg -- Kunst un dankbarkeyt, "Di varhayt", N. Y., 16 December 1913.

  • Iks -- Yitzhak zandberg z"l, "Lodzer. folksblat", 28 July 1915.

  • [--] -- Arum der shrfh in groysen teater, "Lodzer tageblat", 22 Otober 1920.

  • Isak Veynshteyn -- Der grester idisher theater in europa abgebrent, "Forward", 19 November 1920.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Zikhrunus fun a yidishn teater-kritiker, "Archive", 1930, p. 413.

  • Amelia Adler -- Dos leben fun a idisher aktrise, "Di idishe velt", Cleveland, 31 October 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 748.

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