Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Nachman Zibel


Born in 1890 in Berdichev, Ukraine, as an only son of well-to-do parents. Learned in a cheder, completing the two-class Jewish governmental school and learned privately with a teacher. As a child of nine, he "made a theatre" with his childhood friends, and at age fourteen he helped organize an "amateur" circle, which staged under the direction of actor Edelman Richter's "Hertsele myukhs", Gordin's "Der yidisher kenig lir (The Jewish King Lear)", and other plays, in which Z. acted in the main roles. Later Z. became a choir boy with the city cantor and participated then in the chorus with the local department of the Peterburg Yiddish Literary Society. After singing for a short time in the chorus with Fishzon in Kishinev, he went to Eretz Yisrael, where he worked as a pioneer for four months in Petach Tikvah, and after his illness of malaria, he arranged  (with a friend) arranged a literary evening in Yiddish, despite the problem of the Hebrew "patriots".

At the end of 1914 Z. arranged in Jaffa a Yiddish production by Skrib's "Zhidovka' ("Di yidn"). Due to the war, Z. was sent away to Egypt. From there he went to Russia and entered into Kiev in Guzik's troupe, where he acted for nine months in Yiddish repertoire in Russian (due to the ban on Yiddish). Then he acted for a short time in Yiddish with Korik in Kherson, later with Sonia Nathanson, with Bezman, with a cooperative trope in Homel under the direction of Moshe Lipman, and with various itinerant troupes. In 1920 Z. went to Romania, where he acted for two years in the Yiddish troupes, immigrated then to A"Y (Eretz Yisrael?) and joined in the local Hebrew theatre, where he directed, for the first time in Hebrew, Goldfaden's "Bar Kochba" (translated by Ben-Zion Yedidah), and "Kuni Lemel".

Sh. E.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "Hintern forhang", Vilna, 1928, p. 145.







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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 766.

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