Wednesday, 15 May 2019


YISROEL ROZENBERG (1895-May 8, 1963)
            A playwright and actor, he was born in Lublin.  He was the husband of Vyera Rozanka (Vera Rosanko).  His father was a rabbi in various Polish cities and later in Toronto and Montreal.  Early in life he performed with amateur troupes in Yiddish theater and later became a professional actor.  In 1917 he moved to Canada and in 1921 to New York.  He wrote many plays, most of which were staged, such as: Froyen hendler (Merchant in women), Tsurik nokh rusland (Back to Russia), Der prayz fun laykhtzin (The price of frivolity), Di froy vos hot gevagt (The woman who dared), Shteynerne hertser (Stone hearts), Ven a mame zindikt (When a mother sins), Yankele litvak (Little Jake the Lithuanian), Yankevs kinder (Jacob’s children), and dozens more.  He also dramatized a number of works, including: Dr. Herzl’s Altnayland (Old-new land), Yoysef Opatoshu’s A tog in regensburg (A day in Regensburg), Y. L. Perets’s Bontshe shvayg (Bontshe the silent), and his own novel Mentshen on oygen (Men without eyes), first published serially in Tog (Day) which also published a series of theater stories under the title “Gospodin misharat” (Mr. Misharat).  He wrote about problems facing the theater in various Yiddish publications, as well as penning feature pieces under the pen name Yisroelke Shamesh.  In published form, only two plays: Kavkazer libe (Love in the Caucasus), an operetta in three acts by A. Frayman (Warsaw: Sh. Goldfarb, 1926); and Berele bosyak (also known as Berele tremp) (Berele the tramp), a comic operetta (Warsaw: T. Yakubson and M. Goldberg, 1926) which was published anonymously.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963); Khayim Leyb Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystiḳe un derhoybene lodzh, 100 yor yidishe un oykh hebreishe literatur un kultur in lodzh un in di arumiḳe shtet un shtetlekh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz, 100 years of Yiddish and also Hebrew literature and culture in Lodz and in the surrounding cities and towns) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), see index.
Yekhezkl Lifshits

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