Photography by Ian L. Sitren

It Started in Romania

Continuing my research into my new project about the Yiddish Theater; I have come into possession of this stamp honoring Abraham Goldfaden. From Wikipedia

Abraham Goldfaden (born Avrum Goldnfoden; 24 July 1840 – 9 January 1908) was a Russian-born Jewish poet, playwright, stage director and actor in the languages Yiddish and Hebrew, author of some 40 plays. Goldfaden is considered the father of modern Jewish theatre.

In 1876 he founded in Romania what is generally credited as the world’s first professional Yiddish-language theater troupe. He was also responsible for the first Hebrew-language play performed in the United States. The Avram Goldfaden Festival of Iaşi, Romania, is named and held in his honour.

Jacob Sternberg called him “the Prince Charming who woke up the lethargic Romanian Jewish culture.” Israil Bercovici wrote of his works: “we find points in common with what we now call ‘total theater’. In many of his plays he alternates prose and verse, pantomime and dance, moments of acrobatics and some of jonglerie, and even of spiritualism…”

Actually born in what is now the Ukraine and coming to the Yiddish Theater in New York City, Goldfaden is only a few degrees of separation from my own distant family in the Yiddish Theater in New York City in the early 1900’s.

Stamp Yiiddish Theatre

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