Cherkasy, Kiev, Ukraine:

Kiev, Ukraine

  KehilaLink Search
To visualize the dropdown menu you have to activate Javascript. Goto the SITE MAP

Lives in the Yiddish Theater

Moyshe Litvakov

L. was born circa 1875 in Cherkassy, Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine. His father was a melamed (religious teacher). Until the age of seventeen he learned Talmud, then as an extern he completed a gymnasium. From 1902 until 1905 he studied in Paris.

He began his political societal activities as a Zionist of the Ekhud-hems system, and L. was then one of the first activists of the proletariat Zionists (Poalei Zion). In 1903 he belonged to the group of Zionist-socialists that had organized the conference of "Vozrozhdenye", later he became one of the major leaders of the party S"S (Zionist-Socialist)), from where there crystallized the "Vazrozhdenye". During the World War he took an active part in the hilfs-arbet, participating in the hilfs-baratung in Peterburg (1916).

After the March Revolution -- one of the founders and leaders of the party "Fareynikte". In May 1919 he directed the division in his party and as a leader of his ofgeshfaltenem wing, they cast it together with the communist Bund (Kombund) into one organization (Komparbund), and since then has continued one of the important Jewish communist leaders in the Soviet Union and editor of "Emes".

L. has always participated as a contributor and often as an editor in the various periodical publications that were issued through the party, to which he has belonged.


As to his literary debut in Hebrew, L. had later developed a broad, critical literary activity in various Yiddish periodical publications. Some of his works were also published in separate books.

L. is closely associated with Yiddish theatre in the Soviet Union. In a series of his critical assessments about the productions of the Yiddish State Theatre in Moscow, L. has issued in a book: "Five Years of the Yiddish Kamer Theatre (1924-1929)" (publisher "Shul un bukh", Moscow 1924), [144 pp., 16].

On 9 April 1922 L.'s translation of Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta" was staged.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of the Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, pp. 135-141.
  • Dunyev -- A bukh vegn idishn kamer-teater, "Frayhayt", N. Y., 26 December 1924.
  • N. Varshansky -- Di fihrer fun der "Yevskektsye", "Haynt", Warsaw, 6 May 1927.
  • Jacob Mestel -- Fir yidishe teater-bikher, "Archive", Vilna, 1938?, pp. 489-91.

Courtesy of the Museum of Family History

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1050

Copyright Museum of Family History. All rights reserved.


Sonia [Yofe] Kopelman

Born in 1903 in Cherkassy, Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine.

Father -- a laborer. In 1910 she went over to Yekaterinoslav with her family, where she received her education. In 1916 she worked in a cardboard/box factory, and at the same time attended evening school. In 1918 she became a member in a local Yiddish drama circle, where she soon became very active. In 1920 she entered into a professional Yiddish theatre collective with whom she traveled to Baku, where she acted for two years and then went with the collective to Moscow, where she acted until 1923.

Until 1929 K. was active in a Jewish movable theatre collective in the name of Esther Rukhl Kaminska, and at the end of the year she was taken into the first Jewish moveable State Theatre of the Ukraine, where she acted until 1932. In 1933 she acted in organizing a Jewish worker's theatre in Baku, where she acted for seven years. here she became the leading actress in the ensemble, and embodied the same responsible roles, among others "Laurencia" in Lope de Vega's "Shepsn-kval", "Yehudis" in "Uriel Acosta", "Amalye" (Schiller's "Robbers"), "Abigail" ("Shulamis" by Goldfaden), "Rukhele" (in Sholem Aleichem's "Stempenyu"), "Anna Bogdanovitsh" (Daniel's "Yulius"), "Hadasah" (Markish's "Kol Nidre"), "Di meshugene" (Reznik's "Recruits"), "Rivkah" ("Di shvester" by Peretz), "Reyzl" ("Blondzhende shtern" by Sholem Aleichem), and "Alena" (Kropivnitski's "Di shpin"). However, no less she herself excelled in the roles of "Eti Meni" (Sholem Aleichem's "Dos groyse gevins"), "Sirandaline" (Goldon's "Di virtin fun hotel"), "Mirele Efros", "Krutshinina" (Ostrovski's "On shuld shuldike"), "Fanitshke" ("Mentshn" by Sholem Aleichem), "Sarah" (Sholem Aleichem's "Der blutiker shpas") and "Sonye" in "Hirsh Leckert".

In 1940 K. went over to the Odessa Jewish State Theatre, where she acted in the main roles until the Soviet-Nazi War. Her only son went away to the front, and she was evacuated with a group of actors to Tashkent, where she performed as a recitator in the local philharmonic. She also performed in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

At the end of 1942 she was sent to Samarkand, where she worked in the Kharkov Jewish State Theatre. In 1944 she was placed in Kokand, where she acted in the Kiev Jewish State Theatre.

For her social work, K. received five testimonial awards.

Sh. E. from Yehoshua Lyubomirski.

Courtesy of the Museum of Family History

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6140

Copyright Museum of Family History. All rights reserved.





Top of Page

  • Last Modified: 02-19-2016

  • Share: Share this page by email
Contact Esther Rechtshafner | Site Map | Ukraine SIG Home | KehilaLinks Home | JewishGen Home
This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation. If you feel there is a benefit to you in accessing this site, your [JewishGen-erosity] is appreciated.
webmaster: richard L. baum
Copyright © Esther Rechtshafner 2012 - All Rights Reserved.