Dolhinov | Horodok | Krasne | Krivichi | Kurenets | Radoshkovichi | Rakov | Vashki | Vileyka | Vishnevo | Volozhin
Return to Vilna Home Page
Return to Vilna Stories Menu
Vilna Stories
Luba Kadison and The Vilna Troupe (a.k.a. Vilner Troupe)

by Julia Pascal
Friday May 19, 2006
The Guardian

Luba Kadison, who has died aged 99, was the last of a generation of
great Yiddish actors, and a star of the theatre of that language both
in central Europe and in New York. Born in Vilnius, the capital of
Lithuania (at that time part of the Russian empire), she was the
daughter of Leib Kadison, one of the founders of the Vilna Troupe.
When the city was suffering the German siege of 1916, the troupe (also
known as FADO, Fareyn Fun Yiddishe Dramatishe Artistn) took root in
the Kadison household.

Article continues


Luba remembered the questions raised at the company's birth. Which
form of Yiddish should be spoken? Which plays should be staged? What
could be learnt from Konstantin Stanislavsky and Yevgeny Vakhtangov?
Should the new Yiddish theatre be for stars or an ensemble? With the
deserted Vilna State Theatre as their base, the company toured Kovno,
Bialystock and Grodno. They soon moved to Warsaw where Luba, as a
young girl, was cast in boys' roles.
Luba Kadison's name has always been linked with the great Yiddish
actor Joseph Buloff, who, impecunious and discharged from the army,
was taken in by Leib Kadison. Luba, aged 13, opened the front door one
night to a man in a torn jacket, tattered trousers and a shapeless hat
and screamed with horror. Joe was to be her husband for 60 years.

In 1922 the troupe went to Vienna. After one performance the great
German director Max Reinhart embraced them with the words, "Das ist
nicht theater, das ist ein Gotes dienst." (This is not theatre, it is
a religious rite.) By now Luba was starring in the troupe's celebrated
production of the expressionist modern classic The Dybbuk.

From Vienna they journeyed to Baden, where a pre-Nazi party, Die Hagen
Kreutzer, filled the theatre, heckling and singing the Horst Wessel
song, which became the Nazi anthem. After the performance, the police
escorted the troupe to the train station, still in costume.

They moved on to Bucharest, and were happy in Romania. If the Vilna
Troupe was famous for its style and integrity, Romania was famous as
the source of Yiddish theatre. In Jassy, the troupe were welcomed
ecstatically by a Jewish population hungry for this new, serious
Yiddish drama. The troupe was revolutionary in its approach. Its
members all spoke a unified Lithuanian Yiddish, which gave an
aesthetic and a consistency previously lacking in the mish-mash of
Yiddish theatre accents.

For Luba, Bucharest, spoken of until the second world war as "the
Paris of the Balkans", was particularly romantic. Here she and Buloff
were married in 1925. On the eve of their wedding, they played a
betrothed couple in Perez Hirshbein's Grine Felder (Green Fields).

In Bucharest, more experimental works were added to the repertoire.
These included Der Zinger Fun Zein Troyer (The Singer of his Sorrow)
by Ossip Dimov and The Dybbuk - productions much-loved by Romania's
King Carol, whose mistress, Madame Lupescu, was Jewish.

In 1927 Luba and Joe went to New York and established themselves
within two seasons. They rented a shabby theatre on 149th Street.
Money problems forced them to run a non-union company, provoking
problems with the Stagehands' Union. They soon realised they could
never run the Vilna Troupe in the US and decided to return to Romania,
opening a new season with Fritz Lang's Mord and The Dybbuk.

By 1930 they were back in New York with Joe working in small film
roles and Luba having joined Maurice Schwartz's company. Schwartz was
one of the Yiddish theatre's greatest crowdpullers and Luba was the
lead with him in IJ Singer's The Brothers Ashkenaz. By 1938 they were
touring Paris and London. She played Nina in Sholem Asch's Three
Lilies in 1940, again with Schwartz.

In 1949, Luba and Joe obtained the Yiddish rights for Arthur Miller's
Death of a Salesman and toured it to Buenos Aires, where there was a
vibrant Yiddish-speaking community. The Peronist government banned
money exchanges, and the Buloffs returned to New York having made a
loss. However, the New York Yiddish version was an artistic and
financial success. George Gross, in the magazine Commentary, wrote
that "the Yiddish play is really the original and the Broadway
production was merely Miller's translation into English!"

After the war, the New York Yiddish theatre declined. Yiddish actors
were either absorbed into American theatre or retired. Luba, who felt
limited by her accent, worked very little, whereas Joe occasionally
played on Broadway and in Hollywood. When he died in 1985, Luba
donated the Joseph Buloff archive to the Harvard College library. She
also worked on getting his book, From the Old Marketplace, published,
and regretted that Joe did not see this happen during his lifetime.
Her memoirs, On Stage, Off Stage, written in collaboration with
Buloff, won the 1994 National Book Award.

Her apartment on West 67th Street was full of books and photos on the
Yiddish theatre and her sensitive landscape paintings. At the end of
her life she was surrounded by young women who came to learn about her
experiences as a major star of the Yiddish stage. Although she could
only see from the outer corners of each eye, in her mid-90s she
maintained a bright intelligence and curiosity. She is survived by her
daughter Barbara.

The Vilna Troupe (a.k.a.
Vilner Troupe) actors: (r-l) Chaim Schneur (Hamerow), Eliosha Stein,
Aleksander Azro, Mordecai Mazo, Noach Nachbush and Leib Kadison ( the
father of Luba). 1918.

Luba Kadison with husband, Joseph Buloff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
The Vilna Troupe (a.k.a. Vilner Troupe) were one of the most famous
theatrical companies in the history of Yiddish theater. Distinctly
modernist, and strongly influenced by Russian literature and by the
ideas of Konstantin Stanislavski, their travels in Western Europe and
later to Romania played a significant role in the dissemination of a
disciplined approach to acting that continues to be influential down
to the present day.

Founded in Vilnius (Vilna) in 1915[1] in the midst of World War I, the
troupe soon moved to Warsaw. Their repertoire epitomized the second
golden age of Yiddish theater, with works by S. Ansky, Sholom
Aleichem, and Sholem Asch, but also by Molière, Maxim Gorky, Henrik
Ibsen, plus some Jewish-themed plays by non-Jews, notably Karl
Gutzkow's Uriel Acosta.[2]

They were the first to stage Ansky's The Dybbuk. The Dybbuk was
originally written in Russian, but Stanislavski suggested to Ansky
that for the sake of authenticity he should translate it into Yiddish.
At the time of Ansky's death, November 8, 1920, the play was complete
but had never been professionally produced. As a tribute to Ansky, the
Vilna troupe utilised the 30-day period of mourning after his death to
prepare the play, which opened December 9, 1920, at the Elyseum
Theatre in Warsaw. It's unanticipated success established the play as
a classic of modern Yiddish theater.

They toured extensively. In late summer 1926 they were at New York
City's Liptzin Theater performing Rasputin and the Czarina.[3] Prior
to that time, they had already played in London and Paris.[4]

Among the members of the troupe were Joseph Green, later one of the
few Yiddish-language filmmakers.[5] Director Jakob Rotbaum began his
professional career staging Eugene O'Neill with the troupe in 1930.[6]
In 1923, the Vilna troupe came to Bucharest at the invitation of
Isidor Goldenberg of the Jigniţa Theater. At the time, the troupe
included actresses Hanna Braz, Luba Kadison, Helene Gottlieb, Judith
Lares, Hanna Mogel, and Miriam Orleska and actors Alexander Stein,
Joseph Buloff, Aizic Samberg, Joseph Kamen, Jacob Weislitz, Leib
Kadison, Samuel Schäftel, Benjamin Ehrenkrantz, and Haim Brakasch. The
director of the company was Mordechai Mazo.

According to Israil Bercovici, their disciplined approach to theater
impacted not only Romanian Yiddish theater but Romanian theater
generally. Their audience went beyond the usual attendees of Yiddish
theater: they drew the attention of the Romanian-language press, the
Romanian theater world, and of "men of culture" generally. For
example, an article August 23, 1924 in the daily newspaper Adevărul
wrote that "Such a demonstration of artistry, even on a small stage
such as Jigniţa and even in a language like Yiddish ought to be seen
by all who are interested in superior realization of drama."

This artistic praise did not pay the bills, and touring elsewhere in
Romania only made the financial picture worse. Their fortunes were
salvaged by a 1925 production of Osip Dymov's Der Zingher fun Zain
Troirer (The Singer of His Own Tears), created in collaboration with
Jacob Sternberg's troupe. Another critical success — Victor Eftimiu
called it "a model of stylized realist theater" — it was also an
unprecedented hit, and ran at length at Bucharest's Central Theater.

Writing in the Warsaw Yiddish language Literarishe Bleter during the
run of Der Zingher…, Joseph Buloff was amazed at the positive
reception that Yiddish theater received among the Gentiles of
Bucharest. He remarked that the Romanian actor Tanţi Cutava was
equally comfortable acting in French and Yiddish as in his native
Romanian, that he often hear ethnic Romanians sing a song from Yiddish
theater over a glass of wine, that Romanian writers and artists
invited Yiddish actors to their get-togethers. Apparently, this formed
a stark contrast to Warsaw at the same time.

Der Zingher… was followed by successful Bucharest productions of
Pinsky's Melech David un Zaine Froien (King David and His Women) and
Leo Tolstoy's The Living Corpse. Pressured, in part, by a 32% tax on
performances by foreign troupes, by the end of 1925, the troupe had
decided to reconstitute themselves as a Bucharest-based troupe, taking
the Romanian-language name Drama ÅŸi Comedie.

[edit] Drama ÅŸi Comedie
"The wandering troupe from Vilna will stay put... after an era of
prolonged touring," reported Integral. "They will fix on a program,
which will no longer oscillate between melodrama and an expressionist
mural. Apparently, the prospect launched today is precise: a new group
tending to go along the route of modern innovation. 'No compromise
with lack of taste — no compromise with bad taste': a shout that
justfifies an existence and would be worthy of realization."[7]

The "no compromise" slogan came from the statement of program, really
more of an artistic manifesto, with which the reconstituted group
launched itself. The same document also declared the troupe's intent
"to offer the masses and intellectuals simultaneously an institution
of culture". The new troupe included actresses Braz, Luba Kadison,
Lares, Orleska and actors Stein, Buloff, Kamen, Weislitz, Leib
Kadison, Schäftel from the 1923 roster, plus additional actresses
including Noemi Nathan and Joheved Weislitz, and actors including
Jehuda Ehrenkranz, Samuel Irish, Simha Nathan, Sholom Schönbaum, Henry
Tarlo, and Simi Weinstock.

However, Drama ÅŸi Comedie would play only one full season of theater
(1925–1926), with some remnants struggling on another year. Their
productions, beginning with Alter Kacyzne's Ger tzedek (The Neophyte)
and including Nikolai Gogol's The Wedding, were critically acclaimed,
but they never matched the commercial success of Der Zingher.... After
the sudden and unexpected death of actress Judith Lares, director Mazo
left for Warsaw and then Vilna. The troupe continued briefly with
Luigi Pirandello's Man, Beast, and Virtue in the 1926–1927 season.

After the breakup of Drama ÅŸi Comedie, a play The Flood was put on at
the BaraÅŸeum theater, which was loosely the story of the Vilna troupe.

[edit] Members
Alexander Asro

[edit] Notes
^ [Bercovici 1998] p.125. Liptzin says 1916. [Liptzin 1972] p.411
^ [Bercovici 1998] p. 125-126
^ "75 Years Ago", The Forward, August 31, 2001.
^ [Bercovici 1998] p.126
^ Edelman 2003
^ Steinlauf 1993
^ [Bercovici 1998] p.132-133

[edit] References
Steinlauf, M., Mendele: Yiddish literature and language Vol. 3.142,
November 23, 1993
—, "75 Years Ago", The Forward, August 31, 2001.
Bercovici, Israil, O sută de ani de teatru evriesc în România ("One
hundred years of Yiddish/Jewish theater in Romania"), 2nd
Romanian-language edition, revised and augmented by Constantin
Măciucă. Editura Integral (an imprint of Editurile Universala),
Bucharest (1998). ISBN 973-98272-2-5, 125-143. This is the primary
source for the Bucharest material, and the source of the quotation
from Integral nr. 6-7/1925 that begins "The wandering troupe...".
Edelman, Rob, "Joseph Green: 'I Knew Exactly What I Wanted'", The
Forward, January 10, 2003. Archived on the Internet Archive February
8, 2003
Liptzin, Sol, A History of Yiddish Literature, Jonathan David
Publishers, Middle Village, NY, 1972, ISBN 0-8246-0124-6.
Retrieved from ""

Theatre was my cradle : Chloe Veltman Interviews Luba Kadison -Buloff
(1906 -2006 )
Original with pictures;
Born in 1906 in Kovno, Lithuania, Luba Kadison was a founding member
of the renowned Yiddish theatre company, the Vilna Troupe. She
performed in the original production of Sholom Anski's The Dybbuk
(1920, Warsaw) and played the lead role of Leah throughout her years
on the stage. She married the actor Joseph Buloff in 1924 and came to
New York with him in 1927 to join Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art
Theater. When Buloff began performing on Broadway and in Hollywood,
Kadison continued acting with Schwartz in New York. In a career
spanning several decades and many countries, she performed in I.J.
Singer's The Brothers Ashkenazi, (1938, New York) played Stella
Adler's love interest in Sholom Asch's God of Vengeance (1928, New
York) and won great acclaim for such roles as Anna Karenina (late
1950s, Buenos Aires) and Linda in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
(1951, Brooklyn). The Buloff-Kadison Archives are at Harvard
University which also published their memoirs, On Stage, Off Stage:
Memories of a Lifetime in the Yiddish Theatre (Harvard University
Press, 1992) and Buloff's novel based on his childhood in Vilna, From
the Old Marketplace (Harvard University Press, 1991).

How did you come to be an actor?

The theatre was my cradle and it has been with me all my life. I grew
up with the Vilna Troupe, a Yiddish-speaking Jewish theatre company
directed by my father. Theatre was a hobby to my father;
professionally, he worked as a painter. I was a kid of seven or eight
in 1914 when the war broke out and we were forced to leave our
hometown. Our lives changed within the space of twenty-four hours; we
did not know where to go, so we found ourselves in the town of Vilna,
the Lithuanian capital, and quickly had to find a place to live.

One day in 1916, two young Jewish actors came to my father with a
proposal because they had heard that he had directed some wonderful
productions with his troupe of amateur actors. Vilna was under German
occupation, but the Germans of 1916 were not like the Germans of 1945;
there were Jewish officers amongst them, including German writers like
Stefan Zweig and Hermann Struck. The actors told my father that they
wanted a Yiddish theatre company in Vilna to meet the demands of the
large Yiddish-speaking population. The Germans were fighting the
Russians and did not want to promote the Russian language, so a
Yiddish theatre seemed like a reasonable idea, given the similarity
between the Yiddish and German languages.

My father was delighted to accept the offer; the company was
established in 1916 and became world-famous. I started to play such
parts as little boys and little girls in my father's productions when
I was a girl. Acting on stage was as natural as drinking a glass of
water to me; I was brought up to it. Our idealistic, young company
would rehearse plays in our apartment. We went through some very hard
times because there was hunger in Vilna; frequently, we had nothing to
eat, but somehow my mother would find some potatoes and give one to
each actor so they could go on rehearsing.

The theatre company was built on Stanislavsky's model, with plays
performed in a realistic style and a repertoire that consisted of
Jewish and Russian works and plays from the world repertoire. We did
not strictly follow Stanislavsky's system, but we saw Stanislavsky as
a model for good realistic theatre. Melodrama still prevailed as the
acting style of the era, but we were interested in realism, purity and

When I was thirteen, a new actor joined the company: his name was
Joseph Buloff, and he was very talented. I married him at the age of
seventeen. The company started touring around the world and I
performed roles in the plays for many years until I moved behind the
scenes and helped out on productions. My last stage appearance was in
1968 as the Witch in A Chekhov Sketch Book (1968, Buenos Aires). I
stopped performing because I felt that I was getting too old for the
parts I played, and the parts for older female actors did not appeal
to me. I enjoyed being an assistant director to Joe and he needed my

We were brought to America by the impresario Maurice Schwartz who was,
at that time, the director of the Yiddish Art Theatre in New York.
Coming to the States was a very lucky break; it saved us from the
Holocaust and the concentration camps. However, we only spent a couple
of years with Maurice Schwartz. My husband, who was then directing the
troupe, began to develop a modern, expressionistic style, but New York
was becoming too commercial and the new style did not go down well
with the mass audience. That is not to say New York was not a good
theatre city; there were many fine actors there and the standards were
high but we were young and very idealistic. So we left New York and
went to Chicago where we did Yiddish-language adaptations of classical
works from around the world, such as Tolstoy and Molière. The work was
great, but financially we were in bad shape.

How did you learn your acting skills?

I learnt to act by being in Vilna productions. One of the plays we
performed was The Dybbuk, by Sholom Ansky. I think The Dybbuk is the
greatest Jewish play and perhaps one of the greatest plays ever
written. With its cabalistic atmosphere, my father thought the play
needed special insight from a director, so he engaged the services of
David Herman, a director with a cabalistic and Hasidic background, to
stage the world premiere. I was fourteen at the time and played a
little part in the production, which premiered in Warsaw in 1920.
Herman took me aside one day and told me I had potential but that I
needed training. There was no Jewish drama school for me to attend in
Vilna, but because I spoke good Polish, Herman advised me to apply to
a very good drama school in Warsaw. So, one day when we were in Warsaw
touring The Dybbuk in 1920, I summoned up all my chutzpah and turned
up at the Polish acting school and told the administrator at the
school that there was no Jewish acting school in Lithuania and that I
wanted to be a Jewish actress. She looked at me with my curly hair and
Jewish eyes and asked me what I could do. I read her the two poems I
had prepared and somehow impressed her so I was offered a place. I
learnt a great deal in that school and stayed for two years (1920 –
22). I had two wonderful teachers, one for speech and scene work and
the other for movement. The teachers said I possessed a magic quality
and a lovely voice when I played the role of Medea.

During those years, I went to school during the day and performed in
the theatre at night. Poland was very anti-semitic at the time, but
nevertheless, I would still receive the occasional compliment from
Polish audience members. One evening, however, I was very upset when a
woman came up to me after a performance and told me to get back to
Palestine. I realised at that moment that Poland was no place for me.
That night, I put on my galoshes and walked through the wintry streets
of Warsaw alone, reciting Polish poems and feeling very sad.
Eventually I decided it was time to return home to the Vilna troupe,
and soon felt fine again.

Do you think acting can be taught or is it purely instinctual?

I believe very much in using your instincts as an actor and that a
person is born 'to be or not to be' an actor. You can develop acting
skills, but the real spark has to be in you from the start. Being with
other actors, working on your art, is a school in itself and you
develop your skills as an actor through ensemble work, dialogue,
connection and communication. The body is also very important, which
is why television and movies are a completely different art to the
theatre. In theatre, you can talk with your body as much as with
words, whereas in the movies, physicality is less important.
Discipline and work are also essential to developing your skills as an
actor, and many people waste their talent.

How would you approach a text?

In the Vilna Troupe, the text would mostly remain in the hands of the
director; scripts were not handed out to actors. The director would
tell us what play we would be performing and would explain it to us;
then we would explore the play with action. As little kids, we were
taught by our father to sit down and write out the parts by hand which
we would give to the actors. Each actor would have his own lines and
cues because we did not have the facilities to print a whole script
for each actor. One production we did was an adaptation of Anna
Karenina that toured to Argentina, with me in the title role. It was
quite a task adapting a text like that to suit our audience,
especially since we had to compete with a popular film version of the
novel starring Greta Garbo that was playing in cinemas at that time.
After seeing the movie, I was scared stiff about playing the part. At
night, I read and re-read the novel and thought very hard about it and
in rehearsals I developed a feeling for the part and began to love the
character. One day in rehearsal, I overheard one actor tell another
actor, 'Luba will never make it.' I went home that night and cried,
and decided to push myself harder. It was hard work but I got there in
the end and the show was a great success.

What is the relationship between the actor and the troupe?

I believe in ensemble theatre. Acting is not a part-time business; it
should be a part of everyday life. A company should be like an
orchestra; all the greatest companies have a sense of ensemble.

How do different international audiences affect you?

Generally, audiences would be drawn to the theatres around the world
specifically to see us. In places like Buenos Aires, we had a lot of
people who did not understand Yiddish, but they found something new in
us despite the language barrier. We attracted a young audience but we
did not reach out to masses; in general, the audiences who came to see
us knew about us already. It felt like the performers and audiences
were all part of one family and the level of communication was great.
Israel became our second home and we used to travel there for about
six months a year. Jewish actors are scattered all over the world.
When you bring them together with a good director, the audience really
feels the connection. However, we did not always get a fantastic
reception everywhere we went. In New York, for instance, our theatre
jarred with most peoples' commercial tastes.

What sorts of parts have you been most drawn to?

I have a leaning towards parts that require deep feeling and emotions.
I love playing Leah in The Dybbuk, Anna Karenina and anything by
Eugene O'Neill, who I believe is one of the greatest playwrights. I
also enjoy comic roles, such as in plays by Molière and the folk
Jewish writer Peretz Hirschbein who portrayed his Jewish characters as
country people in such works as Green Fields and A Secluded Nook. The
best parts for actors are found in the ensemble repertory. An ensemble
actor is like a musician: he can play Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin
equally well, and can give you comedy one night and tragedy the next
with equal skill.

Are there any types of parts you would refuse to do?

I had a couple of seasons in which I was forced to play in musical
shows. They were done in a melodramatic style and I did them because I
needed the money.

What was your most challenging performance?

We once did a benefit performance for a famous actor who was sick. I
played the part of Leah in The Dybbuk; I was feeling a bit depressed
and I really did not want to go on but I told myself I had to rise
above it. I was in a bad state that night, but I will never forget the
performance I gave. There are a number of occasions in an actor's
career when something happens and he or she gives an exceptional
performance; that was one of those nights.

How do you prepare to go on stage?

I get butterflies like everyone else on the day of a performance. In
the wings, I get a little nervous but when I am up on stage, I just
get on with it. I believe in craft; English actors are so good because
they have more craft than any other actors in the world. The essence
of craft is timing, because when you are in a bad mood or things are
not going right in your life, craft helps you get through a
performance and stand on your own two feet. If you do not have the
discipline of craft, you can sometimes give a very bad performance.

Is craft something that can be learnt?

It is hard to say because in many ways it is instinctual. Craft makes
you surer of yourself; it is a back-up tool. It gives you stability,
like a master carpenter making a table.

Did you only ever perform in Yiddish?

Yes, only in Yiddish, though my husband sometimes performed in English
on Broadway in such shows as: My Sister Eileen, The Whole World Over
and Oklahoma; and in Hollywood; in Somebody Up There Likes Me with
Paul Newman, Silk Stockings with Peter Lourie and They Met in
Argentina with Maureen O'Hara.

How did you find performing in Yiddish in America?

Persecuted Jewish immigrants came to America from all over the world.
They worked hard all day in sweat-shops and lived in bad conditions.
It was a hard life for them, and the theatre was their main outlet for
entertainment. There were many actors in the Hebrew Actors Union and
melodramas and musicals dominated the stages in New York. We were not
interested in doing melodramas and musicals, so it was hard for us to
find an audience for our work. We had our own aesthetic goals, so we
decided to pursue them in other parts of the world.

What was it like playing a part like Linda Loman in Death of a
Salesman, in Yiddish?

The production was conceived in Buenos Aires with another actress in
the role of Linda because I had decided to stay in New York at that
time to look after my daughter during High School. When the New York
producers heard about the show's success in Buenos Aires, they wanted
to put it on in Brooklyn with me in the role of Linda. At first I
thought I was a little too sophisticated for the part, but the
producers insisted, so I took it on. I was not sure how to approach
it, but it grew to become one of my favourite roles. You cannot get
too deep with a character like Linda; she has a wonderful kindness and
common sense. Arthur Miller came to see a performance in Brooklyn in
1951 and liked it very much. An article soon appeared in a New York
paper joking that our company had returned the play to its Yiddish

Which directors have you found most inspiring in your life?

My late husband, Joseph Buloff, was tremendously inspiring because we
had the same attitude, taste, understanding and background. He would
let actors do the best they could and never force anything upon an
actor; he would give all his actors freedom, whilst creating a sense
of unity. He was like a conductor in front of an orchestra and the
American director Harold Clurman said my husband was one of the
greatest theatre-makers in the world. We lived together for sixty
years and he died in 1985. I never had trouble with any directors. I
acted under Maurice Schwartz, who was not bad; he used to leave me
alone to get on with my part.

What are your hopes for the future of acting?

Acting has turned towards the movies and television and in general,
theatre is struggling. Young actors all over the world have to fight
very hard for work and act for free because they love it so much.
Since the Holocaust, Yiddish theatre has died out because people have
grown away from the language. Israel has a very strong Jewish theatre
tradition, but most of it is performed in Hebrew these days. There is
very little good Jewish theatre left in the world today and not much
good theatre around in general. Despite the recent renaissance of
interest in Yiddish theatre, people play around with it, and it is not
really alive as an art form. As far as Yiddish culture is concerned,
the true renaissance is happening in the realm of Yiddish literature,
with the global popularity of such writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer
and Sholom Aleichem.

Who are the most useful critics of your work?

I am! Whenever the curtain falls, I always think I could do better next

1930 United States Federal Census;
Name: Leib Kadison
Home in 1930:170 Second Ave. Manhattan, New York, New York
Age: 48
Estimated birth year: abt 1882
Birthplace: Russia
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's name: Kanne ( Channa) age 48 Race: White
Occupation: actor in the theater
Military Service:
Rent/home value:$100 rent
Age at first marriage: They were married when she was 20 and he was 21
Parents' birthplace: Russia (for all of them)
Came to the country in 1924
Household Members: Name Age
Leib Kadison 48 Occupation: actor in the theater
Kanne Kadison 48 Occupation: actress in the theater
Pola Kadison 27 Occupation: pianist in the theater
Name: Leib Kadison Schuster - actor
Estimated birth year: abt 1881
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Cherbourg
Ethnicity/Race/Nationality: Hebrew
Ship Name: Mauretania
Search Ship Database: View the Mauretania in the 'Passenger Ships and
Images' database
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Nativity: Russia
Line: 16
Microfilm Serial: T715
Microfilm Roll: T715_3504
Birth Location: Russia
Birth Location Other: minak
Page Number: 71
on the same ship;
Name: Chana Kadison Schuster actress
Estimated birth year: abt 1882
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Port of Departure: Cherbourg
Ethnicity/Race/Nationality: Hebrew
Ship Name: Mauretania
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Nativity: Russia
Line: 16
Microfilm Serial: T715
Microfilm Roll: T715_3504
Birth Location: Russia
Birth Location Other: minak
Page Number: 71

It is saying that they married in Kovno on Jan. 27th 1903 here and
received American papers in March 24, 1930 in New York Southern
Name: Leib Kadison (and wife Chana) 215 E. 12th Street
Estimated birth year: abt 1881
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Le Havre, France
Ship Name: Ile de France
Search Ship Database: View the Ile de France in the 'Passenger Ships
and Images' database
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Line: 24
Microfilm Serial: T715
Microfilm Roll: T715_5062
Page Number: 44

---------------------------------New York Petitions for Naturalization

Name: Leib Kadison
Naturalization Date: 24 Mar 1930
Title and Location of Court: U S District Court, New York, NY
170 Second Ave. New York
Name Birth Date Birthplace Residence Race

Leib Kadison 6 Jan 1881 Lithuania New York City

Name: Pola ( Luba) Kadison
Estimated birth year: abt 1903
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Port of Departure: Le Havre, France
Ship Name: Paris
Search Ship Database: View the Paris in the 'Passenger Ships and
Images' database
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Line: 14
Microfilm Serial: T715
Microfilm Roll: T715_5027
Page Number: 27
Name Arrival Date Estimated birth year Gender Port of Departure
Ethnicity/Nationality Ship Name View Ship Image View Passenger List

View Record Luba Kadison 10 Aug 1938 abt 1907 Female Le Havre,
France Champlain 166 Second Ave.

<> wrote;

I have only recently found out about the USA side of the family.

My Great Grandparents Miriam Kravitz nee Mogel b1877 and Abraham Leib
Kravitz b1872 son of Benjamin came to the UK around 1900 - their first
Children where born in Kovna and their 3rd son (my Grandfather) Israel
1902 in the UK.

SO far I know: From the ships manifest Nov 1904 Dvora (MOZEL) widow
going to her son M Mogel 5 Ludlow Street NYC.
ALso Morris Mogell ships manifest July 1904 his address - going to
Alter Mogel 5 Ludlow St NYC.
I have not been able to find Max ship manifest but from his WW1 draft
entered the USA 1900.

There are details of Max burial on Jewishgen. The cemetery sent me a
of his Grave and the Hebrew says Mordechai son of Yitzhak.

Dvora and Yitzhak Mogel had other children:

Barnet b1869 (Known as Miel not Mogel) - (UK)
Max (Mordechai Alter) b. 1874 - (USA)
Miriam b1877- m Kravitz (UK)
Lewis b.1880 (Known as Myers not Mogel) - (UK)
Hanna b 1881 - m Leib Kadison - Vilna Troupe Fame had a daughter;
Morris Mogel b 1887 (USA)

All these children were born in Kovna - although I haven't been able to
find birth certificates. I am quite sure this is so.
As you can see there are quite a few years between their ages and I was
hoping maybe to find some other Children, I thought Dora may have been
living with another child. Hence my posting on Jewishgen.

Although I knew about the USA side of the family I only recently found
I have read quite a lot about Leib Kadison and his daughter Luba. I am
certain that Dora was not with them as they didn't going to the USA
much later.

I recently obtained Dora's death certificate which has her maiden name
Aaronosky, address 438 Saratoga Ave and place of burial New Mount
I wrote to the cemetery asking for information but they say she isn't
buried there. The undertaker Charles Scheue 141 Ludlow St I have tried
google this but havent been successful either.

If you would like to add my Family details to your website - Please do
If I can be of any assistance to you - please let me know.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Researching: Mogel Kravitz - Kovna Lithuania
Sztark Levy Rozenberg Tuchinsky - Kutno Warsaw


On Stage, Off Stage
Harvard University Press publication
Memories of a Lifetime in the Yiddish Theatre
Luba Kadison
Joseph Buloff
Irving Genn
Translator Joseph Singer