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The Celia Adler Story....
her life in the Yiddish theatre.... and more



The American Jewish Committee Interview, 1974


According to the New York Public Library, which houses the entire oral history collection of the American Jewish Committee:

"The New York Public Library's Dorot Jewish Division's American Jewish Committee Oral History Collection is the outcome of the 'grandparent' of Jewish oral history projects. The Division holds the only complete compilation of transcripts and recordings from this 25-year project that began in the 1960s. The collection contains interviews with 2,250 individuals--comprising approximately 1oo,000 pages of transcripts and 6,000 hours of audiotapes. The American Jewish Committee interviewed individuals from all walks of life, thereby compiling a collection of oral histories documenting the Jewish experience in America."

One of these interviews was conducted with the great Yiddish actress Celia Adler over a two-day period in October 1974. It was then part of the William E. Wiener Oral History Library of the American Jewish Committee.

With the permission of the AJC, the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre eagerly makes twenty-five excerpts of this interview available to you here (more than an hour-and-a-half's worth in all), so that you may hear here, from the lips of our dear Celia Adler, about her life, both on a personal and professional level.

Many of the anecdotes that appear here are detailed in greater depth within her written autobiography, "The Celia Adler Story," which is also made available to you here within this exhibition, translated into English from its original Yiddish. You may like to listen to each of the excerpts before reading the two volumes of her story.


Segment 1: Sheine Feige, the beloved nanny of baby Celia Adler, took her to the theatre
to be nursed by her mother. There then Celia made her first appearance on the Yiddish stage.....



Segment 2: Celia Adler with Jacob P. Adler in "The Yiddish King Lear"



Segment 3: Celia Adler and Berta Kalich



Segment 4: Celia Adler with the Anshel Schorr troupe playing in Washington D. C.



Segment 5: The Marriage Proposal of Maurice Schwartz



Segment 6: The Art Theatre, Jacob Ben Ami, and Hirshbein’s "Farvorfn vinkel"



Segment 7: Benefits for Celia and Mother Dina Feinman



Segment 8: Celia in London, substituted for her mother Dina in Gordin's "Mirele Efros"



Segment 9: 1918--The First Year of the Yiddish Art Theatre



Segment 10: Jacob Ben Ami Leaves the Yiddish Art Theatre; the Coney Island Thunderstorm



Segment 11: Celia, Ossip Dymow's "The Wanderer," and Boris Thomashefsky



Segment 12: Celia Adler and the Great Rudolph Schildkraut



Segment 13: More Celia Adler and Boris Thomashefsky



Segment 14: Celia Adler and David Kessler


Segment 15: More about Berta Kalich



Segment 16: Celia Becomes Seasick; The Ship-Board Priest



Segment 17: Celia in the Hospital, while sister Lillie passes away....



Segment 18: Celia, Lillie and the Book of Recipes



Segment 19: It's Nice to be Remembered....


Next: Six more excerpts from the AJC interview of Celia Adler, these regarding
the tour that she and husband Jacob Cone took of South America and Europe. >>



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