Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Ezra Harari

Born on 20 April 1894 in Dvinsk, Lettland (Latvia). Father -- a merchant, a Zionist ward/communal worker, author of the books "Mtsut yeshuv eretz yisrael" and "Dvur hevri". Learned in a cheder mtukn and Tenach with the well-known Tenach authority Avraham Zelik Kalmenzon. Due to his father's decision to remain in Eretz Yisrael, whither he traveled to to attend his oldest son's wedding. H. also went from there with his mother in 1906, at first he worked for the photographer Seskin in Tel Aviv.

As a child he worked for his brother Moshe and the future famous Soviet-Yiddish actor Michoels, acting in Hebrew amateur productions, and later due to his brother Chaim's collaboration in "Khubbi hkhmh hevrit" in Eretz Yisrael, H. also beginning to participate in the local productions in Jaffa, and performed in 1910 as "Motye Shtreykhl" in M. Kritshevski's Hebrew translation of "Chasia the Orphan" ("Chasia" -- Liza Varon), and in 1911 in Sholem Aleichem's "Get". 1912 -- went to Russia to visit his brother, and on 21 March 1913 gave a Hebrew production in Dvinsk, which caught the attention of Nachum Zemach in Bialystok, who called him out thither.

He participated in Zemach's Hebrew troupe with Dymov's "Der eybiker vanderer", at the Zionist congress in Vienna, and then in an entire series of cities in Russia.


1914 -- went back to Eretz Yisrael, and there founded a new Hebrew theatre group and participated in Gordin's "God, Man and Devil". Due to divorce, he went away to Egypt, where he worked as a photographer. 1915 -- arrived in America, where he participated in a range of Hebrew productions ("Chatzkel drachme" in "God, Man and Devil", etc.), and became a Hebrew teacher. At the end of 1916 he helped organize the "Yiddish Legion", and directed, in Yiddish, and participated in the amphitheatre in Legion, near Lod (Eretz Yisrael). After the demobilization, he returned to America, where he directed on 20 June 1915 in Hebrew "Abrahamele der shuster" by B. Shafir, "Nor a doktor" by Sholem Aleichem, and Peretz's "Der meshugener betln" (staged by Mark Schweid), then again Shafir's one-acter, Arnstein's "Dos eybike lid", and Sholem Alechem's "Mazel Tov", and participated on 24 August 1915 in Friedland's Hebrew translation of Pinski's "Family Tsvi" (acting in Kessler's Roof Garden), and in the other Hebrew productions, such as Hirshbein's "Farvorfener vinkl (Faraway Corner)" (translated by Kh. A. Friedland), Hirshbein's "Blacksmith's Daughters" in the Irving Place Theatre", in Philadelphia, in Hebrew, in Tshirikov's "Di yidn".

H. also for a certain time acted in Yiddish in the "Yiddish Art Theatre", and with Samuel Goldenburg in Philadelphia.

For a long time he was a Hebrew teacher, and in 1937 was regisseur in a dramatic circle in Toronto, Canada, where he directed in Yiddish, Ts. A. Chaver-Paver's dramatization "Yosele" by Jacob Dinezon and Sholem Aleichem's "Nor a doktor" in the adaptation of Lasavin.

In 1946 he was a teacher and regisseur for a drama circle in San Francisco, where he directed in Ts. A., in Yiddish, a dramatization of Sholem Aleichem's "Di ngidshe prezshnitse", Reyzen's "A shtile dirh", and Peretz's "Nokh Kburh".

Since 1949 he setled in Mexico, where he directed, in Yiddish, on 29 August 1949, a dramatization of Sholem Aleichem's "Di ngidishe prezhnitse", "Yidn zingen" by the Tunkler, and Checkov's "Der shidukh".

On 24 November 1949 -- a ghetto montage in ten scenes, "Lebn un gerangl" by Yeshayahu Oystridn and (with the Yiddish theatre group in a sports center) on 22 September 1956 Kobrin's "Tsurik tsu zayn folk", on 17 August 1957, "Anna Frank" [in his translation], on 14 August 1958, M. Dluzhnovski's "Di eynzame shif", on 29 May 1959 Peretz Hirshbein's "Grine felder", and on 8 August 1960 (with the theatre group for the community), Anski's "Der dybuk".

H.'s brother, Moshe Efrayim, Russian overseer for David Pinski's "Family Tsvi", later a member of the Hebrew theatre "Habimah", was killed in 1929 in the defensive struggle against the Arabic uprising. H.'s other brother, Dr. Chaim Harari, is one of the first Hebrew actors and regisseurs in Eretz Yisrael. H.'s son, Khrmi Harari, a clinical psychologist for young judges (gerichtn) in New York.

M. E.

  • David Trhr -- Antsiklupdih lkhlutsi hishuv vbuniu, Tel Aviv, Chrkh eshiri, p. 3511.

  • I. L. Shubin -- Hebreishe bihne in nyu york, "Der tog", N. Y., 25 June 1915.

  • Ishike -- Labor lig shuln kontsert zeyer sheyn durkhgefirst, "Der kamf", Toronto, 27 April 1937.

  • Kh. L. [Lazdeysik] -- Ezra harari, barimter idish-hebraysher rezhiser, gefint zikh tsugast in meksike, "Der veg", Mexico, 26 April 1949.

  • [--] -- Der nayer pruv, same, 27 August 1949.

  • [--] -- Derfolgreykhe idishe teater-forshtelung, "Freyvelt", Meksiko, 2 September 1949.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2665.

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