Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Fraydele Oysher

Born in Lipkany, Bessarabia. Her father was a cantor. At the age of seven, she arrived in Montreal, Canada. She learned in a school. As a child she moved with her family to Philadelphia, United States, where she sang in the chorus with her father during the High Holidays, a little later debuting with two songs in Siegel's operetta in the "Arch Street Theatre". At first when Boris Thomashefsky staged in the "Gibson" Theatre his operetta "Bar Mitzvah" with Sol Dickstein's troupe, Fraydele debuted in a role. In the Sholem Aleichem School where she had learned, as Michael Gelbart was musical director, she had the opportunity to participate in the school concerts.

Moving to New York, she began to perform in radio and in concerts, and she entered into the troupe of Louis Kramer in the "Amphion" Theatre, where she acted for several months.

Linked closely to the theatre productions, she actually first had her wedding to Harold Sternberg when L. Freiman wrote for her the operetta "Fraydele's Wedding", Morris Nestor "The Cantor of Chelm", Jacob Bergreen "Poor Orphan", Nestor "The Cantor's Daughter", and Abraham Blum "Golden Girl" (which was later called "A Cantor on Shabes", and "A Cantor on Yom Tov").

Fraydele was engaged in 1936 to Argentina, where she also performed beyond her repertoire as "Itzhakl" in Goldfaden's "The Sacrifice of Isaac" and Thomashefsky's "Bar Mitzvah". Returning to America, she acted in the same repertoire and also in Molly Picon's repertory in Chicago's "Douglas Street Theatre", in New York's "National" Theatre, and across the province. Fraydele also


guest-starred twice in Cuba, and for several weeks in Los Angeles in "A Chazundel on Shabes".

Sh. Rozhansky writes:

"Fraydele and Aaron Sternberg are still very young actors. Young according to the years and young according to their aktorishkeyt. They are determined (bashtimt) the recent guest-performing which the Yiddish theatres in Argentina had when s'nit iz gehat. They are however in their stage work different from our younger actors.... confirming the sayings "young and wild", "jumps like a wild goat" [...with Fraydele and Sternberg] is the story of a package. Instead iberzaltsen ...."

Sh. Beilin [Dr. L. Zihtnitsky] writes:

...Few Yiddish plays have such fine, neat and lyrical musical numbers as the comedy Fraydele’s Wedding, and in singing, it is really Fraydele’s best...mainly in hazzanut, of which she sang a tremendous amount, and sang like a true khaznte, or like a hazzan, just as if she were at the prayer stand.

Veynik Yidishe piesn hobn azelkhe fayne, tsikhtike un lirishe muzikalishe numern vi di komedye “Freydeles Khasene,” un in zingen iz takeh faran dos beste fun Freydele... iberhoypt tsu khazonish, vos zi hot fun dos ongezungen on a shiur, un gezungen vi an emeseh khaznte oder vi a khazn, punkt vi zi volt baym omud geshtanen. (needs translation...)






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 6119.

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