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Zylbercweig, Zalman

ZYLBERCWEIG, ZALMAN

ZYLBERCWEIG, ZALMAN (1894–1972), historian of Yiddish theater. Born in Ozorkow, near Lodz, Poland, to a family descended from the biblical exegete *Malbim, his involvement in the Yiddish theater in Lodz began in 1912, primarily as ensemble manager and translator/adaptor of European repertoire. He also served as a correspondent for the Yiddish press. After living in Palestine and traveling extensively, he settled in New York in 1937, marrying the actress Celia Zuckerberg in 1947. The couple moved to Los Angeles in 1948, where they hosted a Yiddish radio show for 25 years. Zylbercweig wrote, translated, and edited some 30 books. His life's work and signature contribution to Jewish culture was his edition of the six-volume Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater ("Encyclopedia of the Yiddish Theater," 1931–69; the first three co-edited with *Jacob Mestel; volume seven, which he also in large part wrote [in press at his death], never appeared). The New York Times called it "the most authoritative collection of statistics and biographies of Yiddish stage personalities," and it remains the most important work in the field.

bibliography:

Z. Zylbercweig Yoyvel Bukh (1941), incl. bibl.; Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1926), 1078–80; lnyl, 3 (1960), 621–3; M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 2 (1946), 227–9; New York Times (Nov. 22, 1964), 121; New York Times (July 27, 1972), 34.

[Faith Jones (2nd ed.)]

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