Yiddish Theatre

Theatre is one of the emblems of Jewish life. The turning point of Yiddish theatrical development is the well-known author, Abraham Goldfaden. He is the founder of the first professional Yiddish theatre troupe, and brings revolution to the Yiddish operettas and comedies. Therefore, the trend started to spread from Romania, to the neighbouring countries, and then even further cities like London and New York. After World War Two, due to the cruel and uncivilized behaviour of Holocaust policies, lots of Yiddish-language culture was completely destroyed.

At its best period around 1876, there were a number of Yiddish-speaking theatres set up in London. Within Poland for example, there were more than 400 Yiddish theatrical companies performing in the interwar period.

The rising of importance of the Yiddish language in the 19 century, had a significant influence on promoting the popularity of Yiddish theatre. Before 1850s, Yiddish was already been commonly used by Jews who lived in central and eastern Europe.

And while it was generally accepted to be used in daily life only, many Jews were somewhat prouder to use Hebrew for literature and official business, so Yiddish is considered to have a lower status than Hebrew or the official language of the countries they live, and therefore little literature and theatre was written in Yiddish before the 1850s.
accrtesses in new Yiddish TheatreMoreover, as the population of Jews in Europe has a dramatic drop after war, population that can speak Yiddish also drop significantly. Thus, even the theatre itself was not devastated by Holocaust, the population that can appreciate Yiddish performance is small. Lots of Yiddish theatres are closed in 1950s, and Yiddish-speaking Jews are emigrated to Israel, so Yiddish theatre has become a history in Europe. Although the heyday of Yiddish theatre is no longer existed, lots of European countries try their best to keep this as record in museum, in order to allow people understand more about this unique Jewish tradition nowadays.

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