It’s Hard To Be A Jew

Theatre Poster • Jewish Museum London

It’s Hard to be a Jew (Yiddish: Shver tsu zayn a yid) is a 1920 Yiddish-language comedy play by Sholom Aleichem about the difficulty of Jewish-Gentile relationships in the Russian Empire. It was premiered at The Yiddish Art Theatre, Second Avenue, New York on 1 October 1920, and later performed at the Grand Palais Theatre on Commercial Road, London.

During the first half of the 20th century, Yiddish theatre in London was a vibrant and popular tradition; it was of great social and cultural importance to the growing community of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Yiddish, a richly expressive language based on German and written in Hebrew characters, was the mother tongue of many of these immigrants. The Yiddish theatre of the early 20th century was remarkable for the range of its repertoire, the versatility of its actors, and the enthusiasm of its audiences.

To discover more about London’s Lost Yiddish Theatre, read this fascinating article from the Londonist.


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