For Nostalgia’s Sake Bronx Businessman Plans to Revive Yiddish Theater in NY

Fulfilling “a dream of mine for years,” a lumber company president has launched a revival of Yiddish theater here in memory of the late Maurice Schwartz, “a very dear friend of mine.” Harry Rothpearl, head of Century Lumber Corporation in Manhattan and a member of the Community Center of Israel in the Bronx, has gathered 12 other businessmen and his rabbi, Simon Konovitch, under the banner of The Jewish Nostalgic Productions, Inc. It has leased the Eden Theatre on Second Avenue, built for Schwartz in Oct. 1932, and hopes to present one of Schwartz’s biggest hits, “Yoshe Kalb,” to mark its 30th anniversary.

” It’s a shame to let it go to waste,” Roth-pearl said of the Yiddish theatrical heritage in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Yiddish is springing up again,” he contended, pointing to college courses in the language and what he sees as renewed interest in it by Jewish youth–though he conceded “it may be just imagination.”

Rothpearl envisions “Yoshe Kalb” as having the potential of a major hit, of “even doing a better job than ‘Fiddler.’” Recalling Schwartz’s own stage and film productions of “Tevye”– based on the same Sholom Aleichem stories as “Fiddler”–Rothpearl insisted that the only reason “Fiddler” has been so much more successful is its ethnic music.

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