Esta Salzman, the last actress to be part of New York City’s Second Avenue musical theater scene during its heyday in the 1920s and ’30s, died April 23 at the age of 94.
My Irish Catholic grandmother fulfilled a life-long goal in her 80s when she traveled to the Holy Land; however, the story she told on her return was not of the sights she’d seen. Wandering around the Old City of Jerusalem, she walked into a shop and was amazed when the Orthodox Jew at the counter began speaking to her in Gaelic. Before going to Israel she had never met a Jew, and she did not know that there was a small but vibrant community in her own backyard.
How does an Irish Catholic become a translator of Yiddish drama? It’s a question I am asked, over and over. The short answer is that I came to study Yiddish literature, and later Yiddish theater, through my love of the Anglo-Irish and Gaelic literary traditions. The longer answer requires a bit of history.
The world of the theater lost a peerless artist last week. Yiddish actress Luba Kadison Buloff passed away on May 4 in her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the age of 99. Born in 1906 in Kovno, Lithuania, the last surviving member of the renowned Yiddish theater company the Vilna Troupe, she was the embodiment of a sophisticated and