Zareby Koscliene


by Nathan Lava
At a meeting of the "Tzeiri-Zion" in Zaromb during the Winter of 1918, it was decided to give the youth a nationalist, social and cultural education through a series of lectures and to bring in special speakers from the Warsaw Central Committee from time to time.  It was also decided that Yiddish theater should be performed -- for the first time in Zaromb.  For this purpose, a drama committee was set up to select an appropriate play, put together an amateur cast, and prepare props, sets, decorations and makeup.  After long discussions, it was decided that the performance would be held at, the party local, where the library was located.  The play they selected was "the Daughter of Soke-Sheyndl from Yehupet"  by I. Latayner, because it required very little scenery.

Nathan Lava would play the part of the Rabbi, Reb Yokhntze, Miss Kaplan, the dentist of Zaromb, who was herself not a Zaromber, would play Sore-Sheyndl, the "rebbetzn" (rabbi's wife); Zelig Runyanek played Avremb, their son;  Pere Segalovitch - their daughter Bobele; Moyshe Bergman - the Rabbi's brother Jake, an American; Berl Pridman - Sam, his son; Israel-Velvel Raskulenker - Gumpel the Cantor; Shmuel Lub Rashulenker - Shabsi the "Shames" (sextant"); Golde Rosenthal-Khanele.  The director was David Grinshpan.

All the scenery and makeup were brought from Ostrove.  The hardest thing to get was a "shtrayml" (fur trimmed hat) for the rabbi.  Finally, the committee convinced one of the group to borrow her father's "shtrayme", without his knowledge, of course.

After feverish preparations, we were ready for our first performance.  It was a huge success.  The room was packed to overflowing, even though a ticket costs a few marks.  The "shows, stopper" was when Shabsi the Shames, played by Shmuel-Lib Raskulenker sang, "Shabsi, You Are Not a Golem."  He was called back for several curtain calls to stormy

Because of the success of this first performance, it was soon decided to give a second performance of the same play. But during the second show, something terrible happened.  One of the Khassedik women, who came to see the play, recognized who's "shtravml" the "Rabbi" in the play was wearing.  In her eyes, this was too serious a "crime" to ignore. After she left the "theater", she went right to the owner of the "shtrayml" and informed him of the blasphemy.  After all, in this shtrayml the owner had so often sat at the real rabbi's table.  We had to return the shtrayml immediately after the show.

Left without a strayml, we still decided to give a third performance. But the third time, it was nowhere as successful as the first 2 times.  Perhaps it was because we did not have the strayml.

For the youth of Zaromb, these performances were a source of inspiration.  Very soon thereafter, the "Brend" put on Yakov Gordin's "The Wild Man", which was a huge success.  Later, the "Tzeiri-Zion" began rehearsing for Cordin's "Khasha, the Orphan Girl", but it was the time when young men were being called up for military service and it was impossible to continue with the work of a theater group.