Conference Proceeding: My Life by Bertha Kalich, Found in Translation

The memoirs of Bertha Kalich (1874‐1939) constitute an important primary source for research in Jewish studies, gender studies, and theater history. Bertha Kalich was among the first actresses to publish her memoirs in Yiddish, serialized in the newspaper “Der Tog” in 1925 under the title, “Mayn Lebn” (My Life) and microfilmed by The New York Public Library. Amanda Seigel has translated Kalich’s memoirs and subsequently published excerpts from the translation, revealing a treasure trove of information and insights. From her childhood in Lemberg (today Lviv, Ukraine), to her ascent on the early Yiddish stage in Eastern Europe and then America, to her crossover success in English, Kalich describes key moments and personalities in the early Yiddish theater and the struggles she faced as a Jewish woman. Join us for an illustrated exploration of her incredible life, now accessible for reading and study in English.

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