Respondent
Steinfeld, Eddie
Interview Date
February 20, 1984
Abstract
Eddie Steinfeld, a native Pittsburgher, he was involved in several capacities with Yiddish theater in Pittsburgh and New York; birth year, 1914;
[T1S1] his birth in Pittsburgh, PA; number of siblings in his family; parents' immigration to the United States; residences in the city of Pittsburgh; father's occupation as a paintbrush manufacturer; his father's bristle import business; father's background in Meseritch, Poland; his education at the Hebrew Institute and Herron Hill Junior High School; participation in activities at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement; economic situation in his parents' household; effects of the depression on his family; his affiliation with a drama club at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement (IKS); discussion of the settlement houses and divisions between German Jews and eastern European Jews; names of leaders at IKS at that time; description of his mother;
[T1S2] recollections of politics in Pittsburgh during the 1930s; celebrating high holidays at the Zionist Institute; description of his father; early health care; recreational activities as a youth; education, Schenley High School and Fifth Avenue High School; his involvement with Yiddish theater; discussion of the two Yiddish theaters in Pittsburgh in the thirties; discussion of union activities with the actors at the Lando Theater; theater attractions at the Fulton Theater; discussion of Yiddish theater groups performing at the Roosevelt Theater; his work as props master, stage hand and usher in the theater;
[T2S3] description of the Hill District of Pittsburgh during his youth; more discussion of the Lando Theater and its' owner, Mr. Lando; further discussion of his various jobs in the theater; discussion of reasons for the decline of Yiddish theater; his promotional activities for motion pictures; managing the Center Square Theater for Mr. Lando;
[T2S4] discussion of the social lives of the actors; his acting experiences at IKS, the Y Theater and Pittsburgh Playhouse; discussion of Jewish newspapers in Pittsburgh; his employment selling advertising for The<i> Jewish Outlook</i>; his promotion of theater in Johnstown, PA, during the depression; managing Mr. Lando's movie theater; discussion of a trip to New York to bring back Yiddish actors;
[T3S5] his return from New York; discussion of possible reasons for the number of Jews in the early movie industry; recollections of Yiddish traveling entertainers in New York during the 1930s; his involvement with the Labor Zionist movement in 1935; discussion of other Zionist movements; discussion of his involvement with the Socialist Zionist Youth Organization; his involvement with a labor movement group in Israel;
[T3S6] his teaching in Sunday schools and knowledge of Hebrew; discussion of the Jewish World's Fair of 1939 in Pittsburgh; his service as chairman of this project; his employment as a film salesman for Monarch Films; discussion of a puppet group that failed; courtship and marriage to Sylvia Feldman; his service in the Signal Corps during WWII; birth of his daughter; recollections of a Christmas party given by President Roosevelt for servicemen during the war; his medical discharge from the Army in 1946; death of his parents; his employment in his father's paintbrush business; his other sales experience;
[T4S7] discussion of Orthodox Jews in Israel; discussion of the Yiddish fraternal organization, the Workmen's Circle; further discussion of his involvement with a Labor Zionist Organization; views about lack of Hebrew and Yiddish studies in the Jewish community; views about the need for Jewish content in the theater; opinions about the Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Association; discussion of the Jewish community in Pittsburgh;
[T4S8] views about the need for Jews in government; discussion of his Stanton Heights neighborhood; his involvement in trying to establish a synagogue; discussion of synagogues in the East End of Pittsburgh; his daughter's Hebrew education; birth of his grandchildren in Israel; some discussion of his daughter's family.
Subjects
Economic Depression; Hill District (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Irene Kaufmann Settlement (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Labor Zionist Organization of America - Poale Zion; Theater; Lando Theater (Pittsburgh, Pa); Theater Yiddish
Birth Date
1914
City
Pittsburgh, PA
Profession
Yiddish theatre
Occupation (father)
Paintbrush manufacturer
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Goldszer
Indexer
Reynolds, Jacqueline
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 40
Identifier
ais196440.454
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh