Jewish Theatre, Warsaw

The Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater (in Polish Teatr Żydowski im. Estery Racheli i Idy Kamińskich) is a state theatrical institution in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. It was named after the Polish-Jewish actress Ester Rachel Kamińska, who was called the "mother of Yiddish theater,"[1] and her daughter, the Academy Award-nominated actress Ida Kaminska.[2] Ida Kamińska directed the theater and acted in its productions from the time of its founding until 1968.[3]

Purim spiel performance in Yiddish, March 2009
The Theatre building at Plac Grzybowski (Grzybowski Square)

The State Jewish Theater was formed in 1950 from two theater troupes which performed in Wrocław and Łódź in 1945-50. The theater worked in both cities over the next few years and gave guest performances across Poland. In 1955 it moved to Warsaw permanently. Since 1970 it has performed in its own building on Plac Grzybowski (Grzybowski Square).[3]

Since its inception, the theater has sought to continue the rich traditions of prewar Jewish theatrical stages in Poland. Plays at the theater are shown in Polish and Yiddish (headphones with Polish translation are available).

The theater cultivates the creativity of great Jewish drama. Its repertoire features the best works by Abraham Goldfaden, Mendele-Moykher Sforim, Sholom Aleichem, Isaac Leib Peretz and Jacob Gordin.

The president of the theatre was, in the years 1970 to 2014, an actor Szymon Szurmiej.


  1. Steinlauf, Michael C. (2010, August 17). "Kaminski Family." YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  2. Dia-Pozytyw: People, Biographical Profiles Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. 1 2 Leyko, Małgorzata (2010, October 11). "Polish State Yiddish Theater." Translated by Michael C. Steinlauf. YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Retrieved 2015-06-20.

Coordinates: 52°14′09″N 21°00′08″E / 52.23583°N 21.00222°E / 52.23583; 21.00222

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