Jewish theatre

The Center’s archive contains unique materials concerning the history of Sholom Aleichem Kyiv State Jewish Theatre (Kyiv GOSET), which was active in 1929–1950 and became a significant cultural element of the Jewish community life. GOSET is an acronym for a Jewish state theatre in the Soviet Union (Russian: Gosudarstviennyi yevreiskii teatr). In 1950, during the Stalinist antisemitic campaign of “fighting cosmopolitism”, all Jewish theatres in the country were closed. The rebirth of the Jewish theatre in Ukraine began in the years of independence, in the 1990s. 

Photographs and documents from personal archives of remarkable GOSET artists (such as Anna Sheinfeld, Arkadii Nuher, and Sheva Fingerova), and a notebook with the memoirs of the actor Dmytro Zhabotynsky can be of great interest for researchers of Jewish theatre. 

The archive includes materials related to the activity of Kyiv GOSET: posters, theatre programmes, photos of actors and scenes of the plays, documents (actors’ references, certificates, and orders), articles from newspapers and magazines about the tours of GOSET, and reviews of performances.

In addition, there are materials concerning:

  • the activity of contemporary Jewish theatres and theatre companies in Ukraine and abroad (programmes of performances, posters, and photos); for example, materials about Mazltov Kyiv Jewish Musical Drama Theatre (1989–1993);
  • the exhibitions and festivals of modern Jewish art (invitations, programmes, and posters), for example, those of Wandering Stars International Theatrical Art Festival (2000–2007);
  • the Jewish theme in modern Ukrainian theatre productions (1987–2019);
  • media reactions to the activity of Jewish theatre companies in Ukraine at the turn of the twenty-first century (articles, reviews, and interviews).


Overall, the Jewish Theatre Collection includes more than 1,200 units of storage. Its materials can be useful for theatre historians, historians of the Soviet era, culture and literary scholars who study the Jewish theme in drama as well as everyone interested in Jewish culture and art.


The archive holds: Number of pages Notes
Posters of the Sholom Aleichem State Jewish Theatre (GOSET) of the Ukrainian SSR 10 10 posters, 1946–1949 
Posters of performances of Ukrainian theatres and theatre companies presenting the Jewish topic 5 5 posters, 1989–1991 
Programmes of Sholom-Aleichem GOSET 25 1936–1949
Documents of actors of Sholom Aleichem GOSET 13 1943–1962
Album of Anna Sheinfeld’s theatrical family 72 Photos, posters, and programmes of performances, 1912–1950
Materials of Anna Sheinfeld’s family archive 150 Photos and documents, 1912–1955
Photos of Jewish actors 286 Photos of 49 actors, 1929–1955 
Materials from the inventory of the archive of Ukraine’s State Museum of Theatre, Music, and Cinema  11 Inventory of theatre posters from the museum collection
Media on Ukrainian Jewish theatres  217 Newspaper articles about the activity of Jewish theatres, 1925–2003
Media on Ukrainian Jewish theatres (in Yiddish) 62 Newspaper articles, 1919–1948
Materials concerning remarkable Jewish theatre artists in Ukraine 92 Articles and paragraphs from newspapers and other sources, 1936–2005
Notebook with memoirs of Dmytro Zhabotynsky, actor and director of Sholom-Aleichem GOSET 86 1957–1962
Preparatory materials for Moisei Loiev’s book The Stolen Muse: Sholom Aleichem Kyiv State Jewish theatre (Kharkiv – Kyiv – Chernivtsi, 1925– 1950) 188 Correspondence regarding the publication of the book, author’s remarks, printed copies of the book pages with corrections, photos, 2002–2004
Newspaper articles and other materials about Jewish theatres in Ukraine 70 Paragraphs and articles from newspapers and magazines, 1938–2000
Jewish art festivals (programmes and invitations) 74 Programmes, invitations to performances and concerts, 1999–2005 
Jewish theme in Ukrainian theatre 132 Programmes of performances, photos, media reviews, 1987–2019
Demo album “Jewish drama in Ukraine’s contemporary theatres (programmes of performances and photos)” 62 Programmes, photos of scenes from performances, 1999–2001
Mykhailo Hleizer’s sketches of costumes for the play Tevye the Dairyman at Ivan Franko Drama Theatre 29 1989
Jewish theatres and companies in Ukraine and the world (programmes of performances, invitations, media reviews) 145 1948–2005
History of Jewish theatre in Ukraine (chronology) 17 Information about the activity of Jewish theatres (titles and years of performances, directors, painters, and composers)
Posters of Sholom-Aleichem GOSET 12 1945–1948
Materials from the actor Kh. Ostrovsky’s archive 36 Photos and documents, 1940 – the 1950s 
Materials from the archive of the actor and director Arkadii Nuher and actress Sheva Fingerova 48 Photos and memoirs, 1930–1990
Materials of the exhibition “History of Jewish Theatres: Ukraine, 20th century”  (2019) 25 Invitations, posters, CD with the exhibition materials 
Banners from the exhibition “History of Jewish Theatres: Ukraine, 20th century” 11 Banners for the exhibition (organizers: Museum of Theatre, Music, and Cinema of Ukraine, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Center for Studies in History and Culture of East European Jewry), 2019
Oleksandr Khodchenko’s sketches for the exhibition “History of Jewish Theatres: Ukraine, 20th century” 6 Sketches, 2019
Posters of theatre festivals and performances presenting the Jewish theme in Ukrainian and foreign theatres 66 Posters, 1989–2004
Posters of theatre festivals and performances presenting the Jewish theme in Ukrainian and foreign theatres 28 Posters, 1983–2006