Goldfaden, Abraham gōldfäd´ən [key], 1840–1908, Hebrew and Yiddish playwright, b. Starokonstantinov, Russia. He was the first important Yiddish playwright and a leading figure in Yiddish theater. In 1876 he combined some of his songs and poems to form his first plays, which were initially performed in Jassy, Romania. Russian authorities banned Yiddish theater in 1883, and Goldfaden and his followers founded Yiddish troupes in Paris, London, and New York City. Goldfaden settled in New York in 1903 and opened a drama school. Of his 400 plays the most famous is probably Shulamit (1880).
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