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Jacob Lazarus Snitzer (1874-1947) Papers

Identifier: P-36

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists mainly of handwritten and typed drafts of numerous plays, most of which are in notebooks. Many of these playscripts are unlabeled and several are incomplete. There is also a draft of a novel, and notes for plays and for Snitzer’s newspaper column in Der Amerikaner. One folder of correspondence and contracts relates to the production of Snitzer's plays. There are five scrapbooks of newspaper articles, three of which contain the full serialization of novels by Snitzer and two of which contain his “Reb Osher Flam” column. The embossing seal, the 1903 book Physicians' Visiting List in which he wrote some notes for plays, and a few items of ephemera relate to Snitzer’s career as an optometrist.


  • undated, 1909-1946


Language of Materials

The collection is in Yiddish and English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Jacob Lazarus Snitzer was born in 1874 in Lithuania to Abraham and Sarah (Lipschitz) Snitzer. He and his wife, Dora Burstein, immigrated to New York in 1890. They had five children: Pauline, Frances, Alexander, Edna, and Helen. Snitzer was an optometrist at the East Side Optical Institute and also wrote numerous Yiddish plays, several of which were performed on the New York Yiddish stage. In addition, he wrote a three-volume series about Jewish observance, Mensh un toyre (Man and Torah), a biography of the Baal Shem Tov, and had a column in the Yiddish newspaper Der Amerikaner (Jewish American) called “Reb Osher Flam.” Snitzer died January 19, 1947 in New York.


4.9 Linear Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize 1 boxes)


This collection contains handwritten and typed drafts of plays, a novel, and notes for plays and for a newspaper column by Yiddish writer Jacob Lazarus Snitzer (1874-1947). There is also correspondence and contracts relating to Snitzer's plays and five scrapbooks of newspaper articles.


The Yiddish titles of the plays and other writings have been retained, even when the spelling is not consistent and English titles found in the manuscripts have been retained even when they are not a direct translation of the Yiddish title. When no English title is given, the Yiddish title has been translated. The collection has been arranged alphabetically in one series.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mrs. Alexander Elias Snitzer in April 1968.

Digitization Note

Box 1 Folders 3 and 5, and Box 2 Folder 6 have been digitized as part of an ongoing digitization-on-demand program at the Center for Jewish History.

Related Material

Snitzer’s book The Story of the Baal Shem: life, love and teachings of the founder of Chassidism and Jewish mysticism is available through the YIVO Library. All three volumes of Mensh un toyre are available at the American Jewish Historical Society Library.

Separated Material

There is no information about materials that are associated by provenance to the described materials that have been physically separated or removed.

Processing information

Processed by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Guide to the Jacob Lazarus Snitzer (1874-1947) Papers, undated, 1909-1946 P-36
Processed by Rachel S. Harrison
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.
Edition statement
[This version was derived from JacobLazarusSnitzer_P-36.xml]

Revision Statements

  • March, June 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States