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RG 1955: Fraydele Oysher

Identifier: RG 1955

Scope and Contents

The collection pertains primarily to Fraydele Oysher's career as a stage and radio show performer. Included is correspondence of a professional and personal nature in English and Yiddish, 1944-1997. Clippings in English, Hebrew, Romanian, Spanish, and Yiddish, 1933-2004. Promotional materials, film reviews, playscripts, playbills, performance programs, leaflets, bulletins, and posters in English and Yiddish, 1933-1991. Publicity photos. Legal contracts, 1948-1964. Miscellaneous personal materials, 1953-1963. Music catalogs, song books and song lyrics in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish. The collection also features materials pertaining to Fraydele Oysher's older brother, Moishe Oysher, including a typed biography; correspondence (1940-1943); an article from Jewish Currents, 1985; a list of selected songs; flyers; programs; playbills; and performance tickets in English and Yiddish. Among the numerous performances in which Fraydele Oysher appeared that are featured in the collection are: A khazendl oyf Shabes (A Little Cantor on the Sabbath); Fraydeles khasene (Fraydele's Wedding); It's Never Too Late for Happiness; The Little Queen; and The Golden Girl.


  • Creation: 1933 - 2004

Biographical / Historical

Fraydele Oysher was born on October 3, 1913 in Lipkany, Bessarabia into a family of cantors. While still a child, she and her family, which included her older brother, Moishe Oysher, immigrated to Montreal. Moishe Oysher later became a cantor, actor, and star of classic Yiddish art films, and was known as "The Master Singer of His People." After moving to New York, Fraydele performed in radio and in concerts, and entered Louis Kramer's acting troupe at the Amphion Theatre, where she acted for several months. In 1935, she married Harold Sternberg, a basso profundo opera singer of the Metropolitan Opera House. During their honeymoon the following year, in Argentina, the two performed in various Yiddish stagings, with Ms. Oysher being billed simply as "Fraydele." Following th in New York's National Theatre, in Cuba, and for several weeks in Los Angeles, in A khazendl oyf Shabes (A Little Cantor on the Sabbath). In the 1930s, she also performed on Philadelphia-based radio programs. A number of plays were written specifically to showcase her special vocal and comedic skills, including The Cantoress by Louis Freiman; Fraydele's Wedding; The Sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham Goldfaden; The Little Queen; The Cantor's Daughter; and A Night in Paris!, an operetta by Isidore Lash. Among her later stage appearances was the Yiddish musical It's Never Too Late for Happiness, in which she performed on October 19, 1968 at the Yiddish Anderson Theatre in New York. Fraydele Oysher died on January 5, 2004 in New York.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Romanian; Moldavian; Moldovan


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Marilyn Michaels; Acc. 04/13

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States