Anshel Schorr

Yiddish theater lyricist, composer & actor

Anshel Schorr, son of prominent Lemberg cantor Baruch Schorr, was a mainstay of Yiddish Theater in New York and Philadelphia. He worked as a composer, writer, lyricist, and director for over thirty years. In his three decades of activity, Schorr collaborated with some of the Yiddish theater’s most renowned actors and composers such as Joseph Rumshinsky, Sholom Secunda, Abe Ellstein, Arnold Perlmutter, Herman Wohl, Molly Picon and many more. Of Schorr’s varied and impressive corpus, two works should be mentioned in particular: the operetta Shir Hashirim ( 1911) and the song Mayn yidishe meydele. The operetta Shir Hashirim, with music composed by Joseph Rumshinsky, was premiered at the Thalia Theater on October 6, 1911. The operetta became a staple of Yiddish theater repertoire, and was performed frequently in the decade following its premiere. Following the success of the premiere, Rumshinsky supposedly boasted that the operetta was, “the first romantic Yiddish opera." Schorr wrote the lyrics for the famous song Mayn yidishe meydele, which was the signature piece in Sholom Secunda’s 1927 musical comedy Zayn yidishe meydl (His Jewish Girl). The play premiered at Schorr’s own Liberty Theater in Brooklyn, New York. Covers of the hit song were subsequently released by many leading Yiddish artists, including Jan Peerce, Jacob Sandler, and The Barry Sisters (Claire Barry and Merna Barry). The song has also been included in several recently published collections of Yiddish theater music. 

To learn more about the history and content of Mayn yidishe meydele, visit the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music website and peruse their exhibit entitled, “Great Songs of the Yiddish Stage,” more specifically, the page on Mayn yiddishe meydele, recordings included.