Israel Shumacher

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Israel Shumacher (or Schumacher,[1] 1908 – May 21, 1961) was a Jewish comedian who worked together with Shimon Dzigan, thus forming "Dzigan and Shumacher", one of the most famous Yiddish comic duos in the 20th century.


Israel Shumacher first met Shimon Dzigan at the Yiddish experimental kleynkunst (cabaret) stage of the theater Ararat in Łódź, Poland.[2][3]

During Second World War, the duo went through forced labor in the Gulag,[4] escaped from the Soviet Union and fled from Europe to Israel.[1] The duo played themselves at Poland's Yiddish language feature made in 1948 called "Unzere kinder", the first feature film about the Holocaust in Poland ever made where they played themselves.[5] They also had a TV show that ran during the 1970s.[1] For example, to explain Einstein theory of relativity with their own brand of humor, one would explain to the other « If you have seven hairs in your soup, it's a lot. If you have seven hairs on your head, it's very little. That's relativity ».[6]

The duo's TV and live performance was Yiddish satire that focused on their experience in the Gulag, fleeing Europe, and their experience as new immigrants to Israel.[4]


  • On the Ship to Eretz Yisrael[4]


  1. ^ a b c Philip Jolly (2010). Jewish Wielun - a Polish Shtetl. p. 380. ISBN 9781445287737.
  2. ^ ""Ararat" Theatre in Łódź"
  3. ^ Diego Rotman, The Yiddish Stage as a Temporary Home. Dzigan and Shumacher's Satirical Theater (1927-1980) (introduction online)
  4. ^ a b c Yael Remen (2009). Sea of Lights. Xlibris Corporation. p. 561. ISBN 9781465318886.
  5. ^ Tara Zahra (2015). The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II. Harvard University Press. p. 104. ISBN 9780674061378.
  6. ^ Harry Brod (2016). Superman Is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way. Simon and Schuster. p. 58. ISBN 9781416595311.