A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Mordkhe Mazo, 1880-194?



Mordkhe Mazo, 1880-194?


Mordkhe Mazo was born in Borisov in Minsk Province to a traditional family. He attended yeshiva in Mir and, as an extern, earned a diploma to be a tutor. He dabbled in both Zionism and Bundism and, upon moving to Vilna, became a community activist. He then devoted himself to gymnastics and became a gymnastics instructor and, eventually, a co-founder of Makabi. As he continued to teach gymnastics--and create a vocabulary of words in Yiddish for the field of gymnastics--Mazo acted as the principal of a girls' school called Yehudis. During WWI, Mazo became the secretary of the YEKOPA (Russian acronym, Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims) in Vilna and eventually a founding member of PADA which would become the Vilner Troupe. He is credited as the administrative manager who injected the troupe with discipline and order, enforcing these with an iron fist.


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“Mordkhe Mazo, 1880-194?,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed February 29, 2024, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2345.
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