Kessler (1860-1920) was a prominent actor in the first
great era of Yiddish theatre. As a star Yiddish dramatic
performer in New York City, he was the first leading man
in Yiddish theatre to dispense with incidental music. He
was also the manager of his own theatre.
Kessler first began acting in
Russia in 1882, then when the theatre was banned through
all of Russia, he left for Romania with other actors and
After touring throughout
Romania, Kessler immigrated to the United States where he
became well-associated with the Yiddish stage of the Lower
East Side of Manhattan.
Kessler was also
responsible for bringing Yiddish actress Bertha Kalich to the