MEMORIAL EVENING FOR THE MURDERED SOVIET YIDDISH WRITERS AND ARTISTS
On August 12, 1952, in a single night, thirteen Jewish artists, journalists, and scientists were murdered in the infamous Lubyanka Prison in Moscow. This followed years of repression of Yiddish and Jewish culture, the most recent run beginning in 1948 with the state-sponsored murder of Solomon Mikhoels, who had led both Moscow’s GOSET Yiddish Theater and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee during WWII. Among the victims of 8/12/52 were five Yiddish writers: David Bergelson, David Hofshteyn, Perets Markish, Itsik Fefer, and Leyb Kvitko, and the actor Benjamin Zuskin. For the last seventy years August 12th has been remembered as “The Night of the Murdered Poets”, and every year on that date, Yiddishist organizations around the world remember those murdered that awful night, along with other victims of Soviet repression.
This year the Congress for Jewish Culture and COJECO are presenting a memorial program at Scorca Hall of the Opera Center (330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001).
$10 suggested donation, reservation required
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(Tuesday 10 May 2022, online) The Holocaust & the Exile of Yiddish, Book talk: Journalist Rokhl Kafrissen interviews Professor Barry Trachtenberg on his history of the Algemeyne Entsiklopedye. Available for viewing on our YouTube channel here.
(Tuesday 19 April 2022, at der shteyn in Riverside Park) 79th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (click for video).
(Sunday 17 April 2022, online) Our 7th Annual Yiddish 3rd Seder (click for video).
(Saturday 13 November 2021-Sun 14 November 2021, Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, Lilla Scenen)
(Thursday 21 August 2021, online) Night of the Murdered Poets: Memorial Program for the Soviet Yiddish Poets and Artists Killed August 12, 1952 (click for video).
(Sunday 20 May 2021, online) Itzik un di Goldene Pave: Celebrating 120 Years of Itzik Manger, with Mike Burstyn, Shura Lipovsky, Dr. Helen Beer, Ruth Levin, Mendy Cahan, Binyumen Schaechter, Sharon Bernstein, Gitl-Schaechter-Viswanath, and Miri Koral.
(Monday 19 April 2021, online) 78th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, viewable here.
(Tuesday 30 March 2021, online) Our 6th Annual Yiddish 3rd Seder, conducted entirely in Yiddish.
(Sunday 21 March 2021, online) MEGILLAH CYCLE, a brand new dramatization of Itzik Manger’s Megile-lider directed by Mike Burstyn and featuring an international cast. Still viewable on our YouTube channel here.
(Monday 14 December 2020, online) 100th anniversary production of The Dybbuk in Yiddish with English subtitles and English narration. In the international company are Mike Burstyn, Shane Baker, Mendy Cahan, Refoyel Goldwasser, Amitai Kedar, Yelena Shmulenson, Suzanne Toren, Michael Wex. Direction and adaptation by Allen Lewis Rickman. Music by Michael Winograd. Editing and technical advisor Uri Schreter. Still viewable on our YouTube channel.
(Wednesday 9 December 2020, online) Facebook Live panel on the life and art of Sh. Ansky, the production history of The Dybbuk, and its impact on Jewish and world theater. The panel, featuring Yiddish and Yiddish theater scholars Debra Caplan, Itzik Gottesman, and Nahma Sandrow, will be moderated by playwright, translator, and writer Caraid O’Brien. Still viewable on our YouTube channel.
(Sunday 30 August 2020, online) Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, tsum 88stn Yortsayt, a special program remembering the great Yiddishist poet Moyshe-Leyb halpern, who passed away on 31 August 1932; featuring Mike Burstyn, Raphael Crystal, Daniel Kahn, Miri Koral, Yeva Lapsker-Kahn, Ruth Levin, Sasha Lurje, Allen Lewis Rickman, Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Shane Baker, Yelena Shmulenson, and Michael Wex.
(Wednesday 12 August 2020, online) Troyer-akademye: Program in memory of the Soviet Yiddish writers murdered by the regime on August 12th, 1952. With Maia Evrona, Professor Dov-Ber Kerler, Evgeny Kissin, Svetlana Kundish and Patrick Farrell, Eleanor Reissa, Allen Lewis Rickman, and Yelena Shmulenson.
Treplekh aroyf tsu a nes: a sibe af a mesibe, a program celebrating new works by Boris Sandler and featuring Kolya Borodulin, Mendy Cahan, Refoyel Goldvaser, the Ilanot Vocal Ensemble, Evgeny Kissin, Miri Koral, Rita and Nukhim Koyfman, Annick Prime-Margules, Yosele Niborski, Boris Sandler, Dinele and Zisl Slepovitch, and Yefim Zubriki. See the video here.
(Sunday 24 May 2020, online) 104th yortsayt commemoration for Sholem Aleichem featuring Mike Burstyn and Lea Koenig, with the participation of Mendy Cahan (Tel Aviv), Raphael Crystal (New York), Rafael Goldvaser (Buenos Aires), Anna Fishman Gonshor (Montreal), Elisa Gray and Tomi Kalinski (Melbourne), Miwa Kogure and Wataru Ohkuma (Tokyo), Miri Koral (Los Angeles), Caely-Jo Levy & Robin Cohen (Cape Town), Sasha Lurje and Craig Judelman (Berlin), Eleanor Reissa (New York), Yelena Shmulenson (New York), Miryem-Khaye Seigel (Brooklyn), Viver Com Yiddish (Rio de Janeiro), Michael Wex (Toronto, Michael Winograd (Brooklyn). See the video here.
(Sunday 19 April 2020, online) 77th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. See the video here.
(Monday 13 April 2020, online via Zoom and Facebook Live) Our 5th Annual Yiddish 3rd Seder, conducted entirely in Yiddish. See the video here!
(Through February 15 2020, James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center) Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of the Refugee Modernism, an art exhibition including works by Yiddish artist Yevgeniy Fiks, and Yiddish poet and artist Yoni Fain.
(Saturday 18 January 2020 at 6PM & 9PM, Royter Kuter Theater) Avrom Sutzkever’s Dortn vu es nekhtikn di shtern directed by Moshe Yassur and featuring Miryem-Khaye Seigel and Shane Baker.
Thursday 16 January 2020 at 8 PM, Versus Real Estate) Sholem Aleichem and Mark Warshawsky: Two of a Kind –– Stories and songs by two fo the best-loved Yiddish creators, with Nicole Borger (Sao Paulo) and Shane Baker.
(Monday 23 December 2019 at 3 & 7 PM in the Playroom Theater) Special return engagement of Tevye Served Raw with Allen Lewis Rickman, Shane Baker, and Yelena Shmulenson.
(Saturday 21 December 2019 at 7 PM in Der Royter Kuter Teater) Avrom Sutzkever’s Dortn vu es nekhtikn di shtern directed by Moshe Yassur and featuring Miryem-Khaye Seigel and Shane Baker.
(December 5, 2019) Statement: Today is the Seventh International Ladino Day at the University of Washington in Seattle. We at the Congress for Jewish Culture send greetings to Professor Devin Naar at the University of Washington and to everyone celebrating Ladino today.
Though Yiddish continues to be an important vehicle for Jewish national identity, in the 21stcentury, it exists along with a growing awareness of the multiplicity of Jewish cultures and ways of being. We honor the traditional internal trilingualism of Eastern European Jewry (Hebrew-Aramaic, Yiddish, and local vernaculars) while positioning ourselves as language maximalists. As advocates for the centrality of Yiddish to Ashkenazi Jewry, our work situates Yiddish within a context of other diasporic Jewish languages.
Diasporic Jewish languages are those fusion languages which developed wherever Jews picked up new vernaculars and set them to Jewish purposes. Ladino is one of the most important diasporic languages in Jewish history, containing a number of regional varieties and a rich tradition of music and poetry. Events like International Ladino Day demonstrate the vitality and importance of diasporic Jewish languages.
We salute the global community of Ladino speakers, teachers and artists. Munchos y Buenos!
(Thursday 7 November 2019–Monday 11 November, 6 performances in Der Royter Kuter Teater) World premiere of Avrom Sutzkever’s Dortn vu es nekhtikn di shtern directed by Moshe Yassur and featuring Miryem-Khaye Seigel and Shane Baker.
(Monday 12 August 2019 at 7 PM, YIVO, New York City) August 12th Memorial: Reading and Discussion of Shloyme Mikhoels’ Lost Play Der Boyer (The Builder) with Dr. Vassili Schedrin, Shane Baker, Allen Lewis Rickman, and Yelena Shmulenson.
(Sunday 30 June 2019 at 1:35 PM, Film Forum, NYC) Overture to Glory with Yiddish Vaudeville, Yiddish recitation by CJC Director Shane Baker.
(Wednesday 5 June 2019 at 12:30 PM, Film Forum, NYC) American Matchmaker with Yiddish Vaudeville featuring CJC Director Shane Baker and Steve Sterner at the piano.
(Monday 3 June 2019 at 4 PM, Fairfax Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library) Mina Bern, Last of the Yiddish Divas, an illustrated lecture.
(Sunday 2 June 2019 at 2 PM, Mark Taper Auditorium, Los Angeles Central Library) Yiddish High Art in Drag: Introducing Mitzi Manna in Her First-Ever Final Farewell Tour.
(Thursday 30 May 2019 at 7 PM, Opera America, NYC) Bletlekh Groz: Celebrating Walt Whitman’s 200th Birthday –– open mic reading of Louis Miller’s influential Yiddish translation of the great American poet.
(Sunday 26 May 2019 at 3:50 PM, Film Forum, NYC) The Dybbuk, introduced by CJC Director Shane Baker.
(Monday 20 May 2019 at 6 PM in the Queens Library Forest Hills Branch) Introducing MISS MITZI MANNA in her FIRST-EVER FINAL FAREWELL TOUR!!! a bilingual Yiddish-English program.
(Tuesday 23 April 2019 at 6 PM in Brooklyn’s Montauk Club) Yiddish Third Seder.
(Friday 19 April 2019 at 1 PM at the memorial stone in Riverside Park’s Warsaw Ghetto Memorial Plaza) 76th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Participants: Avram Patt; Marcel Kshensky; Henry Nusbaum; Hemshekh Choir; Avram Mlotek)
Monday 28 January 2019–Wednesday 13 February 2019 at the Playroom Theater) reprise of Tevye Served Raw, a potpourri of works by Sholem Aleichem.
(Wednesday 2 January 2019 at 7:30 PM in Opera America’s Scorca Hall) David Serebryanik in his North American debut, presenting his newly devised score for Y.L. Peretz’s classic Yiddish ballad Monish as recited by Shane Baker. Monish was preceded by a concert including Three Piano Pieces by Georg Kreisler; Gershwin’s Preludes; excerpts from Viktor Ullmann’s The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke; as well as original preludes of David’s own.
(Wednesday 26 December 2018 at 10 PM in the KGB Bar Red Room) Shane Baker and David Serebryanik present Introducing Mitzi Manna in Her First-Ever Final Farewell Tour (in conjunction with Yiddish New York).
(Thursday 18 October 2018 at 7 PM in the Workmen’s Circle) Vivi Lachs of London speaks on Biting Yiddish Satire from Winchevsky to Avreml: Nuancing Histories of Immigrant Politics and Religion, 1884-1914.
(Thursday 19 April 2018 at 3 PM at the stone in Riverside Park) 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Participants: Professor David Slucki of the College of Charleston; Professor Irena Klepfisz of Barnard College; Chair: Marcel Kshensky. In the artistic program, the Hemshekh Choir.
(Tuesday 3 April 2018 at 6 PM) Annual Yiddish Cultural Seyder held at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn, NY.
(Monday and Tuesday 5-6 March 2018, 6-9 PM) Echoes of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 in Yiddish Literature. Seminar taught by Professor Eugene Orenstein of McGill University.
(Sunday 4 March 2018 2018 at 1:30 PM) Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center 21 Purim Party with CJC director Shane Baker and special guest Miss Mitzi Manna.
(Sunday 25 February 2018 at 4 PM and 7 PM at UCLA Royce Hall) Tevye & Co., Yiddish theater presentation based on the works of Sholem Aleichem presented for the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language, the UCLA Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies.
(Thursday 18 January 2018 at 7 PM at the JCC Manhattan) Memorial for the Soviet Yiddish actor and director Shloyme Mikhoels on the 70th anniversary of his murder. with Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, Shane Baker, and Gera Sandler.
(Tuesday 19 December 2017 at 6 PM at 12 West 18th Street) CJC Latke Party with special guest Lauren Brody.
(Sunday 14 December 2017 at 8 PM at the Werkstatt der Kulturen) Shtetl Neukölln Cabaret hosted by CJC director Shane Baker. With Andrea Pancur, Amit Weisberger, and Nitsan Bernstein, and special guest Miss Mitzi Manna!
(Thursday 27 July 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Center for Jewish History) Memorial for the Soviet Yiddish writers and artists murdered on August 12, 1952. Presentation of Boris Sandler’s new film, a one-on-one interview with his old mentor and friend, Chaim Beider (1920-2003), in Yiddish with English subtitles.
(Thursday 13 April 2017 at 6PM at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn) Yiddish Third Seder.
(Wednesday 19 April 2017 at 3PM in Riverside Park between 83rd and 84th Streets) Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial with Chayele Palevsky, Irene Klepfisz, Agata Rakowiecka, Paula Teitelbaum, and Daniel Kahn.
(Saturday 18 March 2017 at 8 PM at Yiddish of Greater Washington, Bender JCC of Greater Washington) Tales from the Train: Sholem Aleichem 100 Years Later, with Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, and Shane Baker.)
(Sunday 12 March 2017 at 7 PM at the National Yiddish Book Center) The Real Deal Purim-Shpil with Shane Baker, Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Eli Rosen, and Steve Sterner.
(Sunday 4 December 2016) Kavehoyz with Lorin Sklamberg and Polina Shepherd.
(Saturday, October 29th and Sunday, October 30th 2016 at the Phoenix Theater in Melbourne, Australia) Sholem Aleichem yortsayt program in conjunction with the Melbourne Kadimah.
(Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 2 PM at the Workmen’s Circle Arbiter-Ring of Toronto) Tales from the Train: Sholem Aleichem 100 Years Later, with Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, and Shane Baker.
(Sunday, September 11th, 2016 at 2 PM at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal) Sholem Aleichem 100th yortsayt program featuring Congress director Shane Baker in a solo appearance in Yiddish and English.
Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 2 PM at the Ot Azey program in Cape Town, South Africa: Celebrating of the Wit & Wisdom of Sholem Aleichem in Words and Song. Starring Shane Baker with Caely-Jo Levy & the Yid Dish Players.
Thursday, August 11th, 2016 at 7 PM: Annual memorial for the Soviet Yiddish Writers murdered on August 12, 1952. World premiere screening of the film Chaim Beider: Poet, Editor, Essayist, a new documentary film by Boris Sandler.
Thursday, June 9 at 6:30 PM at the Robertson Branch, Los Angeles Public Library and Sunday, June 12 at 2 PM at the Central Branch, Los Angeles Public Library: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Yiddish* (*But Forgot to Ask Your Bubbie). Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, May 17 at 6 PM and 8 PM: Sholem Aleichem 100th yortsayt celebration in Cinematek, Tel Aviv in conjunction with Beit Sholem Aleichem, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University. Featuring Chava Alberstein.
January 2016-May 2016, Sundays at 6:30: Nokh hekher! The Excelsior Reading Circle: reading Di Nevue fun Shvartsaplen by Avrom Sutzkever.
Monday, April 25th, 2016 at 6:00 PM – Yiddish seyder of the Congress for Jewish Culture. Potluck Yiddish cultural seyder in Park Slope, Brooklyn (sold out).
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 at 3 PM – Annual Memorial for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Speaking: Fay Rosenfeld (English) and Majus Nowogrodski (Yiddish). Chair, Marcel Kshensky. Artistic program: Eleanor Reissa, Annette Harchick, and Paula Teitelbaum.
Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 PM – Tales from the Train: Sholem Aleichem 100 Years Later, with Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, and Shane Baker. Presented by the New York Public Library. Free and open to the public, seating first come first served. Celeste Auditorim of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue.
Did a nudnik ever buttonhole you and chew your ear off? Did you ever realize you were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Did you ever try to talk sense into an imbecile? Sholem Aleichem did all of this and more a hundred years before we did, and his descriptions of life in Eastern Europe and early 20th-century New York. Enjoy an evening of the rib-tickling, heart-rending tales of the most beloved Yiddish writer of all time.
Free Staged Reading in English and Yiddish with English translations.
Tuesday, August 11th, 2015: the CJC held its annual memorial for the Soviet Yiddish artists and writers slain August 12, 1952. Appearing for the 2015 event, Ala Zuskin Perelman, daughter of Moscow State Yiddish Theater principal actor Benjamin Zuskin, spoke about her father and reading from her recent memoir of him.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015: Coffee House/Farbrengen in conjunction with the New Yiddish Rep and with support by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York. Michael Menachem Fox led a singalong from the Camp Hemshekh Songbook.
Sunday, June 21st, 2015: Coffee House/Farbrengen in conjunction with the New Yiddish Rep and with support by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York. Shane Baker and Miryem-Khaye Seigel with Steve Sterner at the piano in A Night in the Casino: Songs and Sketches from the Golden Age of the Yiddish Catskills.
On Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 at 3:45 PM and 9 PM, the short film How to Break into Yiddish Vaudeville was debuted at the New York Jewish Film Festival. This short subject by neon animator Jack Feldstein documenting the cutthroat world of Yiddish vaudeville features the drawings of Ellen Stedfeld and the voice of Shane Baker (on a double bill with Natan by director David Cairns).
On Sunday, January 11th, 2015 at 2 PM the Congress for Jewish Culture and the American Jewish Historical Society presented a memorial celebrating the life of Yiddish actress Mina Bern on the occasion of her 5th yortsayt with the participation of Eleanor Reissa, Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson, Joanne Borts, Sandy Levitt, Shira Flam, Hy Wolfe, Masha Leon, Shane Baker, and Steve Sterner.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014: Zingeray — Khanike sing-along in memory of Yiddish writer and folksinger Beyle Schaechter Gottesman on the occasion of her yortsayt. Held at Beyles Yidish-hoyz on Bainbridge Avenue.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014: The Haunted Sukke/Yiddish Open Mike, a collaboration with YIVO and Great Small Works.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014: Annual memorial for the Soviet Yiddish writers murdered on August 12th, 1952. Program featured Dutch soprano Sofie Van Lier in a program of songs by Soviet Yiddish writers.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014: Coffee House of Yiddish song for the YIVO Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish studies. Please contact us via email for further information.
Sunday, March 16, 2014: Yiddish Purimshpil program at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA – free and open to the public. Please visit their website for information and reservations.
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 from 1-2:30 PM: memorial for the Yiddish poets Bella Schaechter-Gottesman and Yonia Fain, both of whom were active with the Congress for Jewish Culture. The memorial is free and open to the public and will take place at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012.
Weekly Leyenkrayz (Yiddish reading circle): Each Monday from 5PM-6:30 we gather to read classics of Yiddish literature. Recent projects have included Yoshe Kalb by Y. Y. Zinger and Der Shtumer Minyen by Chaim Grade.
08/21/13 at 7 PM Book party for Yiddish Poet Khayke Beruriah Wiegand to be held at the Workmen’s Circle, 247 West 37th Street. More details to follow.
09/20/13 at 7 PM Waiting for Godot in Yiddish opens at New Yiddish Rep playing at the Castillo Theater.
10/26/13 at 8 PM Klezmer Party with Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz to be held at the Workmen’s Circle, 247 West 37th Street. More details to follow.
The Big Bupkis! at the JCC in Manhattan
(Saturday 18 February 2012-Sunday 19 February 2012) The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Click here to read the New York Times’ article on Bupkis star Shane Baker.
Lexicon of Soviet Yiddish Writers
Our most recent publication is the late Chaim Beider’s Biographical Dictionary of Yiddish Writers in the Soviet Union. Beider passed away in 2003, so Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh edited the final volume of 464 pages, containing entries on 487 Soviet Yiddish writers, some of whom have never been mentioned in any lexicon. The book also includes a trilingual (Yiddish-English-Russian) glossary of Soviet Yiddish terms compiled by Estraikh.
- Read Nahma Sandrow’s meditation on the book and our annual memorial for the Soviet Yiddish writers executed on August 12th, 1952.
- Read the Forverts article in Yiddish.
- Hear commentary in Mikhl Baran’s Yiddish
- Forward article on our work in the field of Yiddish
- Congress mentioned in national news in yet another article on the so called “Yiddish revival”
- Read Rokhl Kafrissen on why we need more continuity and less revival.
- New York Times covers Congress Executive Director Shane Baker.
- A trip to the Yiddish Artists and Friends Actors’ Club
Further past events:
(7 September 2012 at the Townsend Building, 1133 Broadway) A Portable Dybbuk with Benjy Fox-Rosen and Shane Baker.
(Tuesday 22 May 2012 at Temple Beth Emeth of Brooklyn) Kavehoyz Mitch Smolkin on Rexite the Wunderkind (reprise).
(Monday 21 May 2012 at the Workmen’s Circle Building) Kavehoyz Mitch Smolkin on Rexite the Wunderkind. The Canadian singer performs rare materials associated with Seymour Rexite and tells about the life of “The Yiddish Perry Como.”
(Monday 22 August 2011 at KlezKanada) The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville.
(Wednesday 25 May 2011 at Temple Beth Emeth of Brooklyn) Kavehoyz concert with Cantor Sharon Bernstein.
(Thursday 17 February 2011 at Temple Beth Emeth of Brooklyn) Kavehoyz concert with Miryem-Khaye Seigel accompanied by Zisl-Yeysef Slepovitch.
(Thursday 21 October 2010 in the Townsend Building) Kavehoyz Concert of Old World Yiddish Songs and Melodies with Carol Freeman accompanied by Ismail Butera.
(Thursday 12 August 2010 at the YIVO) Night of the Murdered Poets Memorial Concert with Sovali.
(Thursday 25 February 2010 in the Workmen’s Circle Building) Kavehoyz concert with Miryem-Khaye Seigel accompanied by Zisl-Yeysef Slepovitch.
(Wednesday 30 December 2009 in the Townsend Building) Kavehoyz concert with Andrea Pancur: Yiddish Oompah, with Andreas Schmitges on mandolin and Emma Stiman on clarinet. US debut!
(Saturday 22 August 2009 at the Swedish Summer Yiddish Seminar) The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville.
(Wednesday 27 May 2009 in the Atran Center for Jewish Culture) Kavehoyz concert with Zisl-Yeysef Slepovitch.
(Sunday 19 April 2009 at der shteyn in Riverside Park) 66th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Readings by Irena Klepfisz, Neal Aponte, David Mandelbaum, and Shane Baker. Musical Tribute by Adrienne Cooper. Marcel Kshensky, Chair.
(Sunday 22 March 2009 at the Los Angeles Yiddish Culture Club) Vortkontsert with Congress for Jewish Culture Executive Director Shane Baker.
(Thursday 12 March 2009 in the Atran Center for Jewish Culture) Kavehoyz concert with Markus Milian Muller and Friends: Songs inspired by traditional Yiddish singing styles as well as the mambonikes music of the 1950s.
November 2016 report:
Az ikh vel aykh zogn “Gut-morgn”, darft ir entfern “a gutinke nakht” — if I greet you with a “Good morning”, you’lll have to wish me a good night! These regards are from the land down under where the CJC in conjunction with the Melbourne Kadimah and some generous private donors sponsored a Sholem Aleichem 100th yortsayt memorial Not Dead Yet!, with original material by Arnold Zable and scenes and monologues by Sholem Aleichem. 3 performances in 2 days brought Yiddish culture to over 600 attendees.
In fact, 2016 has been a miraculous year for the Congress for Jewish Culture, bringing Yiddish culture to venues the world over:
In March we partnered with the New Yiddish Rep to bring Vartn af Godo, the Yiddish Waiting for Godot, to Paris as part of the international Commençez! Beckett Festival there.
In April we filled the house with a Sholem Aleichem program to the Celeste Auditorium of the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman building at 42nd and Fifth.
In May CJC director Shane Baker worked with Beit Sholem Aleichem in Tel Aviv to present a Sholem Aleichem program there with Chava Alberstein on the bill and over 800 attendees.
In June we partnered with the California Institue for Yiddish Culture and Language to present two Yiddish performances for the Los Angeles Public Library system.
And August through November all he** broke loose as we presented Sholem Aleichem classes and programming in venues from Circle Lodge to KlezKanada, the South African Broadcasting Corportation in Cape Town, the Little Theatre on the Square in Johannesburg, the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, the Workmen’s Circle of Toronto, and now, most recently in Melbourne with a side visit to the Yiddish interest group in Sydney.
This winter we’ll be offering a 6 part Sunday evening course in Sholem Aleichem’s writings for those who missed the Circle Lodge and KlezKanada workshops; and we’ll be celebrating some new books, including Dr. Barnett Zumoff’s long-awaited full translation of Emanuel Goldsmith’s Yiddish Literature in America: 1879-2000 among others. In February, CJC director Baker will be teaching master classes in Yiddish theater and giving public performances at the College of Charleston in South Carolina..
Halevay vayter nit erger! Let’s keep the run going! All of this is done with the help of a relatively small pool of donors who steadfastly believe in promoting Yiddish culture ITST – now! We’re always looking for more people to help us, both with eytse and pleytse with advice as well as materially. Feel free to chime or chip in to help keep Yiddish culture blossoming in New York, throughout North America, and worldwide!
An assembly of Yiddish lovers at our Johannesburg program in conjunction with the Union of Jewish Women:
CJC director Shane Baker visited the Union of Jewish Women’s lunch table in Johannesburg township Alexandra and entertained the children with a magic trick and a Yiddish song – they returned the favor with the South African national anthem.
Remember: Yiddish is like Levy’s rye – ou don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it! (Of course, it doesn’t hurt.)