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"This is the Life!"—Yiddish Theater in New York

Bryna Wasserman, executive director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and daughter of Yiddish actress Dora Wasserman, reflects on the beginning of her career as an actress and living in New York City.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Harold Bloom Recalls Yiddish Plays and Musicals at the Second Avenue Theatre

Harold Bloom, z"l, literary critic, fondly recalls his three older sisters taking him from their home in the East Bronx down to the Lower East Side to attend Yiddish theater.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Memories of the 2nd Avenue Yiddish Theater

Shirley Cohen Steinberg, writer and director of Yiddish plays, describes her experiences going to the Yiddish theater on 2nd Avenue as a child.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Yiddish Theater in Melbourne: A Brief History

Arnold Zable—author, human rights activist and son of Yiddish-speaking immigrants—gives a brief history of Yiddish theater in Melbourne, Australia. He talks about how it got started, who was involved and where is was performed. He also talks about ho...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

On Performing with a Giant of Yiddish Theater: Rick Grossman Reflects

Rick Grossman, actor and part of a Yiddish theater family, talks about working with Molly Picon as a teenager and seeing hundreds of her performances. He explains how she touched his life as an individual and not just as an actress.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

My Grandparents Samuel B. and Fannie Grossman: Pioneers of Yiddish Theater

Rick Grossman, actor and part of a Yiddish theater family, describes his grandparents, Samuel B. and Fannie Grossman, as pioneers of Yiddish Theater because they moved on from the "Meccas" of theater, New York and Philadelphia, to find Jewish audienc...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

A Brief History of the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theater

Aron Gonshor - actor in the Montreal Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and surgeon - recounts the history of The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theater, of which he has been a longtime member.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Accidental Artifacts: The Essence Yiddish Theater and Yiddish Film

Paul Azaroff, Hebrew and Judaic Studies teacher and native of New York City, gets to the heart of his love of Yiddish theater and film. He describes his first show in the Yiddish theater as a parade of brilliant colors and artistry, and his love of Y...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Yiddish Kinder Theater in Los Angeles

Henry Slucki, child survivor of the Holocaust, describes the founding of the Yiddish Kinder Theater in Los Angeles and the productions the company put on.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

How My Grandparents, Samuel B. and Fannie Grossman, Came to Love the Yiddish Theater

Rick Grossman, actor and part of a Yiddish theater family, talks about how his grandparents, Samuel B. and Fannie Grossman, came to find Yiddish theater. He explains how his grandmother's influence gave his grandfather a love of playwriting.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

The Yiddish Burlesque Theater in Toronto

Marlene Hait, raised in a Yiddish home by survivors of the Holocaust, recounts her brief foray into Yiddish theater, when she performed with the Toronto Peretz shule in a burlesque production.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

The Vilna Troupe: My Grandparents' Involvement in Yiddish Theatre

Barbara Buloff, daughter of Yiddish actors Joseph Buloff & Luba Kadison, and granddaughter of Leib Kadison, cofounder of the Vilna Troupe, discusses Leib Kadison's background in Europe grandparents' involvement in the Yiddish theatre in Poland, inclu...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

A Great Institution: Fyvush Finkel on Yiddish Theater

Fyvush Finkel, z"l—comedian, actor, and singer—shares his thoughts on the institution of Yiddish theater and how it has been a part of his life.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Jacob Waislitz, Rachel Holzer and the Melbourne Yiddish Theater

Doodie Ringelblum—medical doctor and Yiddish activist based in Melbourne—shares his knowledge of and experience with Yiddish Theater in Melbourne, which centered around two famous actors from the Vilne Troop: Jacob (Yankev) Waislitz and Rachel (Rokhl...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

There Are Thousands of Other Yiddish Plays Out There!: A Resurgence of Interest in Yiddish Theater

Joel Berkowitz, Director of Jewish Studies and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, comments upon the current state of Yiddish theater and remains optimistic that "the message is getting out there" that there's more to Yiddish theater than just "The Dy...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Abie's Irish Rose And Maurice Schwartz: Remembering How Yiddish Theatre Dealt With Issues of Modern Jewish LIfe

Milly Guberman Kravetz, Boston native and social worker, recalls the plays she saw as a child at the Yiddish Theater, and speaks to the differences between Yiddish and English theater.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

(Re)Interpreting the History of Yiddish in Israel: Theatre, Literature, and Language

Rachel Rojanski, Professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University, discusses her work from her book on the decline of the Yiddish press and the resurgence of a revived, transformed Yiddish theatre in Israel.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Yiddish Theater in the 20th Century: an Interconnected, International Scene

Caraid O'Brien—writer, performer, and director, including of Yiddish works—describes the international phenomena of Yiddish theater during the 20th century. Much of her understanding came from Caraid's close relationships with Yiddish actors Luba Kad...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Fyvush Finkel Remembers the Yiddish Theaters in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Fyvush Finkel, z"l—comedian, actor, and singer—describes attending and performing in the Yiddish theaters as a child in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

People’s Baffled Reactions to Serious Yiddish Plays through the New Worlds Theatre Project

Ellen Perecman, founder and producing artistic director of the New Worlds Theatre Project, discusses people's reactions to Yiddish plays, ranging from the realization that Yiddish plays are just as varied as any other type of play to asking questions...

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts