2016 Daytime Programs
***NOW AVAILABLE: Click Here for the 2016 Detailed Program Guide, or scroll down for a summary version***
Each day, YNY will create a hub of programming at the 14th Street Y and the adjacent Town and Village Synagogue. Daily programs feature workshops by internationally-renowned performers and lectures by leading contemporary scholars. Both facilities are accessible to people using mobility aids.*
Klezmer Instrumental Classes:
- Accordion (Christina Crowder and Ilya Shneyveys)
- Brass (Frank London and Dan Blacksberg)
- Clarinet (Kurt Bjorling, Michael Winograd and Zoe Christiansen)
- Drums/Percussion (Aaron Alexander)
- Tsimbl/Hammered Dulcimer (Pete Rushefsky)
- Violin (Deborah Strauss and Adam Moss)
- Student Ensembles – an array of faculty-led ensembles will focus on everything from traditional repertoire to contemporary improvisation!
Yiddish Dance – workshops for dancers of all levels teach the steps to quintessential Jewish dances such as sher, freylekhs, bulgar, honga, hora, Hasidic dances, as well as co-territorial Ukrainian, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian dances. Classes will additionally provide a grounding in traditional gestural language during workshops accompanied by live music. (Steve Weintraub, Avia Moore, Zev Feldman and Jill Gellerman)
Yiddish Song – classes focus on building repertoire (traditional and contemporary), vocal technique, language/dialect, individual/group performance, and having fun! (Joanne Borts, Daniel Kahn, Sarah Gordon, Itzik Gottesman, Sasha Lurje, Ethel Raim, Joyce Rosenzweig, Binyumen Schaechter, Josh Waletzky and Esther Wratschko)
Yiddish Theater – Classes focus on the foundational aspects of creating and performing Yiddish theater in a contemporary, predominantly non-Yiddish speaking world: acting, writing, translating, singing, and the role of historical and linguistic context. We are excited to have Broadway legend Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof lyricist) with us as well as NY Times Best Selling Author Michael Wex! (Shane Baker, Jenny Levison, Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, Alisa Solomon, Nahma Sandrow, Sheldon Harnick, Luisa Muhr and Michael Wex)
Yiddish Language – Classes targeted to beginning, intermediate and advanced students of Yiddish (Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin and Miriam Isaacs). Sponsored by the Workmen’s Circle.
Lectures and Special Workshops:
- The Badkhn Tradition – Three-part series on the role of the traditional wedding poet/emcee, who employs grammen (poetic rhymes in Yiddish), infused with references to Torah, Talmud and the wider culture, to draw tears from the bride in a cathartic wedding ritual known as the kale bazetsn (seating of the bride). Itzik Gottesman (University of Texas, Austin) will provide a historical perspective and we are excited to feature a performance/talk by a leading contemporary Hasidic badkhn.
- Yiddish Culture on the Lower East Side – Four-part series presented by renowned cartoonist and Lower East Side denizen Ben Katchor, as well as scholars Danny Soyer (Fordham), Mark Slobin (Wesleyan) and Gerry Marcus covering everything from landsmanshaftn (immigrant societies for settlers from the same town) to tenement songs, “trash theater”, literature and dairy restaurants.
- Treasures of the Mayrent Collection – klezmer pioneer Henry Sapoznik, the long-time director/founder of KlezKamp who now leads he University of Wisconsin’s Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture, unearths some of the gems of the Mayrent Collection, one of world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of Yiddish and Hebrew 78rpm recordings.
- Power of the Pen: A Poetry Writing Workshop – a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, celebrated poet (and 2016 Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Awardee) Irena Klepfisz’s inspiring work is infused with activism and calls for social justice. Whether you’re an active poet, or want to take your first try at composing verse, join Klepfisz for a special three-part writing workshop.
- The Man Who Saved Klezmer – Jewish ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski (1892-1961) in Ukraine during the 1930s and 1940s preserved an entire musical world of East European klezmer. Presented by internationally renowned clarinetist Kurt Bjorling of Brave Old World and ethnomusicologists Walter Zev Feldman and Mark Slobin. Bjorling has recently edited and published a new edition of Beregovski’s treatise on klezmer music.
- Book Release/Meet the Author – Klezmer scholar Walter Zev Feldman (NYU in Abu Dhabi) gives a talk on his new book, Klezmer: Music, History, and Memory (Oxford University Press), the first comprehensive study of the musical structure and social history of klezmer music. Feldman will additionally perform musical examples with violinist Deborah Strauss (programmed in partnership with the New York Public Library).
- Book Release Party/Performance – Traveling to the Holy Land with Rebbe Nachman: A Literary and Musical Pilgrimage – Literary scholar and clarinetist Ken Frieden (Syracuse University) traces the famous Rebbe’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1798-99, in a multi-media presentation featuring historical images and maps, and locale-inspired tunes from central Ukraine to Odessa to Istanbul to Haifa to Tiberias and Mt. Meron. The talk celebrates the recent publication of Frieden’s book Travels in Translation: Sea Tales at the Source of Jewish Fiction (Syracuse University Press).
- Rachel Korn – A Yiddish Poet in Exile (for advanced Yiddish students) – A refugee during both World Wars, Rachel Korn (1898-1982) fled from Galicia to Vienna, back to Galicia, then to Tashkent, and later Warsaw and Stockholm before settling in Montreal. Join Yiddish scholar Miriam Isaacs, a fellow Montrealer, as she teaches Advanced Yiddish through the prism of Korn’s life story and poetry.
Dance in Yiddish Literature and Culture – Sonia Gollance (University of Pennsylvania) discusses characteristics of the Yiddish dance tradition and presents her research on how references to Jewish dance in Yiddish and German literature illuminate our understanding of this widely popular cultural practice.
- Historical Neighborhood Walking Tour of the Lower East Side – talk followed by a walking tour led by Elissa Sampson (Cornell).
- Yiddish Theater Walking Tour – Yiddish actor Shane Baker leads a group down Second Avenue for a tour of the Yiddish of yesteryear and talks about the stars and behind-the-scenes personalities who created a vibrant theater scene beginning in the late 19th century.
- Yiddish Dialects (in Yiddish) – series investigating regional East European Yiddish dialects presented by scholar Paul Hershl Glasser (sponsored by the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center).
- Nature Walk (in Yiddish) led by Itzik Gottesman.
Lunchtime Film Series – Award-winning director Josh Waletzky curates a wonderful series of lunchtime films each day in the 14th Street Y’s theater– films are followed by a Question & Answer session. Bring a brown bag lunch or takeout from a nearby restaurant, sit and enjoy! This year’s selections will include Joseph Dorman’s documentary Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, Waletzky’s own film commissioned by the League for Yiddish, Chava Rosenfarb: That Bubble of Being, the world premiere of Boris Sandler’s profile of Yiddish activist/literary figure Miriam Hoffman entitled Eyn tog fun a gants lebn, and a special showing of Eatala – A Life in Klezmer – about renowned Philadelphia klezmer drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts followed by a performance by Elaine and her daughter Susan Hoffman Watts.
Teen and Kids’ Programs – Teens will work with OBIE-award winning theater artist Jenny Romaine (Great Small Works) and Rabbi Avram Mlotek (Base) to create cutting-edge multi-disciplinary perfomances. Kids age 2-12 participate in programs based at the 14th Street Y’s child-friendly playrooms with YNY’s experienced faculty led by Sarah Gordon.
Shmuze, Shpil un Zing! – On our final day, Thursday, December 29, YNY will not hold formal classes, but instead create a relaxed atmosphere where registrants can self-direct into activities of their choice – jam sessions with faculty members, one-on-one master classes, group singing, group discussions, and plenty of time to shmuze. We’ll cap the day (and the festival) with the student concert.
*The 14th Street Y and Town and Village Synagogue are physically accessible to people who use mobility aids. The synagogue’s social hall and chapel are at street level, while the sanctuary and 2nd floor Kleiman classroom are accessible via a chair lift.