Posts Tagged: YIVO Results 19
“I have to sing!… It is a need bigger than eating” a young, handsome Theodore Bikel declares in a clip from Murray Lerner’s 1967 film of the Newport Festival which was shown at the YIVO’s 13th Annual Heritage Luncheon at the Center for Jewish History honoring 91 year old Bikel.
In the mid 1980s several key figures in the klezmer revival movement had day jobs at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. So, perhaps it was only fitting that The Klezmatics were given a lifetime achievement award at YIVO’s Manhattan headquarters November 19. After cocktails and dinner at the Center for Jewish History’s atrium on West 16th Street, the band performed a lively set in an auditorium after being introduced by Jeffrey Shandler, chair of the Jewish Studies department at Rutgers University.
When I recently called Chana Mlotek about an obscure song of a girl weaving sandals, within a nanosecond, she gave me the song’s provenance, lyricist and composer. On November 4 she died at 91. Chana was among the few of a generation to call me by the diminutive Mashele — we shared a more than sixty-year friendship.
The piano was tuned, the vodka was flowing and world renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin posed for photos with noshers and nibblers at the pre-concert reception of the YIVO Institute for Yiddish Research’s 12th Annual Heritage Gala at the Center for Jewish History on May 7. “Just as there is love at first sight, there is friendship at first sight,” said Elie Wiesel as he recalled his first meeting with Russian-born Kissin, the evening’s honoree. Recalling the cultural oppression of what he once dubbed, “The Jews of Silence,” a smiling Wiesel told the festive crowd that there is currently “ a million-strong Russian diaspora in America…in Israel. How can you not believe in miracles?”