Five Yiddish Comedians by the Forward

WATCH NOW: July 13: Five Yiddish Comedians Walk Into a Zoom…


Join Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter as she talks to contemporary stars of Yiddish comedy and mavens of Yiddish humor. Hear some of the routines that keep audiences coming back for more. This talk will be in English.

Shane Baker has appeared both Off-Broadway and internationally as Vladimir in his own Yiddish translation of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and toured with his one-man show, The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile’s Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville. He also serves as Director of the Congress for Jewish Culture, a Yiddishist organization based in New York.

Michael Wex is the author of three books on Yiddish, including the bestselling Born to Kvetch. He has taught the language at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. His most recent book, Rhapsody in Schmaltz, did for Yiddish food what Born to Kvetch did for Yiddish speech; his latest major work, Baym Kabaret Yitesh, an all-Yiddish cabaret, premiered at the 2019 edition of the annual Yiddish summer festival in Weimar, Germany.

Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson, who are married, were co-creators and stars of Tevye Served Raw, based on stories by Sholem Aleichem “that didn’t make it into ‘Fiddler’”. They also played Velvel and Dora in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated film, A Serious Man. Allen appeared in Fading Gigolo, Boardwalk Empire and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Yelena appeared in Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish and several times in Orange is the New Black.

Hy Wolfe’s 25-year performing career has taken him from California to Europe where he has acted and sung on stage, screen, television, commercials, voiceovers & video films. He is president of the Hebrew Actor’s Foundation, Artistic Director of the Yiddish National Theatre and the Executive Director of CYCO (Central Yiddish Culture Organization).

This is part of our series, “#ForwardFocus: Talks in Trying Times,” in which Forward editors are moderating weekly talks with Jewish leaders working to build community through this crisis.

Five Yiddish Comedians Walk Into a Zoom…


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