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Highly anticipated Yiddish New York festival will be online and on-site

Among the events: the screening of a classic film about two disabled lovers and a lecture about Palestinian Yiddish

For five days during the last week of December, you’ll be able to attend klezmer and Jewish dance workshops, a Yiddish film festival, engaging lectures, Yiddish classes and a lot more at this year’s Yiddish New York festival.

Hosted by Hebrew Union College, the festival, which runs from Dec. 23-28, will feature both online and on-site activities. Not all of the events will be held at HUC. A reunion of the band Yiddish Princess will take place at the Bowery Electric, a popular club in the East Village. For out-of-towners many of the events will be livestreamed, and some will be online only.

Like every year, the culminating event of the music workshops will be a student concert on Thursday afternoon, while Thursday evening features the festival’s signature concert and presentation of the Adrienne Cooper “Dreaming in Yiddish” award. This year’s winner is Germany-based klezmer star Daniel Kahn, whose 2016 video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in Yiddish drew over 2.4 million views.

Novel takes on Yiddish music have a pronounced presence this year. There’s going to be a Kleztronica concert (kleztronica merges electronic music with klezmer) while Ashkenazic dance maven Walter Feldman will teach two classes related to the Ottoman influence on klezmer.

The cultural and historical lectures and demonstrations, in English and Yiddish, are festival staples. Of special interest will be a talk by labor activist Joanne Borts about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and a visit to the memorial, located on the site of the tragedy. YIVO’s Eddy Portnoy will speak about Yiddish in pre-state Israel and fans of Jewish folk art will have a chance to take a daily class in Jewish paper-cutting.

To see the many other features at Yiddish New York this year and to purchase either a festival-long ticket or a pass for individual events, click here.

A message from Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, I wanted to ask you to support the Forverts' 127-year legacy — and its bright future.

In the past, the goal of the Forverts was to Americanize its readers, to encourage them to learn English well and to acculturate to American society. Today, our goal is the reverse: to acquaint readers — especially those with Eastern European roots — with their Jewish cultural heritage, through the Yiddish language, literature, recipes and songs.

Our daily Yiddish content brings you new and creative ways to engage with this vibrant, living language, including Yiddish Wordle, Word of the Day videos, Yiddish cooking demos, new music, poetry and so much more.

—  Rukhl Schaechter, Yiddish Editor

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