40 years after the first ‘Yiddish revival’ recordings, interest in traditional Eastern European Jewish culture continues to grow among Jews and non-Jews. It’s no longer a novelty to hear klezmer music on NPR or a PBS fundraiser. This June, our own Michael Alpert joined Andy Statman, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, The Epstein Brothers, and Elaine Hoffman-Watts when he was named an NEA Heritage Fellow. Yet, after 40 years, Yiddish culture still struggles not just for funding, but legitimacy, within the Jewish mainstream.
In many ways the growth of the Yiddish world owes much to non-Jewish audiences and support. The Yiddish world is in a double dialogue, on the one hand with the mainstream Jewish world, and on the other, with the mainstream non-Jewish world, often with much more support and interest coming from the non-Jewish side. With many of our core institutions on shaky ground (or, as with Klezkamp, closing shop), how can we re-envision the Yiddish future to take advantage of its relationship with the mainstream Jewish, and wider, world? And what do we need to build, institutionally, to take advantage of the enthusiastic audiences who don’t yet see themselves on the Yiddish side?
Join renowned musician, educator and community leader Hankus Netsky in conversation with Rokhl Kafrissen for a probing conversation on the future of Yiddish cultural continuity.
Faculty: Hankus Netsky and Rokhl Kafrissen