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Tribute to Fyvush Finkel: 1922-2016
Sholemaleichem.org @ Yidstock
Sholemaleichem.org sent a roving reporter to the Yiddish Book Center’s annual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music – a major event in the Yiddish and Klezmer calendars. We knew we would find a plentiful supply of Sholem Aleichem fans at the event, as Yidstock was paying a special 100th Yortsayt tribute to the great writer at the festival’s grand finale, a musical celebration of Sholem Aleichem led by the Yidstock All-Stars.
Over the course of the Yidstock weekend our reporter Zachary Aldridge, a Yiddish-loving undergraduate at Columbia University and a 2016 Steiner student at the Yiddish Book Center, facilitated a reading activity which invited the hundreds of attending Yidstockers to read and discuss Sholem Aleichem’s works. The festivalgoers enthusiastically obliged, and we were especially delighted that many of their contributions were in the original Yiddish. We’ll put up the videos from the event very shortly.
Sholem Aleichem 100th Yortsayt Conference
Between May 15-17 2016 ‘Writing Place’ a major Sholem Aleichem conference in Israel looked to illuminate the various facets of “place” in Sholem Aleichem’s oeuvre or in cultural representations derived from his works. The conference considered how his direct and indirect influence permeates literary, theatrical, and cinematic representations of East European Jewish life and, in his late work, America.On the opening night of the conference, Professor Ruth Wisse of Harvard University’s presented a keynote lecture titled ‘Undzer alter Tevye lebt! Our old Tevye lives’. The full conference program can be found here.
Watch conference organizer Professor Hana Wirth-Nesher of Tel Aviv Universtiy’s opening greetings [starting 1:09], and Professor’s Wisse’s keynote lecture [starting 1:57], both delivered in English.
Sholemaleichem.org Launch Event
100 Sholem Aleichem super fans packed the JCC East Bay on May 5th, 2016 to celebrate the launch of sholemaleichem.org. The evening was a great success, combining film clips with lively theatrical readings honoring the life and work of Sholem Aleichem.
The audience needed little encouragement to get involved, crowding the stage for a volunteer-led reading of Sholem Aleichem’s “The Judgement of Shomer,” the writer’s legendary literary take-down of Shomer, another Yiddish author. 10-year-old actor Jake, playing the defense attorney, stole the show! For those who couldn’t fit on the stage there was a group reading from Sholem Aleichem’s iconic Tevye the Dairyman series, which saw the room buzzing with a hundred Tevyes, Chavas and Goldes.
The evening was peppered with film clips examining the past and present of Yiddish literature. Bridge of Books, a short film by Citizen Film’s Sam Ball, celebrates the Yiddish Book Center founder Aaron Lansky’s effort to save Yiddish literature. This was followed by two selections from Joe Dorman’s Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, an excellent portrait of rapidly transforming Jewish life at the turn of the 20th Century.
In the participatory spirit of sholemaleichem.org, we videotaped these live performances and we’ll post them on this page soon! In the meantime, check out the photos from the event.