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Yiddish Theater

  • News Brief

    Zypora Spaisman, one of the mainstays of post-World War II Yiddish theater, died May 18 at 86. Spaisman, who supported herself by working as a recreation director at senior centers, earned several awards for her acting with the Folksbiene Theater. More ▸

  • Arts & Culture First Family of Yiddish Actors Subject of New Documentary

    Walking into Lillian Lux’s Lower East Side home is like entering a museum of Yiddish theater. The apartment holds a photo of Lux and her husband — the late Yiddish actor Pesach’ke Burstein — from an appearance in Argentina in the late 1930s. There also is a picture of Lux, Burstein and their actor-son, Mike,… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World One of Lithuania’s Few Jews Fights to Rebuild Vilna Ghetto

    It’s a shivery winter Shabbat evening and Emanuelis Zingeris is immersed in a spiritual moment at Europe’s largest synagogue. That would be normal enough, except that the Great Synagogue was destroyed decades ago and Zingeris, totally unfazed by the Baltic chill, stands outside facing the once-holy site, which now houses a Soviet-style kindergarten and a… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Budapest Band Plays Music ‘of Jews Enjoying Themselves’

    On a Friday evening a couple of years ago, a group of Chasidim sat down for a festive Shabbat dinner at King’s Hotel — the only kosher hotel in Budapest. The group, many of them from Brooklyn, had stopped off in the Hungarian capital during a pilgrimage to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of their rabbi’s… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Painter Who Survived Holocaust Has Homecoming Exhibit in Vilnius

    Lithuania is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust by helping to fund an exhibit of paintings by Samuel Bak, a Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor. The show, housed in both the State Art Museum and the Gaon Jewish State Museum, features more than 100 of Bak’s works from 1942-2001. Bak, 68, now lives in Boston. Boston’s… More ▸

  • Warsaw Jews Mark Miracle with Exhibit on Surviving Shul

    This Chanukah, Warsaw’s Jews are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the only synagogue in Warsaw that survived the Holocaust — a synagogue that is today a symbol of efforts to revive Jewish life in the Polish city. The Nozyk Synagogue “is still a living synagogue today, utilized not only for daily and holiday prayers, but… More ▸

  • Philip Roth Tops List of Winners in 51st National Jewish Book Awards

    The following are the winners of the 51st annual National Jewish Book Awards. The awards will be presented by the Jewish Book Council in New York on March 29. FICTION “The Human Stain,” by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin) NON-FICTION “Jew Vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry,” Samuel G. Freedman (Simon &… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A new Yiddish theater company opened performances of its first play in New York last week. The Yiddish Public Theater’s production of Peretz Hirschbein’s “Grine Felder,” or “Green Fields,” focuses on a love affair between a city yeshiva boy and a country girl. Performances are slated to run for 12 weeks. More ▸

  • Actor Walter Matthau Dead at 79, Turned Grouchiness into a Career

    Actor Walter Matthau, who got his start in New York’s Yiddish theater, died Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif., following a heart attack. Matthau, who turned grumpiness into an art form, was 79. During a stage, movie and television career spanning 50 years, Matthau is perhaps best remembered for his role as the slob Oscar Madison… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Actor Walter Matthau, who got his start doing bit parts in New York’s Yiddish theater, died at 79. Matthau, who was known for playing wisecracking, slovenly characters, was born into poverty to immigrant parents on New York’s Lower East Side. He won an Academy Award in 1966 for his role in “The Fortune Cookie.” More ▸