Kids and Yiddish originated as a concert sponsored by the Workmen’s Circle that I conceived of with Adrienne Cooper (z’l), Michael Fox and Joanne Borts. From that concert, Joanne, Michael, and I developed it into a show that premiered at the Folksbiene the next year. The material consisted of ways to introduce words and concepts in Yiddish to a non-Yiddish speaking audience of parents and children. Modeled after Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, we developed skits in English that would lead into pop tunes with English lyrics about Yiddish. Michael Fox wrote many beautiful original songs as well; in particular a song called A Regnboygn (A Rainbow) which was inspired after Sept 11, 2001. We expanded the cast in subsequent years with my three children—Avram, Elisha, and Sarah, as well as my niece Marrisa. The cast over the years also included Rebecca Levy, Rachel Yucht, Lisa Mayer, Sruli Dresdner, Evan and Zach Mayer, Nessa Norich, Neva Small, Lisa Fishman, Josh Dolgin, Jeff Warschauer, and Jenny Romaine—who designed many of the sets and costumes for the shows. We produced a CD, Kids and Yiddish, and still years later many audience members come up to me and retell how they either grew up listening to the CD, or brought their kids to those shows or had attended themselves.
Kids and Yiddish
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