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Lecture Series

on contemporary Jewish culture

February 16 @ Temple Beth Am, 2632 NE 80th St

This Yeat Seattle Yiddish Fest is adding a special program of talks by various artists and Yiddish culture enthusiasts bringing a number of curious topics to light. Spend the day immersed in Yiddish culture and finish it up by going to the final concert!
Suggested donation $15-25 (free for festival participants)

Yiddish Books on shelves recsue IMG_9312

All talks are 45 minutes long.


12:30 pm Yiddish Conversation -- Zay Gezunt! 

by Marianne Tatom.

Kum arayn (come in)—join the Yiddish revival! Far from being a dead language, Yiddish is a way for us to connect simultaneously with past generations (from socialists to Khasidim, and from long-lost ancestors to murdered poets) and some of today’s most relevant Jewish performing artists (from Daniel Kahn’s Yiddish translation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to the popular off-Broadway production of Fidler afn Dakh). Led by a farbrente Yidishistke (a fervent Yiddishist), we will explore basic Yiddish vocabulary together through interactive games, songs, and dialogues. All are welcome—no prior Yiddish knowledge necessary, though you may find you know more Yiddish than you think!

1:30 pm Growing up Jewish in post Soviet Union 

by Sasha Lurje.

Sasha grew up in Latvia, with her formative years falling on early days of the post-Soviet independence. What did this mean for Jewish life in this new country and new society? how did Jewish culture develop and grow and who where the main actors? 

2:30 pm Nusah: How Jews Use Music To Tell Time 

by Cantor Sarah Myerson.

This lecture is open to anyone, including those interested in music theory, chanting, spirituality, and improvisation, and will serve as a broad introduction to modes in synagogue prayer music, their importance to the liturgical calendar, and connections with klezmer music. 

3:30 pm The Klezmatics and the Yiddish Renaissance 

by Lorin Sklamberg

Join the Klezmatics’ founding vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Lorin Sklamberg for a quick tour through their part in the resurgence of klezmer music in the 1980s through their landmark 2006 Grammy award and beyond. Lorin’s talk will be illustrated by recordings both historic and rare from the band’s 34-year career.

Clashing egos, professional slights, and family dysfunction were not the exception, but the bedrock of Yiddish theatre. Come learn three astonishing and hilarious stories of these larger-than-life personalities.

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