Yiddish New York — the nation’s largest festival of Yiddish music, culture and language — returns December 24 – 29, 2022!



The nation’s largest workshop/festival celebrating Yiddish language and culture — including its signature music, klezmer — is proud to announce its return for its eighth year, taking place from

Saturday evening, December 24th to Thursday, December 29th, 2022. The 2022 festival will be held in a hybrid format, with programs presented online as well as in person at the Museum for Jewish Heritage in Battery Park. YNY 2022 will feature dozens of the leading performers and scholars of Yiddish culture, including:

Trumpeter Frank London of the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics

  • Pioneering folklorist Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (POLIN Museum, Warsaw)
  • Bestselling author Eddy Portnoy (author of Bad Rabbi And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press)
  • Legendary folksinger and NEA National Heritage Fellow Ethel Raim (Co-Founder of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and leader of the famed folk revival ensemble The Pennywhistlers)
  • Renowned folklorist Itzik Gottesman (the University of Texas at Austin)
  • Acclaimed actor and songwriter Daniel Kahn
  • Celebrated violinist Deborah Strauss
  • Innovating klezmer clarinetist and composer Michael Winograd
  • Pew Fellow/trombone innovator Daniel Blacksberg
  • Journalist and Dreaming In Yiddish Awardee 2022 Rokhl Kafrissen
  • Fulbright scholar and violinist Zoë Aqua
  • Celebrated dance leader Steve Weintraub
  • Yiddish singer, composer, and filmmaker Josh Waletzky
  • Yiddish educators Asya Vaisman Schulman, Dovid Braun, and Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin
  • Activist and theater curator Jenny Levison
  • Acclaimed klezmer tsimbl (hammered dulcimer) player Pete Rushefsky (Center for Traditional Music and Dance)
  • Educators and creatives Jenny Romaine and Judy Sweet

A group of leading artists/cultural activists founded YNY in 2015 in response to the closure, after 30 years, of KlezKamp, which had been the world’s longest-running arts program dedicated to the continuity of traditional Yiddish folk culture. YNY annually draws 500 people of all ages and backgrounds for its daytime workshops, plus thousands more for its evening concerts, dance parties, theater performances, and more.

“Yiddish New York is the place for people who want to celebrate Jewishness, and find refuge from the Christmas season, through Yiddish culture and klezmer music. The community and connection to culture are deeply real and all the more needed in our too-often isolated current world,” says trombonist and composer Dan Blacksberg.

“I’ve met some of my closest friends through the New York klezmer and Yiddish scene,” says 27-year-old Esther, a participant in the festival. “This community is a huge part of my identity, and I love that Yiddish New York is helping to keep our traditions alive.”

Each day, YNY participants can take advantage of a full schedule of workshops in Yiddish language, klezmer music, theater, and more, plus a wide variety of performances, lectures and films presenting many of the leading figures in Yiddish culture today. Evening programs feature an eclectic series of online concerts and theater performances.

2022 program offerings include:

  • Lectures by leading scholars of Yiddish history, literature, and culture
  • Yiddish language instruction (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Klezmer music lessons and ensembles (for all instrumentalists)
  • Annual Adrienne Cooper Memorial Dreaming in Yiddish Concert & Award
  • Yiddish vocals/singing workshops
  • Folk dance workshops led by internationally renowned dance instructors
  • Kids and family programming
  • The world’s largest annual Yiddish Film Festival 
  • Creative activism combining arts, politics, and community organizing

YNY welcomes individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of Yiddish (no prior Yiddish required!). Special programs for kids and teens are led by leading educators and performers.

Event passes will be available in early November at www.yiddishnewyork.com. YNY also has scholarships and work-study options available to students and participants with financial needs.

Partner Organizations: The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (fiscal sponsor), The Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Workers Circle, The 14th Street Y, The Forward, The Center for Jewish History, The Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center, The Educational Alliance, The Museum At Eldridge Street, The National Museum of American Jewish History, The New York Klezmer Series, The Town and Village Synagogue, The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, The Stanton Street Shul, The Workers Circle, The Forward Newspapers, The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, The Yiddish Book Center, The League for Yiddish, Yiddishkayt, Klezmer Institute, The New York Jewish Guide, The Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America (YAAANA), JewishWorldLife.com, New York State Council on the Arts, and The New York Jewish Parenting Guide. International partners: Institut Européen des Musiques Juives (Paris), Instituto da Musica Judaica Brasil, KlezKanada (Quebec), The Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto).

Yiddish New York is grateful for support from Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation, the Atran Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Covenant Foundation, Con Edison, the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish, the Yiddish Artists & Friends– Actors Club, Itsik (Jonathan) Sunshine, Nan Bases, Frances & Mitchell Harris, Ellie Schweber, Nicola Bird, Seth Weisberg, and family. Promotional support was provided in part by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NYC & Company Foundation.

About Yiddish New York:

Yiddish New York celebrates and engages with East European Jewish (and other Jewish and co-territorial) traditions to foster new creativity, building bridges across borders – a culture under construction! Drawing inspiration from the historic cultural riches of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Yiddish New York is an intergenerational gathering featuring daily workshops and a broad spectrum of performances and programming. Yiddish New York evenings feature concerts, dance parties, and jam sessions at clubs and other venues around this vibrant neighborhood.

New York Jewish Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *