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Molly Picon

Molly Picon

A lively comic actress with a talent for playing tomboys, Molly Picon brought Yiddish theater to a wider American audience.

Halloween: JWA Style

We are well into October and it is time to talk Halloween. Knowing that it can be difficult to find a costume that accurately represents your feminism and your Jewish identity, we’ve put together our guide to a well-researched JWA Halloween costume.

Making Trouble: Clips from the Cutting Room Floor

While hard at work here at the Archive, I stumbled upon some interviews that ended up on the cutting room floor during production of our prizewinning documentary “Making Trouble”. Take a look at a few clips that feature fabulous Jewish women in entertainment talking about fabulous Jewish women in entertainment.

See Tovah Feldshuh speak about the ahead of her time Sophie TuckerAlex Borstein explore Gilda Radner's beauty,  Adrienne Cooper's take on Molly Picon gender roles, and Wendy Wasserstein's thoughts Jewish entertainers on and off the stage. 

What "Making Trouble" means to me

If you follow JWA on Twitter or Facebook, it should be pretty obvious that we think Making Trouble, the film about six trailblazing Jewish women entertainers, makes a great Hanukkah present for the whole family.  Normally, the idea of pushing a "product" makes me queasy.  Afterall, I chose to work for a non-profit, not an advertising firm!  So I feel that I owe the JWA audience a real and honest explanation for why I think Making Trouble is something you should own.

Molly Picon

For over seventy years, Molly Picon, star of Yiddish theater and film, delighted audiences with her comic song and dance performances. Picon performed on stage and in Yiddish and Hollywood films for Jewish and non-Jewish audiences around the world. Her engaging persona and powerful performances helped keep Yiddish culture alive by bringing it out of the shtetl and into mainstream American culture.

Award for Yiddish actress, Molly Picon

June 28, 1980

Yiddish superstar comedienne Molly Picon received the Creative Achievement Award of the Performing Arts Unit of B'nai B'rith.

Yiddish Theater in Vienna

Women were a strong presence in Yiddish theater in Vienna, as actors and as celebrated and popular stars. However, their reasons for going into Yiddish theater, their exact positions and functions within the ensembles and the theater scene are hardly known and can be reconstructed in only a very rudimentary manner, due to the lack of sources.

Yiddish Theater in the United States

The American capital of Yiddish theater was New York City, where at times as many as fourteen theaters were filled simultaneously, not counting vaudeville and cabaret.

Yiddish Musical Theater in the United States

Jewish women on stage in America took on a variety of musical roles and performed all kinds of songs, including religious hymns and liturgical chants.

Yiddish Film in the United States

During the early half the twentieth century, feature films in the Yiddish language were produced in and around New York City. During the “Golden Age” of Yiddish film, 1936 to 1939, more than two dozen films opened in New York City to encouraging box-office income, only to be curtailed abruptly by the onset of World War II. The films capture the language and life-style, as well as the values, dreams, and myths of the world of Yiddish culture and immortalize some of the greats of the Yiddish theater.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Molly Picon." (Viewed on August 27, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/15900>.

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