This Week in History


"Yiddish Theater: A Love Story" debuts in Manhattan

November 28, 2007
Zypora Spaisman in "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story"
Full image
Zypora Spaisman in "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story"
Photo courtesy Dan Katzir.

During one of the coldest winters in the history of New York City, theater director and Holocaust survivor Zypora Spaisman had one week to raise enough money to keep the Yiddish Public Theater’s production “Green Fields” from closing.  In Yiddish Theater: A Love Story, filmmaker Dan Katzir traces the journey of the 90-year-old artistic director through New York during the day and on stage at night, giving her all, as she had for almost 50 years, to preserve Yiddish theater. The film includes rare interviews with some of the key players in the world of Yiddish theater, among them Argentinian actress and singer of the Yiddish stage Shifra Lerer.  

Katzir later wrote, “In that week we learned the meaning not only of perseverance, but also of the love of art for art's sake, even when there may be no audience for it.”

See also: “Yiddish Theater in the United States”, Nahma Sandrow, Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.

Sources: Yiddish Theater: A Love Story, Dan Katzir,; “A City Scholar? Staying the Night? Oy, Such a Catch!”, Lawrence van Gelder, New York Times, November 15, 2000; “Yiddish Theater Bids Goodnight to Shifra Lerer”, Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, March 15, 2011.


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