Elena Hoffenberg

Elena Hoffenberg

Elena Hoffenberg graduated from Harvard with a BA in History and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, focusing on modern Jewish history and Yiddish. While in college, she led Jewish student organizations, volunteered in local schools, and worked with materials in libraries and archives. These experiences contributed to her interest in how interpretations of the past shape our present and can transform our communities. As Development Assistant, she looks forward to working with supporters to broaden the impact of stories told through JWA.

Blog Posts

Indecent Chat

Indecent Says Goodbye

by Elena Hoffenberg and Bella Book

Indecent, the play about the scandal-causing early twentieth-century Yiddish play The God of Vengeance, closed this past weekend. Originally scheduled to close in June, an outpouring of support allowed this play about Sholem Asch’s incendiary work (which featured the first onstage lesbian kiss in Broadway history) to stay open until the beginning of August. During that time, JWA’s resident Yiddish scholar, Elena Hoffenberg, and JWA’s Blog Manager, Bella Book, got the chance to see and discuss this award-winning, heart-warming, somewhat indecent play.

Adina Verson and Katrina Lenk in Indecent

Indecent is Here to Stay! (Sort Of)

by Elena Hoffenberg

For the first time, ever, I decided to watch the Tony Awards earlier this month. This is unusual for me; even Rachel Bloom hadn’t convinced me to be interested. I know next to nothing about theater, but having studied Yiddish and been fascinated by how we tell the stories of Jewish immigration to the United States, I had tickets next month to see Indecent, a drama about a Yiddish play that featured Broadway’s first on-stage lesbian kiss in 1923. I was excited to see how this play would fare at the awards show. When Rebecca Taichman won the Tony for the Best Direction of a Play for her rendition of Indecent, I grew even more excited. It felt that, at least for a while, Indecent’s legacy was somewhat secure on “the Great White Way.”

Topics: Theater
The Wedding Plan (2017) Movie Poster

Rama Burshtein’s “The Wedding Plan”

by Elena Hoffenberg

I did not know what to expect from a romantic comedy about a woman intent on getting married in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, but The Wedding Plan by Rama Burshtein is one of the most feminist films I’ve ever seen.

Topics: Comedy, Film
"Girls" Promotional Image

A Voice of A Generation: Goodbye, Girls!

by Emily Cataneo and Elena Hoffenberg

Like apparently everyone else in the world, we at JWA had some thoughts about the series finale of Girls.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season Two Poster

Second Season with Crazy

by Elena Hoffenberg

I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend during the long days of summer. I had seen earlier videos by Rachel Bloom, the creator and star of CEG, including a “Santa Baby” parody for Hanukkah and her interpretation of a bar mitzvah student’s day dream.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elena Hoffenberg ." (Viewed on May 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/elena-hoffenberg>.

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