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Yiddish film and theater in America, rooted in the rich traditions of Eastern European Jewish culture, flourished alongside Jewish immigration to New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – particularly the Lower East Side. It provided not just entertainment, but also a platform for social commentary exploring themes of immigration, assimilation, identity, and the challenges of modernity faced by Jewish immigrants in America. Despite facing these challenges – including the decline of Yiddish-speaking populations – the legacy of Yiddish theater endures today.

In this episode of our podcast, Conversations with B’nai B’rith, B’nai B’rith CEO Dan Mariaschin delves into the lasting impact Yiddish cinema and theater have had on American culture and Jewish identity with Dr. Nahma Sandrow, author, lecturer and Yiddish film and theater expert. They also discuss more recent efforts to preserve its rich heritage through archival work, scholarly study and more.

WATCH the interview on YouTube and Facebook.