Carol Burnett
The Folksbiene Chanukah Spectacular is generously supported by the National Yiddish Theatre Patrons Circle:

Anonymous (2)

Stanley and Marion Bergman

Deena and Joshua Bernstein

Tom and Lanie Blumberg

Paul and Rodica Burg

Sandra and Stewart Cahn

Jacob and Audrey Cappell

Joe and Sally Cooper

Sharon and Jon Corzine

Theodore H. Feder

Karen and Edward Friedman

Tatyana and Alan Forman

Louis and Eva Galpern

Robert and Trudy Gottesman

Philip Hiat

Uri and Judy Kaufthal

Patti Askwith Kenner

Proskauer Rose LLP; Steven and Nancy Kirshenbaum

Larry and Teena Lerner

Carol and Jerry Levin

Ruth and David Levine

Sima Katz and Rita and David Levy

Jon Lukomnik and Lynn Davidson

Mark and Audrey Mlotek

Morris and Nancy Offit

Joseph Potasnik

Caryl B. Ratner

Seryl Ritter 

Judith and Stuart Rosen

Mark and Anita Sarna

Harriet P. Schleifer

Manny Schiffres

Minna and Mark Seitelman

Linda and Jerry Spitzer

Carol Kahn Strauss

David Teyf

Jeffrey and Cynthia Wiesenfeld

Peter and Ellen Weintraub

Jane and Stuart Weitzman

Erika and Kenneth Witover

Jay and Stephanie Wisnicki

Barnett Zumoff

NYTF thanks its individual major donors for their support of this event


Amy Bressman

Alan Brudner and JoAnn Navickas

Steven M and Barbara Friedman

David and Lucille Gildin Family Foundation

Debbie and Howard Jonas

Morris and Rickie Platt

Ken Rosen

Daryl Roth

Betty Cooper Wallerstein

NYTF is generously supported by the following foundations

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
New York Theatre Program

Atran Foundation

David Berg Foundation

Howard Gilman Foundation

Jewish Community Youth Foundation

Karma Foundation

Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation

Lemberg Foundation

Jerome Robbins Foundation

Shubert Foundation

Waldman Foundation

Government support for NYTF is provided by:

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

New York State Council on the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts

Emanuel “Manny” Azenberg Veteran producer Emanuel “Manny” Azenberg’s career has spanned more than 50 years, 65 productions for Broadway, 25 Tony Award nominations and eight Tony Award wins. Following a stint in the U.S. Army, he started in theater in 1959, assisting in company management on Broadway. He became a producer with The Lion in Winter (1966) and won his first two Tony Awards for Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978) and Children of a Lesser God (1980). Azenberg produced more than 20 of Neil Simon’s plays on Broadway, including The Sunshine BoysBrighton Beach Memoirs, and Lost in Yonkers. He received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre in 2012.

Jenifer Babiak – Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof; Off Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (Golde); Tours: West Side Story (Maria), Grease (Sandy) Evita (Mistress); Favorite Regional/Other: My Fair Lady (Eliza), Jekyll and Hyde (Emma), Lincoln in Love (Mary Todd); Graduate of NYU Steinhardt . Special thanks always to Family, Friends and husband Michael.

Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom Blossom. She is most recently known for playing the role of Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory. The role received multiple accolades with 2 Critic’s Choice Award wins, 4 Emmy nominations and a SAG Award nomination. Following the iconic show ending, Bialik and her production company, Sad Clown Productions, announced her new series for FOX, Call Me Kat, which she will star in and Executive Produce with her former co-star Jim Parsons. She’s also launching a podcast on mental health this Fall titled Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown.

After Blossom, Bialik took a break from acting to earn a BS and PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA. She’s authored a myriad of books, 2 of which reached #1 on the New York Times Best-Sellers list (Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular and Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant). In addition to her writing as a published author, Bialik is a frequent contributor to a variety of Jewish publications via the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and 70 Faces Media. She can be found on social media at: @missmayim.

Joanne Borts Broadway/Tours: Once (original company); Fiddler w/Topol; Cinderella w/Eartha Kitt; Funny Girl. Off-Broadway: Yiddish Fiddler (NYTF/Stage 42); On Second Avenue; Hello Muddah…; Kids & Yiddish; The Golden Land. Concerts: Shanghai Sonatas (Udel Master Players); Showboat (Carnegie Hall), Warsaw Zingera; Vienna Kulturherbst; KlezFest London; Kleztival Brasil. @LushandHora; Far undzere eltern.

Geni Brenda A 1996 graduate of the National University for Drama and Film in Bucharest, class mentored by famous actor Florin Zamfirescu, Geni joined the State Jewish Theater of Bucharest, in 1998, where she performed in productions by well-known Yiddish authors, as Hava in the Fiddler on the Roof (1998), Anne Frank (2004),etc. Geni was also an assistant professor for drama studies at the Hyperion University. She performs in both Yiddish and Romanian. Copyright Revista Tango 2017.

Jonathan Brody – NYTF: The Sorceress, The Megile of Itzik Manger, Gimpl Tam Broadway: A Bronx Tale, Amazing Grace, Spamalot, Titanic, Sally Marr…and her escorts, Me and My Girl. Tours: Mary Poppins, Funny Girl, My Fair Lady. Off-Broadway: Pirates!, Theda Bara & the Frontier Rabbi. Regional: Diary of Anne Frank, Lost in Yonkers, Animal Crackers.

Rebecca Brudner is a New York-based performer and theater maker. NYTF credits: The Sorceress, Hannah Senesh, On Second Avenue. Select regional credits: R&H’s Cinderella, Matilda (Tuacahn); Macbeth, Guys and Dolls (Arkansas Shakespeare); Fiorello! (Berkshire Theatre Group); Oklahoma! (Goodspeed). Many thanks to Zalmen, Jamibeth, and everyone at NYTF!

Mendy Cahan, Yiddish singer, actor, badkhn, teacher and founding director of the YUNG YiDiSH Library and Cultural center in Tel Aviv, Performed on Yiddish stages or zoom worldwide, and in the award-winning movies “Murer: Anatomy of a Trial” and “Son of Saul” where he also served as Yiddish coach.

Cameron Johnson Favorite credits in both theatre and opera include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF IN YIDDISH (Fyedka), THE GOLDEN BRIDE (Misha), THE TINY MOUSTACHE (Franz) INTO THE WOODS (Rapunzel’s Prince/Wolf), ORLANDO PALADINO (Pasquale), and Jeff Blumenkrantz’s MOVING RIGHT ALONG(Kyle). BM Acadia University, MM Manhattan School of Music.

Efim Chorny and Susan Ghergus The Chorny-Ghergus Duo — Moldova, (vocals/piano) is one of the most renowned groups in Yiddish music in Europe and beyond. They’ve been teaching faculty in many international festivals of Yiddish music. Efim and Susan are leaders of the “Theatre of Jewish Song” (Moldova) and soloists of international bands “Klezmer Alliance”,”Besarabish”,,”Pro-Yiddish Project”,»Yiddish Vocalists». The Chorny/Ghergus Duo award winners of the S. Mikhoels International Festival(Moscow), recipients of the Bubbe Award (Sao Paulo, Brazil) in the Best Yiddish Song nomination, recipients of the Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award.

Billy Crystal Tony and Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, producer, writer and director BILLY CRYSTAL is known to audiences around the world as the star of such feature films as When Harry Met Sally…, City Slickers and Analyze This; as a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live; and as the acclaimed nine-time host of the Academy Awards®. Crystal has also hosted the GRAMMY® Awards three times and earned 5 Emmy’s for his work as host, writer and producer on both award shows. Crystal won his 6th Emmy for the HBO Comedy Special “Midnight Train to Moscow.” Crystal was the 2007 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and is a NY Times best-selling author of 5 books, two of which were for children. In 2004, Crystal made his Broadway debut with the original production of his one-man show 700 Sundays, for which he won a Tony Award. The Broadway production was taped in front of a live audience for an HBO special that aired in April of 2014 and garnered 4 Emmy Nominations. 

Crystal can now be seen starring in the friendship comedy Standing Up, Falling Down opposite Ben Schwartz. He recently wrapped production on his highly anticipated directorial feature Here Today, in which he stars as a veteran comedy writer opposite Tiffany Haddish, a talented young singer. Next on the horizon, Crystal is developing a Broadway musical adaption of the 1992 classic film Mr. Saturday Night.

Matthew “Motl” Didner is the Associate Artistic Director of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Associate Director: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (Drama Desk Award winner). Director of NYTF productions: The Sorceress, The Megile of Itzik Manger, Fyvush Finkel Live (Drama Desk Nominated). Co-Director: The Golden Bride (Drama Desk Nominated). Creator of 15 Minute Yiddish.

Josh “Socalled” Dolgin is a Juno-nominated pianist, singer, accordionist, producer, composer, rapper and artist based in Montreal, Quebec. The writer of 5 musicals, Josh has played with, produced for, featured, recorded and arranged for Gonzales, Itzhak Perlman, Lhasa, Fred Wesley, Andy Statman, Adam Cohen, Boban Markovic, the Mighty Sparrow, Roxanne Shante, Irving Fields, Killah Priest, Matisyahu, Ben Caplan, Theodore Bikel, Jack Stratton from Vulfpeck, Enrico Macias and Derrick Carter. Dolgin was the subject of The Socalled Movie, a 2010 feature documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada which features his video for “You Are Never Alone” which garnered over 3 million views on Youtube.

Tovah Feldshuh, six-time Emmy & Tony nominee, has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Broadway: Yentl, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, Pippin, etc. TV: Holocaust, Law & Order, The Walking Dead, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Films: Kissing Jessica Stein, A Walk on the Moon, The Idolmaker, & Clifford (release 11/ 2021). Her memoir, LILYVILLE: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played, is on presale and comes out April 13 for Mother’s Day.

Beanie Feldstein is an actor most known for her roles onscreen in Booksmart, Lady Bird, How to Build a Girl, and onstage in Hello, Dolly!. She will soon produce and star as Monica Lewinsky in FX’s American Crime Story: Impeachment. As a writer, she has published essays in Refinery 29, Instyle, and the book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other Lies). She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015 with a BA in Sociology.

Lisa Fishman Singer/Songwriter/Actress. Highlights: Bobe Tsaytl (“Fiddler On The Roof” in Yiddish – Director: Joel Grey), Nancy (“Oliver”), Sally Bowles (“Cabaret”), Fanny Brice/Emma Goldman (“Tintypes”), Toybe (“The Golden Bride – NYTF), Chicago’s “Maxwell Street Klezmer Band” (including concert at Carnegie Hall), Singing in film, “Dummy,” starring Academy Award winner, Adrien Brody.,

Cantor Magda Fishman A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s H.L. Miller Cantorial School in New York. As cantor and singer-musician, Cantor Fishman, a mezzo-soprano, brings a vibrant and unique experience to Jewish music and synagogue life through a unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles. Over the years, she has built a large and loving following among a wide spectrum of audiences. Her repertoire includes liturgical masterpieces, Israeli songs, jazz, musical theater and her own compositions.

Prior to her investiture in May 2011, Cantor Fishman served in the Israeli Army Orchestra as vocal soloist and trumpet player. She has performed extensively in Israel and Europe, the United States and Canada including the Kennedy Center, Central Park summer stage. Rose theater Lincoln center, the National Gallery of Canada, the 92nd Street Y Festival, central summer stage, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Walter Reade Theater, Prague State Opera, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington, rose theatre-Lincoln center and Central Park summer stage.

She is part of the group: divas on the bimah and Soul to Soul of the Folksbine Yiddish Theater with maestro Zalmen Mlotek. She is the recipient of the prestigious America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship.

Cantor Fishman lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is the senior cantor of Bnai Torah congregation, the largest conservative synagogue in Florida.

Kirk Geritano is happy to return to the (virtual) Folksbiene stage for this benefit gala. Folksbiene credits include: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (Avrom), The Sorceress (Katsef/Zorekh, 2017 concert version), Der Goylem (Monakh/Untererdiker) and It Can’t Happen Here (Julian Falck). Member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Brian Glassman One of NYC area’s most in-demand double bassists, Brian is best known for his work in Jazz, and Klezmer musical styles. Some of the Klezmer and Jewish music stars that Brian has worked with include Andy Statman, Frank London, Zalmen Mlotek, Alicia Svigals, Mandy Patinkin, Sid Beckerman, Pete Sokolow, Theodore Bikel, Adrienne Cooper, and Neshama Carlebach. Jazz greats like; Paquito d’Rivera, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Lionel Hampton, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Randy Brecker, Gene Bertoncini, Billy Cobham to name just a few. Brian and his historic c.1820’s Prescott American double bass are featured on new recorded releases from, Neshama Carlebach, Woody Mann, Carol Hall, Andy Statman, Klezmerfest, Liza Minnelli, and the Johnny Rodgers Band. Brian is an Ambassador of American Music for the U.S. State Dept. and Instructor of Jazz Bass at Princeton University.

Abby Goldffarb is a native New Yorker and has watched nearly 30 seasons of the TV show Survivor during the pandemic. Pre-Corona, she was most recently seen in “Fiddler On The Roof in Yiddish“ directed by Joel Grey and the industry reading of Barry Manilow’s musical, “Harmony” directed by Warren Carlyle.

Jazmin Gosline had the pleasure of appearing as Mirele in the NYTF’s The Sorceress. She performed Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies in Hamburg, and Eliza on the Cameron Mackintosh National Tour of My Fair Lady. Other credits include Carnival! at The Kennedy Center, and off-Broadway in My Parsifal Conductor.

Joel Grey In a career that was launched in the early 1950’s, Joel Grey has created indelible stage roles each decade since. Grey made his theatrical debut at the age of 9 in On Borrowed Time at the storied American regional theatre the Cleveland Play House. He recently directed a production of the play at New Jersey’s Two River Theater Company for their 20th Anniversary Season. He made his Broadway debut exactly two decades later in Neil Simon’s first comedy hit, Come Blow Your Horn (1961). Since then, his Broadway credits include the Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Half a Sixpence, Cabaret (Tony Award), George M! (Tony nomination), Goodtime Charley (Tony nomination), The Grand Tour (Tony nomination), Chicago (Drama Desk Award), Wicked, Anything Goes, and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Joel’s dramatic stage roles include Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Give Me Your Answer, Do! (Drama Desk nomination), New York City Opera’s Silverlake (directed by Hal Prince) and Larry Kramer’s seminal The Normal Heart at the Public Theatre, which he also subsequently co-directed with George C. Wolfe in its Tony Award winning Broadway premiere (Drama Desk Award, Tony nomination).

Joel received the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the British Academy Award for his performance in the 1972 film version of Cabaret (directed by Bob Fosse). He is one of only nine actors to have won both the Tony and Academy Award for the same role. Other film credits include Man on A Swing, Robert Altman’s Buffalo Bill and the Indians, The Seven Percent Solution, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka, Altman’s The Player, The Music of Chance, Michael Ritchie’s adaptation of The Fantasticks, Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark and Clark Gregg’s Choke. Notable television appearances include “Brooklyn Bridge” (Emmy nomination), “OZ,” “Law and Order: CI,” “House,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Private Practice,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Warehouse 13,” and “CSI.” In 2010, Joel was honored for his illustrious television career by The Paley Center for Media in both NYC and Los Angeles.

Joel is also an accomplished photographer. He has five books of photographs, Pictures I Had to Take (2003), Looking Hard at Unexamined Things (2006), 1.3 – Images From My Phone (2009), and The Billboard Papers (2013) and The Flower Whisperer. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. His memoir, Master of Ceremonies, was published in February 2016 (Flatiron).

Joel most recently directed the acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish which won the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical Revival, the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Revival, and a 2019 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Special Citation.

Joel is the father of Jennifer and James and the grandfather of Stella.

Samantha Hahn is thrilled to reunite with her Folksbiene family! Off-Broadway: Fiddler Afn Dakh (Beylke). Voiceover: Nickelodeon’s Nella the Princess Knight (Trinket). Sammy studies musical theatre at Manhattan School of Music, and wrote the new book On the Roof: A look inside Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. Website:

Jackie Hoffman: TV: “Feud!” (Emmy Nomination), “The Politician,” “At Home With Amy Sedaris,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Difficult People,” “Elementary,” “Girls,” “New Normal.” Film: “Birdman,” “Kissing Jessica Stein,” “Decay,” “The Sitter.” B’Way: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On The Town, The Addams Family, Xanadu, Hairspray (Theatre World Award). CD: Live at Joe’s Pub.; Twitter: @jakiehoffman16.

Elmore James has spent a lifetime in the theater as an actor, Broadway musical performer, international opera singer, and director. He has performed at all the major musical venues in New York City, including the Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall, as well as in the opera houses of Europe.

Daniel Kahn Detroit-born, Berlin-based troubadour Daniel Kahn’s music mixes Yiddish, English, klezmer, and folk-punk. His groups include The Painted Bird, Brothers Nazaroff, Semer Ensemble, and The Unternationale. He was the original Perchik in NYTF’s Fiddler and Yosl in Amerike. He played Biff in NYR’s Death of a Salesman, the Badkhn in the Netflix series Unorthodox, and was featured in Carnegie Hall’s From Shtetl to Stage.

Carol Kane’s theater credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Tempest, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wicked, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Harvey, The Children’s Hour, Beth Henley’s The Debutante’s Ball and The Lucky Spot, John Cassavetes’ A Woman of Mystery, and more. Her television and film work is extensive. She was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Hester Street. She won two Emmy Awards as ‘Simka’ on Taxi and garnered an Emmy nomination for her work in Chicago Hope. Kane was also a series regular on the award-wining Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as ‘Lillian’, and currently stars opposite Al Pacino in Amazon’s Hunters.

Richard “Ruvn” Kass has performed with the Folksbiene since 2007 and is a long-standing member of their Outreach Troupe. He received an MFA from the New School for Drama, and has performed with the Flea Theatre and Judith Shakespeare Company, among other New York City and regional theatre companies.

Heather Klein is passionate about special projects, Yiddish song and bringing stories to life. Most currently her music from Shanghai Angel was seen on, upcoming performance in God of Vengeance (YTE), and a Lullaby recording out in December. Performed with Sundance, Music theatre Group, Yiddish festivals and produces Yiddish Las Vegas Festival

Miwazow Kogure is a singer, Chin-Dong (traditional Japanese percussion) drummer, and Koto player. She is the one and only Japanese Yiddish singer. Referred to as the “International Chin-Dong Diva,” she has played traditional Japanese drums and sung with her radical folk-rock band, “Jinta-la-mvta”, blending jazz, rock, Klezmer, Balkan folk music, etc.

Yeva Lapsker was born in Leningrad and grew up in Germany. A traveler of worlds and words, she works as a translator of Yiddish, German, Russian, and English, and a dancer, specializing in Tango Argentino and Yiddish dance. She was engaged as choreographer and dancer for the acclaimed Netflix series Unorthodox. She works frequently with her partner Daniel Kahn as translator and multimedia video artist.

Ben Liebert played Motl in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and has starred in Allan Sherman on a Friday Early Evening and A Bisl Borscht: A Tribute to Mickey Katz for Folksbiene Live. Other credits include Wicked, Little Shop of Horrors, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, and Avenue Q. AEA/SDC

Shura Lipovsky (Netherlands) writer and composer of new Yiddish songs, gave concerts with different ensembles and projects she had initiated around the world.

She performed with her Lipovsky\Mlotek\Warschauer trio in Warsaw for the 50th anniversary of the Ghetto uprising (1993), with Theodore Bikel and their quartet‚Serendipity 4’ in Carnegy Hall (2008) and she premiered successfully in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with her recent ensemble Novaya Shira (2011). In 2015 she performed in ‚Kulturfest’ in New York with her Hassidic story and Yiddish song-program ‚The Magid of Amsterdam’ with pianist Joyce Rosenzweig.

In 2017 Shura received the Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award.

Shura Lipovsky produced 5 CD’s; most recent: Vaytinke and Malakh, with traditional Yiddish songs and her own new Yiddish song repertoire. (

Sir Frank London is a Grammy-award winning co-founder of the Klezmatics. His compositions include Freylekhs – Klezmer Fantasy for Trumpet & Orchestra ; the Yiddish-Cuban opera Hatuey Memory of Fire; multimedia work Salomé: Woman of Valor (with Adeena Karasick) and 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America (with Judith Sloan & Warren Lehrer). Frank has worked with John Zorn, Karen O, Itzhak Perlman, Pink Floyd, LL Cool J, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5; is on over 500 CDs and was featured on Sex And The City.

Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician, producer and actor, with a career that has spanned more than 50 years. His hit recordings include “Could It Be Magic”, “Mandy”, “I Write the Songs”, “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Copacabana (At the Copa)”.

He recorded and released 51 Top 40 singles on the Adult Contemporary Chart, including 13 that hit number one, 28 appeared within the top ten, and 36 in the top twenty. Manilow has released 13 platinum and six multi-platinum albums.

As well as producing and arranging albums for himself and other artists, Manilow has written and performed songs for musicals, films, and commercials for corporations such as McDonald’s, Pepsi-Cola, and Band-Aid, from the 1960s. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award (winning once) as a producer, arranger and performer a total of fifteen times (and in every decade) from 1973 to 2015. He has also produced Grammy-nominated albums for Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan.  Manilow has sold more than 85 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Stephanie Lynne Mason is thrilled to be a part of NYTF’s Chanukah Spectacular. She was last seen as Hodl in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddishdirected by Joel Grey and the 2016 Broadway revival covering the principal daughters. Other favorites: Dyanne on the National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet, Gussie in Amerike the Golden Land at NYTF and Louise in Gypsy. Special Thanks to Motl, Zalmen, Jamibeth and Dominick! Insta: @stephli619,

Zalmen Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds. For the past 20 years, he has been the Artistic Director and conductor at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. His vision brought the critically acclaimed award-winning Fidler AfnDakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish ) directed by Joel Grey, for which he served as music director to NY, and will serve as musical supervisor for the International and National tours being planned

He brought Yiddish-Klezmer music to Broadway and Off-Broadway stages with the Tony-nominated Those Were the Days and Drama Desk Nominated Amerike – The Golden Land. He serves as Music Director for most NYTF productions, including the recent New York Times Critics Pick The Sorceress and Drama Desk Nominated musical The Golden Bride. His music can be heard in over two-dozen recordings and films, has taught and performed all over the world, and worked with countless singers including Jan Peerce, Theodore Bikel, and Mandy Patinkin.

Freydi Mrocki is a Teacher. Performer. Lead singer of Klezmania (Australia). Yiddish activist un “kultur tuer”. When not on stage, in the classroom, or at meetings, Freydi can be found in the kitchen making soups (and secretly eating potatoes). 

Raquel Nobile hot geshept fil nakhes fun di gelegnhaytn tsu shafn sheyne muzik mit der Folksbiene in azelkhe spektaklen vi Fidler Afn Dakh, Di Kishef-Makherin, un Amerike dos Goldene Land. Zi iz a graduantke fun der Menhetener Shule fun Muzik. A freylekhn khanike!

Mandy Patinkin has been fortunate to carve out a varied career including theater, the concert stage, film, television, and as a recording artist. 

In his 1980 Broadway debut, Mandy won a Tony Award for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, directed by Hal Prince, and was nominated in 1984 for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George.  Mandy’s other stage credits include: Compulsion, Paradise Found, The Tempest, Enemy of the People, The Wild Party, Falsettos, The Secret Garden, The Winter’s Tale, The Knife, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Rebel Women, Hamlet, Trelawney of the ‘Wells,’ The Shadow Box, The Split, Savages, and Henry IV, Part I. 

In 1989, Mandy began his concert career at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City.  Since then he has toured (and continues to) his various solo concerts (Dress Concert, Mamaloshen, Celebrating Sondheim, and Diaries) across North America, in London’s West End, through Australia and New Zealand, as well as on Broadway and off-Broadway.  In 1997 he played a sold-out Broadway engagement of Mandy Patinkin in Concert, with all profits benefiting five charitable organizations, and in 1999, while on tour, Mandy ended each concert by heading to the theater lobby with a cardboard box, asking patrons to empty their pockets for PAX, a gun safety organization, and Doctors Without Borders, in response to both the Columbine shooting and the Bosnian War.

In addition to his solo concerts, Mandy has created collaborations with artists including opera super-star Nathan Gunn in An Evening with Mandy Patinkin & Nathan Gunn; with his dear friend Patti LuPone in An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin which has toured since 2007 and played Broadway in 2012; Bridges, a concert with musicians from various countries in the Middle East; and most recently, The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, with Taylor Mac, and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman.

Mandy’s newest feature film Before You Know It, debuted August 2019 in NYC and Los Angeles. Other feature films include Life Itself, Wonder, Wish I Was Here, The Wind Rises, Everybody’s Hero, The Choking Man, Pinero, The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland, Lulu on the Bridge, Men with Guns, The Princess Bride, Yentl, The Music of Chance, Daniel, Ragtime, Impromptu, The Doctor, Alien Nation, Dick Tracy, The House on Carroll Street, True Colors, and Maxie.

In television, Mandy won a 1995 Emmy Award for his performance in the CBS series Chicago Hope”, and starred in the CBS series “Criminal Minds” and in the Showtime Original Series “Dead Like Me”.  He recently completed eight seasons of the Award-winning Showtime Original Series “Homeland” as CIA Agent Saul Berenson.

As a recording artist on CBS Records, Mandy released two solo albums, Mandy Patinkin and Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual.  Recently on the Nonesuch label, Mandy recorded three digital albums Diary January 2018, Diary April/May 2018 and Diary December 2018. Also on the Nonesuch label, Mandy has recorded Experiment, Oscar & Steve, Leonard Bernstein’s New York, Kidults and Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim. In 1998 he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. The recording of Mamaloshen won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy Award).

Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and music teacher. Over the course of his career Perlman has performed worldwide, and throughout the United States, in venues that have included a State Dinner at the White House honoring Queen Elizabeth II, and at the Presidential Inauguration of President Obama.  He has conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  He has been awarded 16 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and four Emmy Awards.  

Tony Perry is an actor, singer-songwriter and voiceover artist. He’s been seen on the New York stage in the US premiere of Murray Schisgal’s 74 Georgia Ave., which was performed in English and Yiddish; Caroline, or Change; Leslie Lee and Charles Strouse’s Martin: A New Beginning; Bastard Jones; Raisin; Allegro; More Than All The World; A Shelter In Our Car; Repo: The Genetic Opera; The Groove Factory; Cross That River; and The Bonus Army. SAG-AFTRA, AEA.

Lexi Rabadi is so thankful to have been invited to spark joy and spread laughter with NYTF this holiday season! With NYTF, Lexi had the honor to appear in The Sorceress last winter, as well as in Hannah Senesh last summer, as Hannah. Sending love and virtual hugs to you all!

Daniella Rabbani is delighted to be performing with NYTF again. Her favorite credits at the Folksbiene include Drama Desk-nominated The Golden Land, Gimpel Tam, and Hershele Ostropolye as well as countless concerts with Zalmen Mlotek including Ghetto Tango. Other credits: Rabbi Zoe on CBS’ God Friended Me, The Americans on FX, Triangle Fire on PBS, Sundance Film Fest’s Appropriate Behavior, Tribeca Film Fest’s Be Here Nowish, and Oceans 8 opposite Sandra Bullock. Daniella’s short film OMA inspired by her experience as a third-generation Holocaust survivor can be found on Amazon Prime. More @daniellarabbani +

Eleanor Reissa Director, writer, actress, singer. Broadway: INDECENT; THOSE WERE THE DAYS (Tony Nomination). Recent TV: HBO’s THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA; ABC’s FOR LIFE. She has sung everywhere in NYC: Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, and festivals around the world. Former artistic director of the Folksbiene, Eleanor will direct Paddy Chayefsky’s THE TENTH MAN in Yiddish. Host of podcast “Those Who Were There: Voices of the Holocaust.”

Bruce Sabath NYTF: Fiddler Afn Dakh (Leyzer, Tevye U/S), NYC: Larry in Company (Tony Award, Best Revival), Cagney, Follies, Hello Again, The Gig, Platinum. Regional: Fiddler… (Tevye, BroadwayWorld Award, Stages-St.Louis), Frost/Nixon (Nixon). TV: “Madame Secretary”, “Blacklist”, “Elementary”, “Limitless”. Graduate of Harvard, Wharton and The Esper Studio. Love to Karen, Jeremy, Kat and Michael.

Neil Sedaka Singer. Songwriter. Composer. Pianist. Author. Neil Sedaka’s impressive sixty year career ranges from being one of the first teen pop sensations of the 50’s, a tunesmith for himself and other artists in the 60’s, an international superstar in the 70’s, remaining a constant force in writing and performing presently. This is all thanks to the countless songs he has written, performed, and produced that continue to inspire artists and audiences around the world.

Dylan Seders Hoffman is an NYC and Cleveland-based actor, performance artist, and director. She was last seen on the Folksbiene stage in 2019 in The Sorceress. Dylan’s original work has been presented at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and she has performed in the works of Headlong Dance Theater and Boris Charmatz.

Kayleen Seidl’s favorite quarantine hobbies include rock-climbing, biking, and playing with her puppy. Credits: Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, Christine (Phantom), Guenevere (Camelot), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Rebecca (It Shoulda Been You), Cosette (Les Misérables), and Songs for a New World. St. Olaf College: BM Vocal Performance, BA Spanish. @kayleenseidl

Drew Seigla Off-Broadway: Matt; The Mute in The Fantasticks, Anthony/Tobias/Beadle Standby in Sweeney Todd at Barrow Street. Opera: Gastone in La Traviata with Lyric Opera Virginia. Seigla performed the role Pertshik in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish with NYTF directed by Joel Grey. Website: Instagram: @drewseigla

Adam B. Shapiro Folksbiene credits: Gimpl Tam, The Megile of Itsik Manger, The Golden Bride, and Fiddler on the Roof. Other Stage credits: Death of a Salesman, Bastard Jones, The Mikado, Ragtime, and She Loves Me. FILM/TV credits: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Friends From College, Master of None, 30 Rock, and HBO’s The Normal Heart.

Merlin Shepherd Apart from his with his own ensembles, Merlin Shepherd has toured and played  internationally with Budowitz, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars, The Klezmatics. He has been Music Director for The National Theatre (UK), The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (London), Ra-Ra Zoo and most recently was Music Director of Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London.

Polina Shepherd (Russia / UK) is a performer, composer, choir leader and cultural activist originally from Russia. Her current work is united by the umbrella of The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience covering vocal music from large scale choirs projects to duets. Leads four choirs and performs internationally.

Steven Skybell – most recently starred off-Broadway as Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF in Yiddish directed by Joel Grey, for which he received the Lucille Lortel award for Best Performance by a leading actor in a musical. His other Broadway credits include the 2016 revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF(Lazar Wolf); PAL JOEY; WICKED; THE FULLY MONTY; LOVE!VALOUR!COMPASSION!; CAFÉ CROWN; AH, WILDERNESS!

Zisl Slepovitch is a composer, ethnomusicologist, critically acclaimed performing artist (woodwinds, keyboards, vocals), conductor, music and Yiddish educator, leader of Litvakus klezmer ensemble; Musician-in-Residence at Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University, a frequent contributor to NYT Folksbiene productions, including Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (off-Broadway). @zislepovitch

Dinah Slepovitch (7), a native of Brooklyn, New York, loves music, books, and languages. Outside her school curriculum, she studies violin and choral singing. Yiddish is one of Dinah’s three household languages, and she loves learning and performing new songs in Yiddish. Dinah Slepovitch has appeared in the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special, KlezKanada 2020, Boris Sandler’s 70th Anniversary Online gala, as well many Yiddish programs by Der Arberter Ring (The Workers Circle) and independently on social media.

Jodi Snyder is an NYC-based actor from Chicago, Illinois. Previous credits include Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and Pete the Cat. Jodi is so excited to be performing with the Folksbiene again and to be part of their virtual Chanukah production!

Matt Temkin (drums, percussion) has played various National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene concerts and productions since 2005. He also can be found playing drums at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the UWS.

Lauren Jeanne Thomas is an actor/musician based in NYC, most recently seen as The Fiddler in NYTF’s Fiddler on the Roof at Stage 42. Other notable credits: Once (Reza, Nat’l tour), The Goree All-Girl String Band (NYMF). She graduated from Boston University with a BFA in Acting and received classical training from LAMDA. @taurenlhomas

Bobby Underwood is thrilled to be ending this bizarre year on a familiar note with his second family, the Folksbiene. Previous Yiddish theatre credits include the Immigration Officer in Amerike – The Golden Land, the Organ Grinder in The Sorceress, and the Constable (Der Gradavoy) in the Drama Desk-winning Fidler afn Dakh.

Tatiana Wechsler – NYTF: The Golden Bride, The Sorceress. First woman Curly in Oklahoma! (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Off-Broadway: X: Or Betty Shabazz…, Julius Caesar (Acting Company). NYC: Othello (Acting Company). Regional: Love in Hate Nation (Two River), Benny & Joon (Paper Mill), Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre Company). Film: Netuser. Singer-songwriter. NYU New Studio graduate.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, better known as Dr. Ruth, is a German-American sex therapist, media personality, author, radio, television talk show host, sniper, and Holocaust survivor. Her media career began in 1980 with the radio show Sexually Speaking, which continued until 1990. She has hosted several series on the Lifetime Channel and other cable television networks from 1984 to 1993 and is the author of 45 books on sex and sexuality. 

Mikhl Yashinsky Born: Detroit. Educated: Harvard. Title roles, The Sorceress and Soutine; Nokhum/Mordkhe, Fidler afn dakh; Guildenstern, R&G Are Dead. Directing: Brundibár, The Happy Prince (Michigan Opera Theatre); Tosca (Lowell House Opera). Co-author, In eynem: The New Yiddish Textbook. Named to 2019’s Forward 50, listing “influential, intriguing, inspiring” American Jews.

Rachel Zatcoff recently completed a year and a half run Off-Broadway as Tsaytl in Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish) directed by Joel Grey. She made her Broadway debut as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She has also performed with the International Tour of West Side Story in the role of Maria. Rachel made her New York City Opera debut in Candide directed by Hal Prince. She later made her principal debut at the company with the new jazz opera, Dear Erich, in the role of Lili. Other favorite performances include A Little Night Music at Syracuse Opera, The Secret Garden at TUTS, and Street Scene at Opera North. @rachelzatcoff /

Jerry Zaks is the director of the upcoming Broadway musicals Mrs. Doubtfire and The Music Man. Mr. Zaks has directed more than 30 productions in New York. He has received four Tony Awards and been nominated eight times. He’s also received four Drama Desks, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, and an Obie. His credits include Hello, Dolly!, A Bronx Tale: the musical, Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, Nantucket Sleigh Ride, Shows For Days, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Guys and Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me a Tenor, House of Blue Leaves, The Front Page, A Funny Thing…Forum, Smokey Joe’s Café, Anything Goes, La Cage aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Foreigner, A Bronx Tale, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and the original production of Assassins. He began his career directing the extraordinary plays of Christopher Durang including Sister Mary Ignatius…, Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bath Water, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. He directed the award-winning film Marvin’s Room, starring Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton; and Who Do You Love, which was featured in the Toronto Film Festival. Mr. Zaks is a founding member, and serves on the board, of the Ensemble Studio Theater. He received the SDC’s George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1967, received an MFA from Smith College in 1969, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Dartmouth in 1999. He is a 2013 inductee to the Theatre Hall of Fame.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers’ Unions:





through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.

Performing artists are subject to change without notice.