The Yiddish/Jewish event of the year
The International YI ❤ Yiddishfest is a production of the Yiddishkayt Initiative (YI), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that celebrates and promotes Jewish history, life, and culture as well as their positive and far-reaching impact on the world. From performing arts, publishing, and education to language, philosophy, and literature, YI offers a global clearinghouse of Jewish culture and entertainment staffed by experts in subject matter and production. We work with a wide range of organizations, including Federations, JCCs, synagogues, Hadassah chapters, Hillel chapters, men’s groups, women’s guilds, special interest clubs, youth groups, summer camp programs, and educational institutions.
Avi Hoffman is best known as an actor and Jewish Culture Activist, who was nominated in 2015 for a NY Drama Desk Award for his Yiddish language portrayal of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
Recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame, Avi has been awarded Congressional recognition for his work on behalf of Jewish culture, He is the co-founder of the Yiddishkayt Initiative (with his mother Professor Miriam Hoffman), the producing artistic director of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre and was last seen in NY with his award-winning PBS one-man shows Too Jewish? (Performer of the Year ’95 – NY Press Magazine; L.A. OVATION award – Best Actor In a Musical 2001; NY Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award nominations), Too Jewish, Too! and Still Jewish After All These Years: A Meshugene Life in the Theatre. .
On TV, he was featured opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Sid Raskin in the Starz TV series “Magic City,” and has been seen on Netflix’s “Bloodline,” A&E’s “Burn Notice”,“The Glades” and in the early seasons of NBC’s “Law and Order.” He currently stars in the Oscar eligible Yiddish language award winning short film “Shehita”, and played the title role in the motion picture “The Imported Bridegroom”. He appeared in the PBS documentary They Came for Good: A History of the Jews in the US and has performed and directed all over the world, garnering multiple awards and nominations.
He was invited to The Vatican to meet Pope Francis for his important interfaith work on Holocaust and Genocide awareness and is dedicated to building bridges among people through the Arts.
PROFESSOR MIRIAM HOFFMAN
Miriam Hoffman is a renowned scholar with a 50-year career that includes 25 years teaching Yiddish language and Jewish culture at Columbia University Her 700-page Key to Yiddish textbook is a standard curriculum for Yiddish educators around the world.
She is an award winning playwright whose plays have been produced in Israel, Europe and throughout North America. Her books include the recently published A Breed Apart and the soon to be released Legends of the AlefBet (The Origins of the Alphabet). For thirty five years, her weekly newspaper columns have been published in the Yiddish Forward. With her son, Avi, she is a co-founder of the Yiddishkayt Initiative and the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre.