Sponsored by the American Society for Jewish Music and the American Jewish Historical Society, in conjunction with the Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative, Museum of Yiddish Theater and Yiddishkayt Initiative, this year’s Chanukah Concert is a multimedia celebration of Brooklyn-born Yosl Papirovsky (Joseph Papp 1921-1991) whose life and faith showed that miracles are not just a part of our past, but can be an ever-present part of today, and our future.
In the spirit of creating light in the world, Papp brought us an enduring cultural legacy: Shakespeare in the Park, the Public Theater, and his own rediscovery of the joy of Yiddish in words and music.
This multimedia tribute to Shakespeare Festival and Public Theatre visionary and founder Joseph Papp will celebrate the inaugural Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre’s YI Love NY YiddishFest ‘19.
Mr. Papp rose from a childhood in the slums of Brooklyn to found the New York Shakespeare Festival, through which he presented free Shakespeare in Central Park for more than three decades. In the 1960’s, he took over the old Astor Library and turned it into the Public Theater, a huge six-theater complex in which he presented and championed the work of many young playwrights, including David Rabe, Thomas Babe, Ed Bullins, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, David Henry Hwang, Wallace Shawn, Vaclav Havel, Miguel Pinero, Ntozake Shange, Michael Weller, George C. Wolfe, David Mamet, Tina Howe and John Guare. The Public was the birthplace of two landmark American musicals, “Hair” and “A Chorus Line,” the longest-running show in Broadway history. Mr. Papp also helped build the careers of many actors, among them James Earl Jones, Meryl Streep, Raul Julia and Kevin Kline.
This Premiere event will celebrate Joe Papp’s Jewish life and career and will honor the founders of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre: Gail Merrifield Papp, Rena Berkowitz Borow and Prof. Miriam Hoffman. For the 30th anniversary of the Public Theatre Yiddish/English musical comedy Songs of Paradise, we have invited members of the original cast to rediscover this highly acclaimed musical comedy HIT.
The evening will culminate in a 1st night of Chanukah Yiddish Candle Lighting Ceremony singalong.
Center for Jewish History