Virtual Tenement Talk

Virtual Tenement Talk: New York in Yiddish Song


When: Thursday, January 20, 2022, 6:30 – 7:45pm ET

Event Location: YouTube Live

Cost: Suggested Donation

Join us on YouTube Live for the first ever concert streamed live from inside our historic 97 Orchard Street! We are partnering with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research to bring you a night exploring New York City in the Yiddish imagination with musical performances from inside the recreated 1890s parlor of the Levine family, immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Since the earliest days of Jewish immigration to the United States, the “Golden Land” beckoned to the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe as a land of freedom and opportunity, and these ideas quickly made their way into Yiddish songs. This concert will range from Sholem Aleichem’s 1892 lullaby which calls America a “Garden of Eden” for Jews, to songs about the realities of immigration, labor, and crime in turn-of-the-century New York City.

The premiere of Pulitzer prize-finalist Alex Weiser’s newly expanded song cycle in a dark blue night, which explores New York City at night through the eyes of Yiddish immigrant poets, will round out the program. The concert will feature introduction and historical commentary by Alex Weiser, in conversation with Tenement Museum President Annie Polland, and musical performances by singer Eliza Bagg and pianist Paul Kerekes.

This program is part of the Tenement Museum’s series of discussions looking at the idea of the American Dream—what has it meant to people in different moments? Who has had access to it?

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