Sunday, February. 7, 2021 10:00 am to 1:30 pm
Old Time Yiddishkeit:
A Heymish day of Yiddish Folk Culture with Sasha Lurje and Craig Judelman
10:00-10:30 A Bissele Yiddish
Join Sasha Lurje and Rabbi Naomi Steinberg for a fun start to the day, and get a taste of some Yiddish words. We'll explore the real meaning behind some of the most well known (and often least understood) Yiddish expressions - Abi Gezunt, a Yiddishe Kop, etc. This will be an interactive session so we'll see where it takes us, but if there's time we hope to hear and discuss some of the phrases that participants group up with and even try to learn a short Yiddish song.
10:30-11:45 Workshop: A Yiddishe Tam (A Yiddish flavor)
Yiddish is the language of Ashkenazi Jews, a so-called 'embedded culture' that developed in Europe in the last millenium and is currently finding its way forward. Many parts of Yiddish culture have their roots in neighboring cultures, yet when they are expressed 'af Yiddish' there is an unmistakable Tam, or flavor. We'll spend this hour getting various tastes of Yiddish that will help participants appreciate and enjoy this flavor.
Yiddish culture, like any culture, is a multi-disciplinary thing that encompasses dance, music, language, gesture and much more. Often in workshops everything is separated into its own box and we treat these fields as distinct areas, but in fact they are all very related! So for this workshop, which is of course way too short to go deeply into anything, we will rather get a taste of the way these facets of Yiddish culture interact and influence each other. We'll learn a song and a bit of vocal style, talk about how that translates to instrumental (Klezmer) playing, do some dancing and try to situate it all in the context of its time and place. No experience necessary, and while this workshop will surely be particularly interesting for musicians, singers and dancers, it is designed to be accessible, enjoyable and informative to people of all backgrounds.
12:00-12:45 Concert: Lebedik
Lebedik is a collaboration between celebrated Latvian singer Sasha Lurje and American violinist Craig Judelman. While the band typically performs a mix of more 'folk'/traditional songs and Yiddish theater and art song, for this special performance they'll be focusing on the old traditional folk repertoire, that was passed down over generations, most often between women as a part of daily home life. Sasha has spent years studying this very special vocal style and developed a unique repertoire ranging from a capella ballads and lyric songs collected on field recordings to Hassidic drinking songs and songs composed in a folk style that are often considered traditional but were actually composed in the early 20th century. This will be a very special opportunity to hear a repertoire that is not often performed, and perfect for the age of zoom concerts as these songs were traditionally sung not on a stage but in a living room (albeit without a computer and webcam)!
1:00-1:30 (or later) Meet the Artist
After spending a day hearing from our wonderful musicians, this will be a chance for us all to get to know each other a bit more informally. Rabbi Naomi Steinberg and Jerryl Lynn Rubin will moderate a discussion with Sasha and Craig about their journeys as musicians, the current Yiddish music scene in Berlin, Yiddish/Jewish life in post-Soviet Latvia, their favorite pizza toppings and more. It will be getting late in Berlin but Sasha and Craig have graciously agreed to stay on as long as they can so we can have time to open up the discussion a bit. Usually after a gig they like to have a drink and unwind, so prepare your favorite cocktail (or mocktail!) and finish the day with a good old community shmooze!