Yiddish Culture Festival

In Memoriam Seth Brody and Mel Santer 

This free, informal gathering meets periodically to enjoy film, music and speakers encompassing all things Yiddish. It is not necessary to speak or understand Yiddish to fully enjoy these events.

Meetings are held Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (promptly!) in Chase Hall Auditorium—unless otherwise noted below. All are welcome!  

NOTE: These programs will be held during inclement weather UNLESS the campus is closed, which happens only rarely. Please call Campus Security (610-896-1111) to check. Due to Library Construction, parking and walking directions have changed. See Directions for details.


For more information contact Jeff Tecosky-Feldman.


Spring 2018 Schedule

Wednesday, February 21
Chase Hall Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Seekers of Happiness (1934)

During the late 1920s, many impoverished Jews searching for a better life made their way to Birobidzhan. A brazen bit of Soviet propaganda, this melodrama tells the (utopian, and patently untrue) story of a Jewish family's immigration to Birobidzhan and their experiences as settlers on a collective farm in the area – in reality the area was harsh and inhospitable. In Russian with English subtitles (84 minutes). Presented by the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University. Andy Cassel will lead a discussion after the film.

Sunday, March 25
Stokes Hall Auditorium, 3 p.m.

Concert by Ken Ulansey (woodwinds) and Phyllis Chapell (vocals and guitar).

These well-known musicians have been blending their instruments and voices together for over 15 years, mixing influences, and broadening each other’s musical outlooks. Together they draw from traditions as diverse as the Middle East, Europe, Brazil and Latin America, Asia and, of course, the American songbook. Their travels through most of these cultures lend a rare authenticity to their music. This  concert program is diverse, including songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino, with colorful personal and historical backgrounds to provide context and excitement!

Wednesday, April 4
Chase Hall Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Yankl Der Schmid (The Singing Blacksmith) (1938)

Moishe Oysher stars in Edgar G. Ulmer’s musical version of David Pinski’s play. Singing and dancing, Oysher plays a passionate shtetl blacksmith who must struggle against temptation to become a mensch. In Yiddish and English, with English subtitles (105 minutes). Presented by the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University. (We last showed this film in 2013).

Wednesday, April 25
Chase Hall Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Yiddish Writers Monologues: Miriam Hoffman  (2017)

Playwright, journalist and Yiddish teacher Miriam Hoffman has delighted readers of the Yiddish Forward for decades with her witty column. Internationally renowned for her plays and translations into Yiddish, Hoffman describes in this moving documentary by the award-winning author and filmmaker Boris Sandler how her childhood in Lodz, Poland, Siberia and in postwar German DP camps impacted her work. Filmed on location in Florida where Hoffman now resides, it is a funny and often-moving record of contemporary Yiddish literary creativity. (55 minutes). In Yiddish with English subtitles. Produced by the Yiddish Forward. Discussion afterwards led by Rakhmiel Peltz.


The College library is under construction, and there are fences up that will prevent anyone walking from the usual parking area to the front of Chase Hall. Instead, you'll need to make an immediate left upon entering the campus from College Ave, onto Carter Road, and park anywhere that says Faculty/Staff Parking, walk between Stokes Hall and the Dining Center to enter Chase Hall from the side entrance (the one without steps). 

  • Chase HallChase Hall
  • Stokes HallStokes Hall

Support the Festival

We need your contribution to support this ongoing celebration of Yiddish culture, so please send a check made out to Haverford College, with Yiddish Culture Festival written on the check or on an accompanying note to: Kerry Lynch, YCF Donations, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford PA 19041.

Be sure to include your name and address so that you can be mailed a receipt for tax purposes. We appreciate donations large and small, which we'll use to pay screening fees, enlarge our library of videos and continue to bring interesting speakers and performers for your enjoyment.