Yiddish Cultural 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 and nearby Stokes Auditorium. 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.


For more information contact Jeff Tecosky-Feldman.


Spring 2017 Schedule

Wednesday, February 8

How the Bulgarian Jews Survived the Holocaust, a lecture by Dr. Joseph Benatov
Chase Hall Auditorium

In 1943, Bulgaria complied with German demands and deported nearly 11,400 Jews from occupied territories in northern Greece and Yugoslavia (Macedonia). At the same time, Bulgaria successfully resisted German pressures to deport the 50,000 Jews living in Bulgaria. Dr. Benatov will focus on the conflicting opinions about the role played by King Boris III, church officials, and politicians in the rescue of Bulgaria’s Jewish population. Joseph Benatov holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew. He has written on competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II; Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth’s early fiction; and the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain.

Wednesday, March 22 (Rescheduled from March 15)

Performance by Richard Lenatsky
Chase Hall Auditorium

Richard Lenatsky returns in a live concert with a stirring program of Yiddish songs, accompanied on the piano by Sender Botwinik. English translations provided.

Wednesday, April 5

A Kiss to This Land (Un Beso a Esta Tierra) (1995)
In Spanish with English subtitles, 93 minutes
Stokes Hall Auditorium

This 1995 documentary film, directed by Daniel Goldberg, presents an oral history of Jews from Turkey, Poland, Syria and Ukraine who emigrated to Mexico in the early 20th century, as quotas in the US forced many to seek refuge elsewhere. Presented by the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University.

Wednesday, April 19

Performance by Dan Blacksberg
Stokes Hall Auditorium

Philadelphia native and trombonist Dan Blacksberg presents an evening of traditional and original klezmer music from his new album Radiant Others. As one of the leading practitioners of klezmer on the trombone, Dan has accompanied many of the field's top artists, such as Frank London and Adrienne Cooper. Now he will take center stage and with guitarist Nick Millevoi, will bring new sounds to familiar tunes, and new kinds of instrumental expression to klezmer music.


If arriving by car, enter the campus by the College Avenue entrance which is near Haverford Rd (NOT the Lancaster Ave/Rt 30 main entrance), and park in any spot marked FACULTY/STAFF on the right of the driveway. To find Chase Hall, continue on the driveway until you reach the end of the building on your left (Stokes Hall). Turn left and follow the path up a gentle slope to a stone building with a few steps outside its double-door entrance—this is Chase Hall. The Auditorium is on the first floor in the back of the building. There is an entrance without steps around the right hand side. Stokes Hall Auditorium is a few paces behind Chase Auditorium.

  • 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.