Performances Begin Tonight for National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's AMID FALLING WALLS

The world premiere will play a limited four-week-only engagement through December 10, 2023.

By: Nov. 14, 2023
Performances Begin Tonight for National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's AMID FALLING WALLS

Performances begin tonight for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene production of Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent). This world premiere musical, which celebrates the resilience and hope of those who endured during the Holocaust—as portrayed through the actual Yiddish songs miraculously created, sung, and saved during that time—will play a limited four-week-only engagement through December 10, 2023 at Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (36 Battery Place). Opening night is November 20, 2023. Tickets for the musical, performed in Yiddish with English and Russian subtitles, are on sale now at 

The cast features Dani Apple (NYTF: The Sorceress), Jacob Ben-Shmuel(National Tour: The Book of Mormon), Yael Eden Chanukov (NYTF: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish; TV: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Abby Goldfarb(NYTF: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Harmony), Eli Mayer (Regional: Ride the Cyclone, Footloose), Daniella Rabbani (NYTF: Gimpel Tam, Hershele Ostropolyer, The Golden Land), John Reed (Regional: Something Rotten!, Guys and Dolls), Mikhl Yashinsky (NYTF: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), and Rachel Zatcoff (Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera; NYTF: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), with Steven Skybell (Tevye in NYTF’s Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish).

Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent), from the company that brought you Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and Harmony, is curated and arranged by NYTF’s Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek, and curated and written by Avram Mlotek, who is a rabbi, cantor, licensed social worker, author of two books, and grandchild of noted Yiddish culturists, with direction by Motl Didner(NYTF: The Golden Bride, The Megile of Itzik Manger).

The production features material written and performed in ghettos, cabarets, partisan encampments in the forests, concentration camps and clandestine theaters, and includes firsthand testimony of people living through the Holocaust via their own poetry and music. Although many of the young men and women in their 20s and 30s who created the remarkable work featured in the production were murdered during World War II, their songs are brought to life in a show that is the first of its kind: the authentic story of resistance and hope through the words and music of those who were there.

“Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) is a testament to the strength, resilience, and creativity of the human spirit,” Zalmen Mlotek says. “With a focus on hope, endurance, and the power of Yiddish song, this production will engage and inspire audiences while honoring an important historical legacy.”

“Amid Falling Walls is a musical unlike any other. Every song sung originates from the war period, written by people who lived during that horrific time. Nearly every word spoken comes from survivors. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, it’s been a privilege being part of this creative team,” says author Avram Mlotek.  

Much of the show’s musical material exists today because of the efforts of Shmerke Kaczerginski, a poet, partisan and member of the famed YIVO Paper Brigade, who dedicated the years of his life, following the war, to collecting the songs of those who lived through the years of horror.

The phrase “Tsvishn Falndike Vent” is a fragment of the “Partisan Hymn,” a song written in 1943 in the Vilna Ghetto, and because of its powerful lyrics quickly spread through the forests and ghettos and camps as a motto. 

Many of the songs in Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) were curated by Yosl Mlotek, who served as education director at the Jewish cultural organization, The Workers Circle, and Chana Mlotek, an ethnomusicologist and folklorist who served as the longstanding music archivist for The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The couple, once called the “Sherlock Holmeses of Yiddish folk songs,” endeavored throughout their lives to collect and transliterate Yiddish songs that originated throughout history, including during the Holocaust. Their son Zalmen continued that tradition, and he has passed that on to their grandson, Avram, as well.

The production features several of those songs curated in the recently unveiled Yosl and Chana Mlotek Yiddish Song Collection at The Workers Circle. This comprehensive, searchable online database of Yiddish music contains lyrics, translations, sheet music, and audio and video performances to more than 400 Yiddish songs — including content curated from YouTube, Spotify, and TikTok videos showcasing newer generations of artists around the globe performing songs from the Collection and highlighting the contemporary celebration of Yiddish arts.

The creative team for Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) features scenic design by Jessica Alexandra Cancino, costume design by Izzy Fields, lighting design by Yael Lubetzky, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, and projection design by Brad Peterson. Associate scenic design is by Madeline Goddard, associate costume design is by Ridley Parson, associate lighting design is by Yang Yu,  associate sound design is by Sam Lerner, and associate projection design is by Andrew Garvis.

Choreography is by Tamar Rogoff. Orchestrations are by Frank Londonand Michael Winograd. Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard. Assistant Stage Manager is Robert Cott. Production Management is by Tinc Productions (Duncan Northern, Joshua Bernard, Madilyn Keller). Casting is by Jamibeth Margolis, CSA. Casting Assistant is Meredith Hoddeson.

Tickets ($65 previews; $75 after opening night) are on sale at Click Here. For information about group sales, call NYTF at 212.213.2120 ext: 606.

Now in its 109th season, the award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is the longest consecutively producing theatre in the US and the world’s oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company. NYTF is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotekand Executive Director Dominick Balletta, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. 

NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados and the public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work. 

Learn more at Click Here.


The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to Never Forget. Opened in 1997, the Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. 
The Museum’s current offerings include Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark, a new exhibition about the extraordinary rescue of Denmark’s Jewish population in 1943, a story of mutual aid and communal upstanding in difficult times for visitors aged 9 and up; The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do, a major exhibition offering a timely and expansive presentation of Holocaust history, on view in the main galleries; and, Survivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust, featuring photographer Martin Schoeller’s portraits of 75 Holocaust survivors in his signature style. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains the Peter & Mary Kalikow Jewish Genealogy Resource Center, a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies, and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is also home to the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, the Producers of the acclaimed Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, and LOX at Café Bergson an OU-certified café serving eastern European specialties.
Each year, the Museum presents over 100 public programs, connecting our community in person and virtually through lectures, book talks, concerts, and more. For more info visit: The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.
For more information, visit

Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel


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