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Tovah Feldshuh to Host Folksbiene's Mother's Day Gala Honoring Daryl Roth and More


It will be the mother of all star-studded galas! On Mother's Day the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (producers of last season's critically acclaimed and Drama Desk-nominated musical "The Golden Bride," and current producers on the upcoming Broadway stage play "Indecent") presents a unique gala concert, "Our Leading Ladies," celebrating the contributions of women in the arts, business, science, and philanthropy, at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, on Sunday, May 14, at 6:30pm.

Hosted by star of stage and screen Tovah Feldshuh (CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), with world-renowned violinist Alicia Svigals of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics helming an orchestra comprised of some of the most sought-after musicians in their fields, "Our Leading Ladies" features an all-female cast of Tony-winning performers, noteworthy recording artists and audience favorites from past Folksbiene productions.

Among the confirmed artists are Judy Kaye, Rachael Sage, Joanne Borts, Annette Ezekiel-Kogan, Grace Field, Cantor Magda Fishman, Daniella Rabbani, Eleanor Reissa, Rachel Yucht, and stars of "The Golden Bride" Rachel Policar and Rachel Zatcoff.

Music direction is by NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. Stage direction is by Folksbiene's Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner, who was co-director of the hit musical "The Golden Bride"), the movement choreography is by Merete Muenter. The gala is produced by Moishe Rosenfeld and NYTF Executive Producer Chris Massimine.

Making special appearances are the Musical Meydlekh Choir (consisting of students from NAAP P.S. 124 Theatre Club & NAAP Kids; Kid's Company at the Westside YMCA; and East-West School of International Studies), and NYTF's own Red Hot Yiddishe Mamas.

The evening's ten honorees include the Broadway producer Daryl Roth; Moment Magazine editor and publisher Nadine Epstein; healthcare advancement trailblazer Marion Bergman; leading food allergy research advocate Sharyn Mann; periodontics and dental pioneer Rada Sumareva; author and educator Fanya Gottesfeld Heller; chemical engineer Rodica Burg; "Yiddishe Mame" comic books' inspiration and philanthropist Ruth Goldschmidt; business and finance whiz Inna Khidekel, and visionary hotelier Bunny Grossinger, who is the founder of the Jon Tisch School of Hospitality and Tourism. Established 1915, the Drama Desk-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene brings a rich cultural heritage to life on stage-one that was nearly destroyed some 80 years ago. With mainstage productions, reading series, concerts, education and outreach programs, all presented with supertitle translations, NYTF's programming is accessible to multicultural audiences. NYTF had played in the forefront effort of bridging Jewish life with a secular world by utilizing the arts as a connector to cultural legacy, identity, and global citizenship. Now from its home at the Museum of Jewish heritage, NYTF continues to present relevant and impactful programming to more than 100,000 attendees annually. Under the leadership of Executive Producer Christopher Massimine and Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF has fostered a commitment to cultivating wide and eclectic audiences, with programs incubating in New York City and positioned to travel throughout the country and around the world.

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's special Mother's Day gala concert, "Our Leading Ladies," takes place on Sunday, May 14, at 6:30pm at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place. Tickets start at $300, and are on sale now at (212) 213-2120 ext. 208 or


Dr. MARION BERGMAN practiced pulmonary medicine and critical care for more than 3 decades. She is an advocate for improving health and advancing access to care in the developing world and presently holds voluntary leadership positions in a variety of non-profit and higher educational institutions.

RODICA BURG came to the U.S. from Romania, where her family served as leaders of the Yiddish Theater. Rodica is a chemical engineer and is active in many Jewish causes including American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).

NADINE EPSTEIN is the award-winning editor and publisher of Moment Magazine, founder and executive director of the Center for Creative Change, and founder of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative.

RUTH GOLDSCHMIDT serves as the inspiration for her son Alan Strozenberg's hit comic character "Yiddishe Mame." Born in Vienna, Ruth has lived in Buenos Aires, Paris, London, Tel Aviv and São Paulo. No matter what time zone she's in, she always has time for her children and grandchildren.

Bunny Grossinger has had a noted career in the hotel Industry. She is the founder of the Jon Tisch School of Hospitality and Tourism as well as the recipient of an honorary doctorate in Tourism from Johnson and Wales University.

FANYA GOTTESFELD HELLER is a Holocaust survivor, author, educator and philanthropist. She is the author of "Love in a World of Sorrow: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs," which documents her family's wartime existence and her complex relationships with her rescuers.

INNA KHIDEKEL, CFA, serves as a Managing Director at Bridge Investment Group in Capital Markets, expanding Bridge's efforts with a broad range of investors around the world. Previously, she worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co, Lehman Brothers and other renowned financial institutions. She studied at the Wharton School and Harvard Business School.

SHARYN MANN is one of the nation's leading advocates for combatting and finding a cure for food allergies. She is a co-founder of FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), the world's largest source of private funding for life saving food allergy research.

Daryl Roth holds the singular distinction of producing seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays and over 100 award-winning productions, including 20 Tony Award nominations and ten Tony Awards. Highlights: "Kinky Boots," "The Normal Heart," "Indecent," Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women," and "Wit."

Dr. RADA SUMAREVA practices periodontics and implant dentistry. She is a co-founder and president of the Russian-American Dental Associate, a member of many boards, including The Alpha Omega Foundation and American Friends of Tel Aviv University.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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