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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Co-Presents THE THIRD SEDER: A Yiddish Passover Celebration

The event will feature Zalmen Mlotek (USA), Ravi Mlotek (USA), Eleanor Reissa (USA), Merlin Shepard (UK), Polina Shepard (UK), Dina Slepovitch (USA), and more.

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Co-Presents THE THIRD SEDER: A Yiddish Passover Celebration

On Sunday, March 21, 2:00 PM (EST), the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (with lead sponsorship from the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene) will spearhead a global presentation of the second annual virtual Third Seder to celebrate the inspiring Passover story as well as the worldwide revival of Yiddish culture.

"Telling the story with Yiddish songs and poetry brings our history alive," says the events chief organizer, Rabbi Avram Mlotek, who leads the Base community and is the rabbi in residence at the Marlene Meyerson Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. "Since Passover is not till March 27th, we hope this virtual offering, which is airing a week before the holiday, will allow people from Melbourne to Manhattan an opportunity to incorporate songs or poems from our seder into their own family Passover celebrations. Though we can't gather in person physically, we can still come together virtually."

The Third Seder will feature performances by leading Yiddish music and theater stars from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, Australia and Israel. It is co-sponsored by many of the world's most prominent Yiddish cultural and educational institutions including but not limited to The Forward, The Yiddish Book Center, Ashkenaz, KlezKanada and others.

A global audience of thousands will again come together virtually to celebrate Passover with a unique re-telling of the Passover story, interwoven with the eternal Jewish striving for freedom, dignity and equality, as told in the thousand-year-old language and culture of Yiddish.

The Third Seder follows a tradition begun in the 1960's by young survivors of the Holocaust who strove to express their communal resilience and that of their beloved mother-tongue in a unique stage performance by the Yiddish cultural luminaries of the day. Those Third Seders often took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, under the auspices of the Workers Circle/ Arbiter-Ring and its visionary Education Director Joseph Mlotek.

In April 2020, as the world sank into the frightening reality of the pandemic and the isolation it inflicted on communities and individuals, Rabbi Avram Mlotek, the grandson of Joseph Mlotek, initiated the first online Yiddish cultural Third Seder, with the same motivation that drove his "zeyde" to uplift his community in the face of suffering and existential challenge. Rabbi Mlotek, with his cousin and longtime concert producer, Moishe Rosenfeld, quickly assembled actors, musicians, and activists, and oversaw an innovative international collaboration that attracted 20,000 viewers (17,000 on Facebook and 3,000 on YouTube), and was welcomed as a bright light of hope and resilience in the dark days of illness, loss and despair. (You can view related press here.)

"A year later, as we continue to battle the pandemic, and as some rays of hope begin to shine through the darkness, a cast of brilliant Yiddish artists has once again been assembled to tell the story of the Jewish People, its moments of liberation from bondage, its resilience in the face of inquisitions and pogroms, its resistance to the genocide of the Holocaust, its continued determination to flourish as a nation in Israel, and as a culture around the world," Mlotek says.

Among the participants are Klezmer giants: Frank London, Lorin Sklamberg, DJ SoCalled, Shura Lipovsky, Michael Alpert, Alan Bern, Marilyn Lerner, Sarah Gordon, Zisl Slepovitch, Polina Shepherd, Merlin Shepherd, Eric Stein and Michael Winograd. Actors Steven Skybell, Joanne Borts, Eleanor Reissa, Theresa Tova, Tatiana Wechsler and Elmore James, among others, will participate "alongside" Yiddish teacher Nikolai Barodunin. Musical direction is by Zalmen Mlotek, artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. The "fir kashes" (traditional four questions of the Hagode") will be performed by a children's chorus of the Sholem Aleichem College in Melbourne, Australia with Ravi Mlotek and Dinah Slepovitch. The 90-minute video will be edited by Elisha Mlotek.

To register for this free concert, please sign up here: https://mmjccm.org/programs/third-seder-yiddish-passover-celebration or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/3349396152008460

Starring, in alphabetical order: Michael Alpert (Scotland), Alan Bern (Germany), Nicole Borger (Brazil), Joanne Borts (USA), Josh Dolgin (Canada), Sarah Gordon (USA), Adrienne Greenbaum (USA), Elmore James (USA), Daniel Kahn (Germany), Yanky Lemmer (USA), Marilyn Lerner (Canada), Frank London (USA), Shura Lupovsky, (Netherlands), Sahsa Lurie (Germany), Avram Mlotek (USA), Sarah Mlotek (Israel), Zalmen Mlotek (USA), Ravi Mlotek (USA), Eleanor Reissa (USA), Merlin Shepard (UK), Polina Shepard (UK), Dina Slepovitch (USA), Zisl Slepovitch (USA), Steven Skybell (USA), Lorin Sklamberg (USA), Eric Stein (Canada), Theresa Tova (Canada), Susan Lankin-Watts (USA), Tatiana Wechsler (USA), Steven Weintraub (USA), Michael Winograd (USA).

Following are the organizational sponsors of the 2nd Annual Yiddish Cultural Third Seder:

Lead sponsorship from the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene. Additional sponsors are: Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish (USA), Base MNHTN (USA), KlezKanada (Canada), The Forward, (USA) Forverts (USA), Kadimah - Jewish Cultural Centre (Australia), National Yiddish Book Center, (USA) Sholem Aleichem College (Australia), Jewish Labour Bund (Australia), Penina Zylberman Yiddish Cultural and Educational Foundation (Australia), Kleztival (Brazil), Ashkenaz Festival (Canada), Summer Yiddish Weimar (Germany), Shalom Foundation and I. B. Singer Yiddish Festival in Warsaw (Poland), YUNG YiDiSH (Israel), Shtetl Berlin (Germany), YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (USA), Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, (USA), The Workers Circle (USA), Yiddish New York (USA), Vaybertaytsh (USA), Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (Canada), Yugntruf - Youth for Yiddish (USA), and, Yiddish New York (USA).


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