Thursdays, March 12 & 19, 7:00 – 8:30 pm –
First a Broadway success and then a feature film, Fiddler on the Roof has been translated into many languages for audiences around the world. It wasn’t until 1966, however, that this show was translated into Yiddish – the language that Tevye and his family would have actually spoken. Miracle and miracles, Fiddler on the Roof returned to Broadway in 2018, all in Yiddish, and now we’re learning all about this international phenomenon at the J. Whether or not you know Yiddish, join Rabbi Mark Shapiro to hear the songs you’ll love in Yiddish. We’ll read and work on the translations, going as slowly as necessary (using English and the show’s Yiddish soundtrack) so that Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish comes alive for each of us. As a bonus, we’ll close out our learning with a trip to the Yiddish Book Center, where we’ll watch the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival’s screening of Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, a documentary film that chronicles the life and spirit of this beloved musical. Students registering for this course need only some familiarity with Fiddler on the Roof, plus a sense of humor.
Film Screening of Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles
Thursday, April 2, 7:30 pm
Location: Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West Street, Amherst
Revealing how the story of Tevye the Milkman became an unlikely Broadway classic, this documentary is a sweeping and joyous look back at the creative origins and long-lasting cultural impact of a musical masterpiece. Bringing Fiddler to life through rare archival materials, performance footage, and clips from the Oscar-winning 1971 film adaptation, filmmaker Max Lewkowicz chronicles the show’s backstory, from its early New York roots to the enduring themes that inspire theatergoers across generations.
Instructor: Rabbi Mark Shapiro, Rabbi Emeritus of Sinai Temple, knows just enough Yiddish to explore Fiddler on the Roof with much laughter and love.
Cost: $35 JCC members, $45 general public
(cost includes class sessions and film screening)