gpg -in-North-America 2

Grants in North America

Folksbiene Yiddish Theater

Folksbiene Yiddish Theater

The Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, promote, and develop Yiddish Theater for current and future generations to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Yiddish culture as a necessary component of Jewish life.

With support from Genesis Philanthropy Group, in 2011 and 2012 Folksbiene organized ten programs introducing Russian-speaking Jewish children to the Jewish tradition of Yiddish theater and culture as well as the history of the Yiddish language.

In 2013, the FolksbieneRU Division was formed targeting the Russian-speaking Jewish community. At the core of this new Division is the Lost & Found Project--a theater troupe made up of young Russian-speaking Jews who write and perform original plays about issues facing their community. These actors also lead an educational series for Russian-speaking Jewish teenagers to explore their heritage through interactive theater-centered workshops. In addition, to bring Yiddish music and culture to younger generations, Yiddish for a New Generation (YuNG) performed at Jewish summer camps. In 2014 and 2015, FolksbieneRU developed two new full-length theater productions, one for adults and another for children, as well as continue leading several teen theater workshop series.

Additionally in 2015, with support from Genesis Philanthropy Group, The Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre created a set of RSJ focused events at the KulturfestNYC: International Festival of Jewish Performing Arts, which gathered Jewish performing artists from around the world in New York City to celebrate Jewish culture and its impact on the world. Artists from nearly twenty countries participated, including Israel and Russia, as well as local Russian-speaking Jewish artists.

The festival included components designed specifically to engage and inspire young Russian-speaking Jewish audiences to explore their heritage and strengthen their Jewish identity, such as:

  • Borscht Ball, a pre-festival kick-off party, featuring local musical figures and international guests. Borscht Ball is a multilingual (Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, English, Hebrew) and poly-stylistic (Klezmer, folk, punk cabaret, hip-hop, DJ music) show, curated by Russian-speaking Jewish multilingual poet/songwriter/singer/musician Pavel Eduardovich Lion (a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko).
  • 3-D NYC Tours, a series of 6 hands-on educational experiences, which let the Russian-speaking Jewish community and the general festivalgoer take an active part in learning about the Yiddish, Russian and Jewish culture of New York City.
  • “Joe’s Pub at the Public” Concert Series, featuring a dozen local, national and International Yiddish and Klezmer musicians and groups, with several Russian-speaking Jewish artists.

Financial support for these programs is provided by Genesis Philanthropy Group, Folksbiene Yiddish Theater and other generous donors.

Goals and Objectives

  • Deepen the Jewish experience of Russian-speaking Jewish youth through the performing arts.
  • Foster a sense of Jewish identity in children from Russian-speaking Jewish families by building appreciation for Yiddish music and culture while providing an understanding of how it connects multiple generations of Russian-speaking Jews.
  • Develop and test a new approach to engaging Russian-speaking Jewish families through a well-recognizable and rich medium of Yiddish culture and theater.

Current Grants

Past Grants