A Triumph of Resilience: World Premiere Musical Showcases Holocaust-Era Yiddish Songs

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    I recently had the pleasure of attending the performance of “Amid Falling Walls” at Edmond Safra Hall in the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the experience left an indelible impression.

    Embark on a compelling journey of resilience and hope with the world premiere of a groundbreaking musical. Running for a limited four-week engagement until December 10, 2023, this production serves as a poignant tribute to the strength of those who endured the Holocaust. It brings to life the very Yiddish songs created, sung, and miraculously preserved during that tumultuous period, offering a moving and authentic portrayal of this historical chapter.

    Immerse yourself in a truly distinctive production that brings to life material crafted and performed in ghettos, cabarets, partisan encampments, concentration camps, and clandestine theaters during the Holocaust. This performance transcends traditional reenactment, weaving in firsthand testimony from individuals who lived through those harrowing times, expressed through their poignant poetry and music.

    The company of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) ©Jeremy Daniel















    Despite the tragic fate that befell many of the young men and women in their 20s and 30s responsible for this remarkable work, their songs are resurrected in a groundbreaking show — the first of its kind. This production authentically tells the story of resistance and hope, bringing to life the words and music of those who experienced the Holocaust firsthand. Don’t miss this unprecedented exploration of creativity and resilience against the backdrop of one of history’s darkest periods.

    What sets this musical apart is its use of authentic Yiddish songs from the Holocaust era. These songs, created amidst adversity, serve as a testament to the human spirit’s ability to find solace and express resilience through art. The performance promises to be a celebration of these miraculously preserved musical treasures, bringing them to life in a way that honors the strength and endurance of those who lived through those challenging times.

    Performed in Yiddish with English and Russian subtitles, the production ensures accessibility for a diverse audience, making the experience both culturally rich and emotionally resonant. As the characters navigate the complexities of their past, the audience is invited to witness the transformative power of music as a source of healing and inspiration.

    The compilation of songs in “Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent)” was meticulously curated by Yosl Mlotek, who served as the education director at the Jewish cultural organization, The Workers Circle, and Chana Mlotek, a renowned ethnomusicologist and folklorist, celebrated as the longstanding music archivist for The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

    Zalmen Mlotek further emphasized, “Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) stands as a testament to the strength, resilience, and creativity of the human spirit. Centered around themes of hope, endurance, and the potency of Yiddish song, this production is poised to captivate and inspire audiences, paying homage to a significant historical legacy.”

    The company of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) ©Jeremy Daniel















    Featuring an exceptional cast that includes 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), alongside Steven Skybell (Tevye in NYTF’s Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish).

    Tickets for this unique and impactful musical are now available for purchase at nytf.org. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this moving experience that pays homage to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of art in the face of adversity.

    Meyer Harroch – New York Jewish Travel Guide

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