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Help YTE Bring "Between Worlds" to the Stage

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Yiddish Theatre Ensemble's production of Between Worlds was sold out at the Live Oak Theatre! The film is now available!

For many of us, Yiddish was the secret language of our parents or grandparents, overheard conversations, fragments of song, or the Yiddish world of Fiddler on the Roof. Today, Yiddish words have become part of our vernacular. But they only hint at the rich history of theatre, literature and musical traditions created in this language.

Yiddish Theatre Ensemble is committed to bringing these historic and socially relevant works to the stage. Our celebrations of this heritage include the sold-out performances of the Di Megileh of Itzik Manger, an award-winning online version of God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch, and our stellar and highly praised co-production of Indecent by Paula Vogel with San Francisco Playhouse.

YTE recently produced the new play, Between Worlds, Based on the Life and Poetry of Irena Klepfisz, conceived and written by Naomi Newman and directed by Bruce Bierman. Naomi Newman co-founder of Traveling Jewish Theatre, brings her enormous talents to the portrayal of this courageous poet, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, and an activist who came out as a lesbian at a time when that could have jeopardized her academic and social standing.

Between Worlds had a five-day run August 16-20, 2023 at the Live Oak Theatre in Berkeley. A filmed version created by Jeremy Knight and Mark Faulkner is now available on the YTE website.

Naomi Newman

Barbara Borden (left) and Susanne DiVincenzo

In Irena Klepfisz’s poetry, she describes herself as a “keeper of accounts” of the vanished world of Eastern European Jewish culture. On stage, the ghosts of Irena’s story come to life through a range of characters, movement, and choral interpretation. The actors are accompanied by an original score created and performed by renowned musicians percussionist Barbara Borden and Susanne DiVincenzo on cello and bass.

Irena Klepfisz ( Photo Credit: Joan E. Biren)

YTE Team
Co-Artistic Directors
Laura Sheppard, Producer & Bruce Bierman, Director

Karen Sellinger, Assistant Director
Jeremy Knight, Director of Photography/ Film Editor
Mark Faulkner, Film & Sound Editor
Zack Rogow, Dramaturg
Esther Shaw, Production Consultant
Nadav Hochman, Media Consultant
Dorrit Geshuri, Grantwriter/ Media Consultant
Denah Bookstein and Esther Shaw, Fundraising
Carolann Biederman, Development Consultant
Lisa Geduldig, Publicist

Yiddish Theatre Ensemble is fiscally sponsored by KlezCalifornia, Inc.
Judith Kunofsky, Executive Director


  • Robin Miller
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Carol Seajay
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Judith Stein
    • $18 
    • 1 yr
  • Margaret Heitz
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • David ARCHER
    • $50 
    • 1 yr


Laura Sheppard
Berkeley, CA
Klezcalifornia Inc

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