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Celebrate Yiddish! The 6th Mameloshen Festival

May 26, 2014, For Immediate Release

Presented by The Rady JCC  and the I.L. Peretz Folk School Endowment Fund


The I.L. Peretz Folk School Endowment Fund and the Rady Jewish Community Centre are proud and excited to bring the 6th Mameloshen: Festival of Yiddish Entertainment and Culture to Winnipeg this June! All concerts will be held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery with three performances June 18, 23, and 25 all starting at 7:30 p.m.


The Festival opens Wednesday, June 18 with Ghetto Tango, a moving and inspirational concert that highlights the songs and music performed in the underground cabarets, which sprang up in the Jewish ghettos of Poland and Lithuania during World War II, a world of dislocation, terror and death, cabaret music thrived. Jewish audiences gathered in makeshift clubs and theatres to hear newly-created Yiddish songs, rooted in Jewish folk and liturgical music as well as European operetta, American ragtime and Argentine tango. Jewish performers turned these cosmopolitan songs, satirical and political, personal, angry and heartsick. Together they created something rare and scarcely conceivable, art at the edge of the abyss. Ghetto Tango is performed and created by The National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene and features Zalmen Mlotek, Lisa Fishman, and Avram Mlotek. 



The Mameloshen Festival takes great pride in highlighting the talent and accomplishments of performers with Winnipeg roots.  On Monday, June 23, A Bisele Haimeshe Yiddish – A Little Homespun Yiddish will showcase some of the best contributions to Yiddish culture in Winnipeg. Special guest performers Herschel and Judy Fox will join the playbill for the first time at Mameloshen. Former Winnipegger Herschel Fox is one of North America’s favourite Yiddish artists. Judy Fox was for many years a major popular singer in the New York supper club and night club circuit. Herschel and Judy will present a program of Jewish music plus American and Jewish humour, all performed with Jewish warmth, that comes from a tradition they personally live and love. Back by popular demand, the Gray Academy of Jewish Education Yiddish Choir will be sure to dazzle the audience for their sixth appearance at Mameloshen.


 As an amazing finale to the 2014 Festival, Mameloshen is pleased to present Justin Odwak: A Rising Star’s Yiddish Program, on Wednesday, June 25.  Tenor, Justin Odwak is an emerging artist in Canada's classical music scene. Justin has performed as soloist with organizations such as Winnipeg's premier choir, the Winnipeg Singers, Canzona, and with the Winnipeg Philharmonic choir for the 2013 Tchaikovsky Festival presented by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Justin is a member of the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble. He recently made his solo debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra this past November in A Prairie Christmas Celebration. Justin is currently studying his Bachelor of Music at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, under the direction of Mel Braun.


He has a voice that demands your attention from the moment he begins to sing.  He made his Mameloshen debut in the sold out all Yiddish Fiddler on The Roof in 2012. For this coming festival, Justin will be featured as a solo performer doing a variety of material from opera to pop to Yiddish classics all sung in mameloshen.


 “The Rady JCC is pleased to be working with the I.L. Peretz Folk School Endowment Trust in presenting again this wonderful series which plays an integral role in preserving the place that Yiddish has in our community” said Tamar Barr, Rady JCC Assistant Executive Director and co-producer of the Festival.


Tickets are on sale now. Please contact the Rady Jewish Community Centre at  204-477-7510  or

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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