Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Meeting with our Masters

We had one of those "only at KlezKamp" moments last night.  It epitomized our goal to have older masters of the Yiddish folk arts transmit authenic Yiddish culture directly to the next generations.

We screened the new film documentary about Yiddish poet and songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, a member of our KK faculty this year.   The film consists entirely of Beyle speaking in Yiddish, telling her life story and reciting and singing the poetry that has come from her experiences, illustrated with her paintings and photos.  The audience, most of whom are not Yiddish speakers, sat rapt by Beyle, even through the filter of subtitles.  After the film, Beyle answered questions posed by KKers. 

KKers heard the story of a person whose life and whose art is conducted entirely in Yiddish.  They heard directly about Yiddish life in Eastern Europe before the war and the impact of the war on a single individual.  They heard a story of coming to American and making a life and making art here.  Here, at KlezKamp, they have the opportunity to sit and talk with elders who are eager to share their experiences.  It is an increasingly rare opportunity, tsum badoyern.  It's a privilege to help make it happen.

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