Films of Jewish Interest: Yiddish
Movie Recommendations

American Matchmaker (Americaner Schadchen). Not rated. 1937-1940.
DVD World (Yiddish)
The story of second-generation American Jewish immigrants. In Yiddish with yellow English subtitles.
A Brivele der Maman (Letter to Mother). Not rated. 1938.
DVD World (Yiddish)
Set in the Polish Ukraine and New York City, the film traces the break-up of a family due to stress, poverty, the chaos of war and the difficulties of immigrant life. One of the last Yiddish films to be produced in Warsaw, this moving story focuses on one Jewish mother's efforts to keep her family together.
The Dybbuk. Not rated. 1937. DVD D World (Yiddish)
Based on Shalom Anski's folktale of a restless, disembodied spirit who enters the body of a woman he was pledged to wed. Yiddish with English subtitles.
Eli, Eli. Not rated. 1940. VHS E World
Long believed lost, this heartwarming musical drama is a classic Yiddish story of a divided family.
The Golden Age of Second Avenue. Not rated. 1968. VHS 792.09 G
Documentary on the Yiddish theatre in America, which features excerpts from Yiddish films and interviews with those who have participated in Yiddish theatre.
Green Fields (Grine Felder). Not rated. 1937. DVD G World (Yiddish)
A young Hasidic scholar leaves his studies to search the countryside for common people and a meaningful existence close to the land. Yiddish with English subtitles.
Jester. See Purimshpiler.
 
The Komediant. Not rated. 1999. DVD 792.7028092 K
Arriving in 1924, Pesach′ke Burstein, the dancing-singing comedian, quickly became a leading figure in the Golden Era of Yiddish theater. On stage, he would meet, fall in love with and eventually marry raising star Lillian Lux. Embarking together on triumphant overseas tours as a couple, they soon became the parents of twins. Before long the children, Mike and Susan, were given stage names and accompanied their parents on tours. In time, the pressures of theatrical life would take its toll on the family.
Letter to Mother. See A Brivele der Maman.
 
Mamele (Little Mother). Not rated. 1938. DVD M World (Yiddish)
Molly Picon is Khavtshi, the youngest daughter of a widower, who is left with the responsibility of tending house for a helpless and indifferent family of seven. As such, she becomes their little mother. Filled with that special brand of humor and song that made Molly Picon the undisputed queen of Yiddish musicals.
More Yiddish and Laughter. 1995. VHS 892.497 M
Popular local speaker Rabbi Barry Schechter returns to discuss humor and its relationship to the mother tongue, Yiddish.
Purimshpiler. (Jester) Not rated. 1937. DVD P World (Yiddish)
A romantic comedy about a drifter, who wanders from shtetl to shtetl. He finds brief happiness when he falls in love with a shoemaker's daughter in a small Galician town in this likable fantasy about a love triangle and man's quest for the unobtainable.
Tevya. Not rated. 1939. DVD T World (Yiddish) and VHS T World
Tevya's paternal affection conflicts with his deep commitment to religious tradition when one of his daughters falls in love with a Gentile. Yiddish with English subtitles.
Yiddish and Laughter. 1995. VHS 892.497 Y
Rabbi Barry Schechter discusses Jewish humor and its relationship to the mother tongue, Yiddish.
Yiddish & Laughter Yet Again. 2001. VHS 892.497 Y
Rabbi Barry Schechter continues his series on Yiddish and Jewish humor.
Yiddish: The Mame-Loshn. 1988. VHS 439.1 Y
This video provides a joyous journey through the culture and language of Yiddish. Through interviews with author Leo Rosten and actors Herschel Bernardi and David Steinberg, along with excerpts from Yiddish films, this documentary evokes the pleasures of this unique language.
Yidl mtn Fidl (Yidl with a Fiddle). Not rated. 1936. DVD Y World (Yiddish)
A young girl, dressed as a boy, goes off with her father and a band of traveling musicians into the Polish countryside.  A classic Yiddish language musical-comedy.