Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Immigrant Experience a Century Ago

On Sunday, May 28, Hudson Hall presents A Bintel Brief: Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily Forward, a staged reading directed by Carol Rusoff.

Photo: New York Public Library Digital Collections
"A Bintel Brief," which is Yiddish for "a bundle of letters," was the name of an advice column that appeared in the Jewish Daily Forward for the greater part of the 20th century. The column was created in 1906 by Abraham Cahan, the editor of the Daily Forward, to help bewildered Eastern European Jewish immigrants learn about their new country. The column provided a forum for seeking advice and support in the face of problems and challenges ranging from wrenching spiritual dilemmas to family squabbles--predicaments that arise when old world meets new. Sunday's staged reading will feature live musical accompaniment and a diverse cast of actors who will bring to life the history, humor, and struggle of the Jewish immigrant experience.

Carol Rusoff is known to many Gossips readers as the director of the Hudson Teen Theatre Project (HTTP) and Sarah Schaeffer's haunting solo performance, My Anne, adapted from The Diary of Anne Frank. Rusoff talked about A Bintel Brief with Ellen Thurston on WGXC a week or so ago. That conversation can be heard here.

The staged reading of A Bintel Brief takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, in the West Room of the Hudson Opera House. Refreshments will be served following the reading. Admission is free, but reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve your place, visit www.hudsonhall.org or call 518 822-1438.

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