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The Fiddler Phenomenon (Virtual on Zoom)

February 1, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Program Virtual Program
Program Fee: $48.00

In partnership with Klez California, the East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, and Temple Isaiah

This series will examine different aspects of “Fiddler on the Roof,” from its origin in the Sholom Aleichem Tevye Stories, to the figure of the matchmaker, the music, lyrics, and choreography of the Broadway show and the film, their reception and impact on Jewish culture and the international phenomenon of Fiddler across culture and nations.

Naomi Seidman—Matchmaking and Modernity: The Ambivalent Move from Arranged Marriage to Romantic Love
This presentation will describe the transformation from traditional arranged marriage to modern romance, and the role played by literature in the transformation.
Wednesday, February 1 @ 7-8:30pm

Alisa Solomon—The Fiddler Phenomenon
Since its debut in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has inspired religious conversions and secular satire; its songs have been incorporated into sacred ceremonies and sampled into hip-hop hits. Alisa Solomon considers where the astonishing power of the beloved musical came from and why it has lasted so long.
Wednesday, February 15 @ 5-6:30pm

Bonnie Weiss—Fiddler’s Brilliant Creative Team: Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Jerome Robbins
Composer Jerry Bock, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, director/choreographer Jerome Robbins and book writer Joseph Stein were the acclaimed team that brought Fiddler to life on Broadway. This presentation will focus on the essential contribution of these artists and will include recorded interviews, captivating performances, and two fascinating songs cut from the show before opening night.
Wednesday, March 1 @ 7 – 8:30 pm

Naomi Seidman—Dreaming of Ancestors: The Tevye Stories and the New Religion of Romance
We will examine the ways that Yiddish literature, and in particular Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye stories, expressed Jewish ambivalence toward what Ian Watt calls “the sex religion,” the modern ideology of freedom to choose one’s own mate.
Wednesday, March 8 @ 7-8:30pm

Session 1:  https://youtu.be/ZF5pPic4_0s
(Session 2 was not recorded.)
Session 3: https://youtu.be/rNeLRKCh0es
Session 4: https://youtu.be/BxOAwewQ2Cg


Also, you may enjoy “Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen,” (Documentary, USA, 88 minutes)
In-theatre at the Century 16 in Pleasant Hill: Tuesday, February 28 @ 4pm, or watch it virtually from March 14–March 18
This musical, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, captivated millions of viewers around the world as they fell in love with Sholem Aleichem’s universe. Narrated by actor Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day, Jurassic Park), it features behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews with Director Norman Jewison and Topol (who played Tevye), among others. A must-see delight! For tickets and more info: https://www.eastbayjewishfilm.org/ebijff-2023


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