My Joe Papp


This enriching lecture describes the seven-year period that Professor Miriam and her son Avi Hoffman interacted and worked intimately with Joseph Papp, the most important and prominent Theatre impresario in America. His revolutionary vision of FREE Shakespeare in the Park, as well as his founding of the NY Public Theatre, popularized the concept of the Workshop, which was responsible for the development of groundbreaking shows like Chorus Line, Hair, and so many others. Towards the end of his life, Mr. Papp rediscovered his passion for Jewish identity and together with Professor Hoffman, they founded the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre, utilizing great Broadway and Hollywood celebrities who joined them in celebrating Jewish culture and theatre.


AVI HOFFMANCEO of Yiddishkayte Initiative
CEO Avi Hoffman is a world-famous actor, who specializes in Jewish culture and Yiddish theater. His long-running “Too Jewish” trilogy has been seen by millions on PBS and in venues around the world. He has produced and presented shows
throughout North America, Europe and Israel. International Festivals include Romania, Poland, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Tel-Aviv and other European cities and countries. His connections in the theater, entertainment and film communities
are extensive. He has received a Congressional Award and was named a “Sage” by The New York Times. Both he and his mother were recently inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame.
MIRIAM HOFFMANFounder / Professor of Yiddishkayte Initiative
Professor Miriam Hoffman is a world renowned scholar of Jewish and Yiddish culture, with a 60-year academic career that includes 25 years as professor of Yiddish language and Jewish culture at Columbia University. Her 700-page “Key to Yiddish” textbook is a standard for Yiddish educators worldwide. She is an award-winning playwright, author, and columnist for The Forward, having published thousands of articles over 35 years. Her collaboration with the late Broadway impresario Joseph Papp allowed for the creation
of a Yiddish Theater bearing his name.

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