Where do modern Jewish literature and culture fit in your classroom?

Like all great books, the most powerful works of modern Jewish literature are windows into the experiences of others and mirrors that help us reflect on ourselves. This site is designed to support teachers who want to share this rich material with their students.

Although Broadway has gone dark and many theaters are closed, we can still read, learn about, and learn from great plays. There are many that probe the modern Jewish experience, and they are often full of surprises. In Sholem Asch's 1907 Yiddish play God of Vengeance, the owners of a brothel are outraged when their daughter develops a relationship with one of the prostitutes. In Tony Kushner's 1993-1994 Angels in America, the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg sings the Yiddish folk song "Tumbalalaika," to a man lying in a hospital bed dying of AIDS. Arthur Miller's canonical Death of a Salesman mentions nothing about Jews or Jewishness, but in 1951 a Yiddish production of the play prompted one theater critic to write: "What one feels most strikingly is that this Yiddish play is really the original, and the Broadway production was merelyArthur Miller's translation in English." These stories and histories beg big questions and lead to great conversations. Check out our multi-media resources for teaching these and other great plays.

 

 

 

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