Something for Everyone at Yiddish New York


Each year during the holiday season, the 14th Street Y welcomes Yiddish New York (YNY)—the nation’s largest festival of Yiddish culture, music and language. Now in it’s fifth year, this annual program provides a gathering place for folks interested in Yiddish culture from around the world. Join us from Saturday, December 21 through Thursday, December 26 for an amazing, diverse, welcoming inter-generational community.

I sat down with Peter Rushefsky, Executive Director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, to learn more about what’s in store for Yiddish New York happening later this month throughout the 14Y.


What sort of programs do you have?

Each day, participants can choose from a huge selection of programs—lectures on Jewish history, literature and folklore, Yiddish language classes, participatory workshops in instrumental klezmer, Yiddish theater, folk song, folk dance, activism/social justice, visual arts and even neighborhood walking tours. Lunchtimes feature a wonderful selection of films curated by noted documentarian Josh Waletzky, and each day we have a special community period to sing songs and dance together.

And each evening YNY presents theater, concerts, film, dance parties, jam sessions and more, featuring the leading performers in the contemporary Yiddish arts world!

Are there programs for families with children?

Absolutely! Educator/Yiddish singer Sarah Gordon runs a program for children ages 2 to 12, which is created to give them a taste of the culture and takes advantage of the 14Y’s amazing classrooms, playrooms, and rooftop playground. Acclaimed theater director Jenny Romaine runs a great program for teens, who work together to research and create an entire multi-disciplinary/multi-media theater piece that gets presented at our Thursday student concert. Also, children and their parents/caregivers can participate in our YNY Family Band run by klezmer musician Dan Blacksberg.


Can I participate if I don’t speak Yiddish?

Of course! Almost all of the programs are run in English (though we do also have a series of Yiddish language lectures). You can even learn Yiddish while you’re at YNY!


How much does it cost?

We have 6-day full festival passes available, as well as single day passes, and you can even purchase tickets to individual classes ($30) and individual evening concerts ($20). We have hugely discounted prices to allow couples and families with children to attend affordably. Here’s a tip—use the discount code YNY10 for 10% off of 6-day tickets!

Prices (with discount):

  • 6-Day full-festival ticket (first adult): $498
  • 6-Day full-festival ticket (second adult): $250
  • 6-Day full-festival ticket (kids): $150
  • Single Day Pass (first family member): $110
  • Single Day (additional family member): $55.00
  • Single Class Pass: $30
  • Tickets to Evening Events: $20/$30 (see website).

Children 2 years and younger are free, but must be accompanied by and adult.
Above prices do not include service fees.

How can I learn more?

Go to Yiddish New York’s website at