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Di Farborgene Khalyastre (The Hidden Gang)

Di Farborgene Khalyastre (The Hidden Gang)

Taking its name from the avant-garde Yiddish poets of Warsaw in the 1920s, Di Farborgene Khalyastre is a small Melbourne-based collective of musicians, artists and scholars dedicated to new fusions of Yiddish poetry, music and art.

Featuring Nathan Wolski (ACJC, Monash University), artist Anita Lester, and composers/musicians Gideon Preiss and Husky Gawenda, they unveil here their first fruits — two stunning works based on the poetry of Aaron Zeitlin (1898-1973). Described by his best friend Isaac Bashevis Singer as “the greatest Yiddish poet,” Zeitlin’s poetry draws deeply from the kabbalistic tradition, and his Holocaust poems are among the most haunting ever written.

The Seven Palaces of Breath: The Mysteries of the Flying Hobbler

Based on a story from the Zohar, the masterpiece of medieval Kabbalah, Zeitlin’s mystical Yiddish poem is brought to life with animated Chagall-like-Dali-esque illustrations and a musical bilingual reading. A children's book for adults and an adults' book for children, The Seven Palaces of Breath brings Yiddish mystical surrealism to Melbourne.

This project was made possible with the support of the Jacob Kronhill Fund and the Benjamin Slome Charitable Foundation.

Kaddish by the Ruins: A Liturgy

A 20-minute all-Yiddish song cycle, spanning liturgy, theology, music, song, spoken word and commemoration.  Debuting at JIFF with theatre-quality sound and accompanied by new art works, the cycle—recorded by much loved Yiddish folk trio, The Bashevis Singers (Gideon, Husky, and Evie Gawenda)—contains diverse theological and emotional notes: anger, accusation, lament, loss, despair, doubt, and belief.

This project was made possible with support from the Sunraysia Foundation in honour of the memory of Dr. Jan Randa, Jewish scholar, survivor and beloved educator of generations of Australian students.

Will run for approximately one hour including a brief q&a.

A co-presentation of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University and JIFF.

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