The Museum of Jewish Heritage will present the Mishpachah Festival: A Celebration of Genealogy, Heritage & Immigration this Sunday, May 21.
The Mishpachah Festival (the word means “family” in Hebrew) will run from 10am through 5pm, and feature lectures, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, and live music, along with activities for children and families. Experts will be on hand to help attendees research their family histories.
A concert at 11am will feature Joanie Leeds, a Grammy-award winning musician best known for her work as a children’s musical artist. Another tuneful interlude, at 1pm, will be “Yiddish Mishpokhe Songs,” led by composer and conductor Zalmen Mlotek on the piano. (“Mishpokhe” is the Yiddish equivalent of the Hebrew “Mishpachah.”) All of the family songs on the program, will include English translations.
Hands-on events will include “Artmaking for Families: Shapes and Colors that Tell Your Family’s Story,” a program tailored to children aged six years and older, in which visual artist Jaqueline Cedar will experiment with shapes and colors that describe an important event, place, or feeling that children have experienced with their families. And mouth-watering moments will be offered by kosher chef David Teyf, who will lead demonstrations of his unique process for smoking and curing New York’s finest lox. Tastes will be provided.
Dr. Adina Newman, the co-founder of the Center for Jewish History’s DNA Reunion Project, will discuss how providing free DNA kits to Holocaust survivors and their children has helped fill in gaps on their family trees and even connect them with lost or unknown survivors or descendants. Matthew “Motl” Didner, the Associate Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, will discuss the development of Yiddish from the ancient Kingdom of Israel through the Babylonian exile, occupation by ancient superpowers, diaspora in Europe, migration around the world, and Yiddish culture in the 21st century.
Admission is free, although the Museum will accept donations in any amount. Click here for more information.