The Hebrew Actors Union and Second Avenue: Caretakers of Yiddish Theater
A Lecture by David Freeland

During the 1920s and 30s, Second Avenue south of 14th Street was the spine of Manhattan’s Jewish cultural life and the living artery of Yiddish Theater in the U.S. Take a visual tour of the neighborhood’s surviving cultural landmarks – from the site of the Cafe Royal, known as the “Sardi’s of Second Avenue,” to the Hebrew Actors Union on East 7th Street. Admired and feared, the HAU controlled every aspect of the Yiddish Theater in the U.S. and made pioneering negotiations still valued by performers today. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the forces that destroyed commercial Yiddish Theater and a visual tour of the HAU’s interior, decayed but filled with artifacts. David Freeland is a writer who specializes in music history and popular culture. His latest book, on which this lecture is based, Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure, will be available for sale and signing.

The Museum at Eldridge Street is a landmarked synagogue that functions as a dynamic cultural and educational center that tells the story of Jewish immigrant life at the turn of the last century, explores architecture and historic preservation, inspires reflection and cultural continuity, and fosters inter-group exchange.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
6:30 pm

Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street (between Canal & Division Streets)