Roof in Yiddish Gives Back on World Refugee Day

Every seat in the theater was donated to allow refugees from all parts of the globe to see the show, and Fiddler celebrated their unique stories and journeys through this poignant and timely production with an afternoon and evening full of events.

Photo’s by Caroline Webe

The show partnered with the non-profit organization Reboot, a premier Jewish arts and culture organization, to further enhance its World Refugee Day celebration by involving some of the artists they work with to help commemorate the event.

Photographer Gillian Laub and illustrator/journalist Christopher Noxon photographed and live-sketched a select group of refugee attendees to document an extraordinary array of stories, journeys and experiences. Many refugees who attended the performance answered a series of questions written by Nicola Behrman about their experiences of having left their homelands. Fiddler will actively be curating these interviews for a larger initiative around this conversation.

The theater opened to its guests at 5:00 PM, where refreshments and concessions were made complimentary to all in attendance.  There, attendees also explored an installation in the theater’s lobby of After Anatevka: Jewish Immigration and American Reaction, an exhibition curated by author & Yiddish scholar Eddy Portnoy for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research that reveals the Yiddish response to 1920s-era restrictions placed on Jewish immigrants.

Immediately following the evening performance, Fiddler hosted a post-show town hall event allowing this diverse community of refugees (and the leaders of the organizations that work to protect their rights) the opportunity to connect with one another in a safe and celebratory space. The post-show talk was moderated by Luis A. Miranda Jr., an activist, educator and businessman who led a conversation with the hundreds of refugees in the theater, many of whom shared their own Fiddler Story. 

The complete list of organizations who helped coordinate the group of refugees included: 

·         American Friends Service Committee — Immigrant Rights Program

·         Amnesty International USA

·         CAMBA

·         Catholic Charities

·         Chhaya Community Development Corporation

·         CWS Global

·         Dominicanos USA

·         Freidom

·         HIAS

·         Immigration Equality

·         International Rescue Committee (IRC)

·         Met Council

·         Migrante New Jersey

·         Multifaith Alliance

·         Museum of Jewish Heritage

·         New Sanctuary Coalition

·         New York Immigration Coalition

·         New York Legal Assistance Group

·         RDJ Refugee Shelter

·         RIF Asylum Support

·         UNHCR

·         Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid

Fiddler on the Roof is on sale through Sunday, January 5, 2020 at Stage 42 (422 W 42nd St.). Tickets are available to purchase through, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in person at the Stage 42 Box Office (422 W. 42nd St.)

Fiddler on the Roof is the winner of the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical Revival, the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Revival, a 2019 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Special Citation and star Steven Skybell is the winner of the 2019 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Lead Actor.

Directed by Academy® Award-and-Tony® Award winner Joel Grey, the Fiddler on the Roof cast includes: Lucille Lortel Award-winner Steven Skybell as Tevye, Emmy® Award-nominee Jackie Hoffman as Yente, Jennifer Babiak as Golde, Joanne Borts as Sheyndl, Michael Einav as Ensemble; Lisa Fishman Bobe Tsatyl, Kirk Geritano as Avrom; Abby Goldfarb as Female Swing; Samantha Hahn as Beylke; Cameron Johnson as Fyedka; John Giesige as Male Swing/Dance Captain;  Ben Liebert as Motl Kamzoyl; Moshe Lobel as Understudy; Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodl; Evan Mayer as Sasha; Rosie Jo Neddy as Khave; Raquel Nobile as Shprintze; Jonathan Quigleyas Ensemble; Nick Raynor as Yosl; Bruce Sabath as Leyzer- Volf; Kayleen Seidl as Ensemble; Drew Seigla as Perchik; Adam B. Shapiro as Der Rov; Jodi Snyder as Frume-Sore; James Monroe Števko as Mendl; Lauren Jeanne Thomas as Der Fiddler; Bobby Underwood as Der Gradavoy; Mikhl Yashinsky as Nokhum/Mordkhe and Rachel Zatcoff as Tsaytl.

The creative team for this Fiddler features musical staging and new choreography by Staś Kmieć, musical direction by Zalmen Mlotek, set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, props by Addison Heeren and casting by Jamibeth Margolis, CSA.

Fiddler on the Roof is produced by Hal Luftig, Jana Robbins, LHC Theatrical, Jenny Steingart, Steven Chaikelson, Ruth Hendel, Braemar House Productions, Jamie deRoy & friends, Nina Korelitz Matza/Nicola Berhman, Anita Waxman/Martin H Borell, and The Shubert Organization in association with Sandy Block.

Fiddler on the Roof, in Yiddish with English Supertitles, had never been staged in the United States until this production was presented at NYTF in 2018. The story of Fiddler on the Roof is based originally on the Tevye the Dairyman vignettes by Sholem Aleichem.  The Yiddish translation, originally performed in Israel in 1965, was artfully crafted byShraga Friedman, a renown Israeli actor/director just one year after the Broadway debut of Fiddler on the Roof.    Friedman, a native Yiddish speaker, was born in Warsaw and was able to escape from a war-torn Europe, along with his family, who made their way to Tel Aviv in 1941. Well acquainted with the works of Aleichem, Friedman used his translation to infuse Fiddler with rich literary references to the original Yiddish stories.

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, Fiddler on The Roof, features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, with original New York Stage Production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins.

The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, was the first musical theater production in history to surpass 3,000 performances; the show won the 1965 Tony Award® for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards that year; and has performed in every metropolitan city in the world from Paris to Beijing.