New Love Films

Yiddish Theater: A Love Story


Directed by Dan Katzir

Produced by Ravit Markus, Yael Katzir, Dan Katzir

Cinematography by Dan Katzir

Written by Ravit Markus & Dan Katzir

Color. Video. 80 minutes

English & Yiddish with English Subtitles

Enter the funny, larger-than-life world of Yiddish Theater through this moving documentary film about the amazing woman who has kept the oldest running Yiddish Theater in America alive. Zypora Spaisman is a Holocaust survivor who conquers all hearts in her passion for art, life and Yiddish.

This heartwarming story of one unique woman’s struggle portrays the fight of both an old art form to stay relevant and an old actress to find meaning and a stage in a society that worships youth. Shot in real time in one of the coldest winters in NY, Zypora’s theater has one week to raise funding to keep their show going. Many miracles occur during this week. But will they be enough to save this critically acclaimed Yiddish show?

The film includes unique scenes with many of the last remaining stars of the Yiddish stage as well as leading experts from the Yiddish world, including Seymour Rexite, Shifra Lerer, Zypora Spaisman, Zalmen Mlotek, Nahma Sandrow and many more.

A must see film for anyone who loves theater! 

Played in commercial theaters across the US for months.

The film was made under the auspices of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity with generous support from Makor Film Fund, the Goldrich Foundation, the Yablon Foundation, the Webb Foundation, the Azus Foundation and Sandra Silverstein.



Charming... Sensing that he was witnessing the end of an era, Katzir recorded it all... and ended up with an irreplaceable record of a life and a movement at a crossroads... and that feels like a privilege, it really does.
Kenneth Turan
LA Times
The survival of the theater becomes the gateway to a passionate argument for the survival of an entire culture... the film is by turns cranky, funny, wistful and resolute... That language, and its abandonment, is the melancholy heart of “Yiddish Theater,” lending the film direction and depth of purpose.
Jeannette Catsoulis
NY Times
Intriguing and entertaining... Dan Katzir’s documentary profits immeasurably from the ancient Spaisman’s genuine charisma.
Critics' Pick
New York Magazine
...a moving portrait of an indomitable figure fighting for the preservation of a threatened culture... includes amusing interviews... the film's highly personal approach ultimately pays off in terms of heartfelt emotion – particularly at its bittersweet conclusion.
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
A film that is for everyone and anyone….The story of how important life is and how beautiful it can be… on the necessity to fight and dream and believe.
China Reevers
East Lansing Entertainment Guide in Michigan
90% fresh!
Tomatometer: All Critics
Rotten Tomatoes


Los Angeles Times: ‘Yiddish Theater’ catches movement at a crossroads

Los Angeles Times: Filmmakers do Yiddish theater a real mitzvah

The New York Times: Fight to Keep a Language on the Stage

Documentary Magazine: Capturing that Elusive Theatrical Screening (pdf)

The Jerusalem Post: A dying theater inspires a winning film

The New York Jewish Week: Spaisman’s Struggle

Quad-City Times: ‘Yiddish Theater’ film documents dying artform

Jewcy: Undying Love

Jewish Creativity: One Sunday Afternoon with Yiddish (pdf)

Forward: Film Captures Stage Legend

Jewlicious: Yiddish Theater: A Love Story – The new film by Dan Katzir

Playbill: “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story” to Screen in the Old Neighborhood Nov. 21-28

The Museum of Family History: 
The Screening Room. Yiddish Theater: A Love Story, a Film by Dan Katzir

Jewish Music Research Centre: Yiddish Theater: A Love Story

James Wegg Review: Theatre of the obsessed

Jewish Women’s Archive: “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story” debuts in Manhattan

Jewish Women’s Archive: Zypora Spaisman in “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story”

Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal:
Yiddish Theater: A Love Story at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Yiddish Theater: A Love Story

Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds: On Yiddish Cinema and Its Afterlife

New York Magazine: Critics’ Pick (pdf)

Fairbanks Daily News ( Film Festival Celebrates a Decade of Jewish Movies (pdf)

Encino Sun: Yiddish Theater highlights struggle to preserve a dying art (pdf)

LA Jewish Journal: Capturing Yiddish Theater (pdf)

The Jerusalem Post: Remembering a Yiddish theater diva (pdf)

San Diego Jewish Journal: Review (pdf)

Jewish Forward: Film Captures Stage Legend (pdf)

Jewish Journal: Israeli filmmaker spreads the word in Hollywood (pdf)

Jewish Journal: Yiddish theater documentary opens, thanks to WWW

The Beverly Hills Courier: Cutler’s Review (pdf)

LA Daily News: No schmaltz in ‘Yiddish Theater’ (pdf)

Hartford Courant: ‘Yiddish Theater’ catches movement at a crossroads