Rokhl Kafrissen is a New York-based cultural critic and playwright.
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Esther in Furs

Rokhl’s Golden City: A Polish Purim story

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The Immigration Debate—in Cartoons

Rokhl’s Golden City: In America, even a Jew can be a Cossack

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My Yiddish Valentine

Rokhl’s Golden City: Love, lust, and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

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Bringing Yiddish to the Negev

Rokhl’s Golden City: How poet Avrom Sutzkever became a giant in a country that rejected his language

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Milk Can Memories

A new documentary about the brave archivists who kept a secret history of the Warsaw Ghetto shows how we can preserve the memory of the Holocaust after the last generation of survivors

 

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A Khanike Sucker, a Rigged Dreydl, and the First Jew in Space

Rokhl’s Golden City: Happy Khanike!

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The Re-Incarnation of a Frog

Rokhl’s Golden City: Montreal’s shape-shifting klezmer genius Socalled transmigrates into a new album—and gay porn

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Linda Richman Is Verklempt

Rokhl’s Golden City: How Yiddish entered American pop culture, and how American pop culture penetrated the Yiddish vernacular

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No, Thank You, ‘Whore From Ohio’

Rokhl’s Golden City: A new Yiddish production of a Hanoch Levin play is tone deaf to the #MeToo zeitgeist

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Hey Kids, It’s Yidstock!

Rokhl’s Golden City: On campus in Massachusetts with the summer interns, singing folk-song adaptations of ‘Shnirele Perele’

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Summer Heat, Guitar Gods, and RotFront

Rokhl’s Golden City: How a generation of Russian-speaking Jews who ended up in Germany after the fall of the Soviet Union became key figures in the klezmer continuity

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Tevye Served Raw, Perchik Served Hot

Rokhl’s Golden City: Two Yiddish ‘Fiddlers’ and Funk-a-Deli

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The Messiah Comes to America!

Rokhl’s Golden City: A terrific new translation of Moyshe Nadir’s uproariously acidic take on Depression-era Jewish-American life

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Bury Me Behind the Fence!

Rokhl’s Golden City: The turn-of-the-century proto-feminist melodrama ‘One of Those,’ and the allure of Holocaust-studies failure

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A Yiddish ‘King Lear’ for the Ages, on an Empty Stomach

Rokhl’s Golden City: A superb new production of Jacob Gordin’s Shakespeare adaptation, a dive into the Yiddish folksong archives of proto-ethnomusicologist Ruth Rubin, and a first farewell drag act

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Third Seders and Ghetto Nights

Rokhl’s Golden City: Secular Seders, camp epiphanies, and Yom HaShoah

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Egg-Gazing for Pesakh

Rokhl’s Golden City: yolks with blood spots, jokes with Hebrew subtitles, and ‘The Labor of Life’

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Jews in Space

Rokhl’s Golden City: ‘Canada First’ ideology in non-sappy immigrant-tale theater, an invisible feminist in Toronto, an Easter Egg revealed in ‘Futurama,’ and other dispatches from the orbiting Yiddish cosmos

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A Yiddish Purim Shpil in Tel Aviv

Rokhl’s Golden City: Eritrean detainees read Isaac Bashevis Singer, and the mother tongue meets the mother-land

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A Mormon ‘Khupe’ in Hawaii

Rokhl’s Golden City: Traveling in the land of living ghosts

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Shalokhmones for Hitler and Dueling King Lears

Rokhl’s Golden City: Shakespeare reinvented, Klezmer reimagined, and Yiddish Nobels reframed for Canadian heroes

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No Yortsayts, Please. We’re Yiddish.

Rokhl’s Golden City: Why reports of the death of Yiddish theater are greatly exaggerated

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I Wanna Be Your Goyfriend

Rokhl’s Golden City: Plans for the ‘day of immense goyish significance,’ and other klezmatic holiday delights

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Rokhl’s Khanike Gift List for the Yiddishist in Your Life

Golden City: Support #derkegnshtel and don’t be a seks farbrekher

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How Do You Say Turkey in Yiddish?

Rokhl’s Golden City: Why Yiddish culture, alive and well, needs small but reliable financial support, not saving

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How to Say ‘Halloween’ in Yiddish

Rokhl’s Golden City: Yiddish vampires, Jewish Magic, Frankenstein, and ‘all those other impotent gods’

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Can Officially Sanctioned Soviet Yiddish Culture Be Cool? Where Are the Queers? And Other Tablet Soviet Week Questions

Rokhl’s Golden City: Jewish Bolsheviks, Yiddish songs, ‘Comrade Stalin,’ and the year that changed the world

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Caught With My Khalemoyed in My Hand

Rokhl’s Golden City: In the off-days of Sukkot: not going to shul, going out with observant friends to hear an all-female klezmer band, and visiting Eichmann at a museum

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Jerry Lewis Did Kol Nidre in Clown-Face on Yom Kippur, May His Soul Find a Shining Piece of Paradise

Rokhl’s Golden City: The Jazz Singer, and a legendary klezmer drummer bubbe

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Citizens Transformed Into Raging Animals, in Yiddish

Rokhl’s Golden City: New Yiddish Rep’s version of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, and a trombonist extraordinaire at KlezKanada

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