Yiddish Radio Project (National Public Radio)
2002 | Sound Portraits Productions
The culmination of nearly two decades of research, preservation, and production, this historic series was saluted in newspapers and magazines across the country. Just as significantly, it was hailed by thousands of listeners and noted for breaking new artistic ground in radio production while preserving and celebrating a lost and poignant moment in history. Produced by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, ethnomusicologist Henry Sapoznik, and Yair Reiner, the series was broadcast over ten consecutive Tuesdays on NPR’s All Things Considered in March, April and May 2002. Providing narration were Henry Sapoznik, Rabbi Menachem, Mendel Rubin, Claire Barry, Paul Pincus, Siegbert Freiberg, Misha Stutchkoff, Eli Wallach, Tovah Feldshuh, Anne Meara, David Rogow, Martin Novemsky, Spencer Chandler, Ardith Polley, Dick Sugar and Seymour Rechtzeit. Those featured include Carl Reiner, Eli Wallach, Hal Linden, Patty Deutsch, Jerry Stiller, Peter Sokolow, Lillian Lux, Isaiah Sheffer, David Rogow, Christopher Lloyd, Lee Silvershein, Deana Barone and Tovah Feldshuh. All the programs relied on forgotten sources. One thousand disintegrating discs discovered in attics, storerooms and dumpsters—every one filled with surviving moments from the “golden age” of Yiddish Radio—were rescued, carefully restored, and then woven into the rich tapestry of stories that comprise this series. The Yiddish Radio Project brings to life a culture all but wiped off the face of the earth in the Nazi death camps, and offers us an unprecedented window onto a lost world. For an exuberant celebration of memory, history and nostalgia, a Peabody Award is presented to the Yiddish Radio Project.