Zypora Spaisman

Poignant Documentary about at the Larger-Than-Life World of Holocaust Survivor and Yiddish Actress Zypora Spaisman

January 25, 2012
Santa Paula News

Discover the funny, poignant, and larger-than-life world of Holocaust survivor and actress Zypora Spaisman, when the Museum of Ventura County presents “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story,” a documentary screening on Thursday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. A question and answer session with filmmaker/producer Ravit Markus follows. Admission is $10, museum members $5, and includes entry to all museum galleries beforehand. 

The documentary was shot in real time, during a crucial week when the 84-year-old Spaisman’s theater company was struggling for financial survival despite its excellent critical reviews. The film includes 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, Zalmen Mlotek, Nahma Sandrow and many more. “Yiddish Theater: A Love Story” has been screened at the Jerusalem and the Santa Barbara International Film Festivals, among others.

Spaisman was an actress on the Yiddish stage from an early age in her native Poland. When the Nazis invaded Poland, she and her husband fled toward Russia, but were later sent to a Soviet labor camp. Spaisman used her midwife training to deliver more than 1,000 babies born there. After the war she learned she was the only one in her family to escape death. She continued as an actress, and once in New York, became an important force in the fight to keep Yiddish theater viable in America. She had a long association with the Folksbiene, the nation’s oldest Yiddish speaking theater, where she was executive producer before she left to start her own company, Yiddish Public Theater. During her career she won an Obie Award, a Drama Desk award, and a New York City People’s Choice Award. 

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. Hours are 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to the exhibitions is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, members and children under 6 are free. For more museum information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.