The Arty Semite

Video: Sholem Aleichem in America

By Ezra Glinter and Nate Lavey

  • Print
  • Share Share
Courtesy of Riverside Films

Though Sholem Aleichem is widely known for his depictions of Eastern European shtetl life, the famed Yiddish writer spent a number of years living and writing in America. In a new documentary titled “Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness,” director Joseph Dorman details the life of Sholem Aleichem, from his early successes to his many, painful failures.

After first coming to America in 1906, Sholem Aleichem returned to Europe disheartened, having failed to find success in the Yiddish theater. But only a few years later he returned and found work as a columnist for the Yiddish newspaper Der Tog. Sholem Aleichem’s death and funeral in 1916 was occasioned by a massive outpouring of grief and was a major event in the development of American Jewish identity. The Forward met with Dorman on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to discuss the difficult, but fruitful years Sholem Aleichem spent living in America.


Watch Joseph Dorman discuss Sholem Aleichem’s time in America:


“Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness” opens July 8 at Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York, and screens later this month at the Jerusalem International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yiddish, Videos, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, Sholem Aleichem, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Joseph Dorman, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Film, Der Tog

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.