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Award-Winning Yiddish Comedy Web Series
Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion are not your ordinary pair of friends. For starters, the short comedy videos posted to their YouTube channel are mostly in Yiddish. In the summer of 2014, the duo, who grew up in Montreal’s Jewish community together, set off on a labor of love to pay tribute to the Yiddish language, culture and comedic tradition they had been reared on. Read More >
Calling it “YidLife Crisis,” they hatched the world’s first Yiddish sitcom for the web, where questions of religion, faith and identity in a modern, multicultural society are explored with a characteristic mix of comedy and inclusiveness. The results have been staggering: to date, the series has a global viewership of over 2,000,000 video views, received excellent worldwide press, won Best Comedy at the 2015 Toronto Web Fest and has been nominated for four prestigious Canadian Screen Awards. The series has taken the duo across North America, to Europe and to Israel, where they have refined their talks into a touring presentation called YidLive!
Elman and Eli are two multi-talented entertainers with many credits to their collective names, including starring in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad Men, CSI, and writing and producing short and feature films that have appeared at Sundance, Toronto, Berlin and South by Southwest… all while having taught Jewish education at various points throughout their careers. They’re also both accomplished musicians, singers, composers and lyricists. Read Less ^
The Double Date
CBC News’ The National - 'YidLife Crisis: A Serious Game Changer?'
The Great Debate LIVE!
At the core of the show is Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion telling the story of their reconnection to their Jewish roots and education. After half a lifetime away from their traditional upbringing, they poured their insight, wit and neuroses into the groundbreaking web series that celebrates the tradition of great Yiddish comedy. Read More >
While their live show is ever-evolving, and tailored to suit audiences, expect their characteristic wit and banter, storytelling and debating. Music often happens, sometimes spontaneously. Be advised: This performance will be intellectually and spiritually stimulating, while metaphysically and comedically satisfying.
Where screens are available, various videos from the award-winning web series are shown and then discussed/debated/defended (in English).
In YidLive!, the duo of seasoned performers mix skits, video, music and audience interaction into the “Trojan horse” of comedy to engage the complex topic of cultural identity in universal, unexpected and very funny ways. Their “all-inclusive” approach reaches across generational and denominational spectrums to Jews and non-Jews alike.
Topics may include:
Jamie and Eli also seek, when appropriate, to put local Jewish comedians and musicians onstage to open the show, as well as local community leaders and personalities to be part of a comprehensive Q&A about Jewish identity, history, the creative process and using the internet to engage millennial Jews. Read Less ^
"In my 16 years in Film Festivals I've never heard so many people laughing, or had so many compliments on our excellent choice for an opening event. The boys did their local research and blew the crowd away. Their comedy crosses all barriers and united us all for 90 minutes!"
"If “Seinfeld” had taken place in Montreal instead of New York and been in Yiddish instead of English, it would have been “YidLife Crisis”. It’s at once funny and profound, and it all sounds better in Yiddish than it ever could in English. A love letter to Yiddish and secular Judaism."
"An earnest exploration of Jewish identity. Whoever said Yiddish was a dying language hasn’t seen the new web series YidLife Crisis."
"Obviously influenced by Larry David, and with a touch of My Dinner With Andre (had Andre
been obsessed with food), YidLife Crisis delivers a lot of laughs in each episode. You don’t have
to be Jewish to enjoy this web fest favorite."
"Asking the critical existential Jewish questions while splitting our sides, YidLife Crisis challenges our traditions while reminding us how amazing they can be. YidLife rose the roof and helped us explore the dichotomy of youth, Judaism and contemporary culture. Their live shows were a cornerstone of the festival, and I'd recommend them highly to anyone."
"As I watched my first episode of YidLife Crisis, it was clear to me that having these guys could be an innovative and potentially great opening for the film festival. And it was!!! In my 16 years in film festivals, I've never heard so many people laughing, or had so many compliments on our excellent choice for an opening event. The boys did their local research and blew the crowd away. Their comedy crosses all barriers and united us all for 90 minutes!"
"Obviously influenced by Larry David, and with a touch of My Dinner with Andre (had Andre been obsessed with food), YidLife Crisis delivers a lot of laughs in each episode. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this web fest favorite."
"From Holy Mary Mother of God Catholic Ireland, you are just hysterical! Can't wait for the next episode. You have totally changed my understanding of modern Judaism. Brilliant."
"A comedy show in YIDDISH?! Watch the hilarious YidLife Crisis - I can't get over these two young guys. I love the series!"
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