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YidLife Crisis

YidLife Crisis

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 EnthusiasmMad MenCSI, 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 ^

Speaker Videos

The Double Date

CBC News’ The National - 'YidLife Crisis: A Serious Game Changer?'

The Great Debate LIVE!

Speech Topics

YidLive!: An Evening with YidLife Crisis

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:

  • What exactly is a “YidLife Crisis”? Global Jewish peoplehood in the 21st century
  • Using comedy to navigate the spectrum of the Jewish community and in the non-Jewish world/intermarriage
  • Engaging Jews in their 20’s and 30’s
  • Using the arts to express religious, cultural, ethnic identity
  • Using social media and social video to build the Jewish community online
  • Renewing interest in the Yiddish language, Yiddishkayt and Ashkenazic Jewry

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 ^