Through its Outreach programs, the Folksbiene brings Yiddish culture to audiences of all ages in community centers, synagogues, schools, senior centers and college campuses around the city and across the nation. Performances have been presented across the NY metropolitan area, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Albany, Ithaca, Rochester, Amherst, Dayton, Cleveland, and internationally in Poland.


Matthew "Motl" Didner has served as the Associate Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene for nearly 10 years. Mr. Didner initiated several outreach and education projects including The Folksbiene Troupe, the Folksbiene@CUNY series and YuNG (Yiddish for a New Generation). These programs bring Yiddish performances and workshops to 15,000 people, of all ages and walks of life, annually. Off-Broadway directing credits include the upcoming production of The Megile of Itzik Manger, Fyvush Finkel Live! (Drama Desk Award Nominated), Di Tsvey Brider (The Two Brothers), The Pushcart Peddlers and Di Ksube (The Marriage Contract).  Motl has appeared on stage in Gimpel Tam, and with Fyvush Finkel and Theodore Bikel in Di Komediantn (The Sunshine Boys in Yiddish) and appears regularly with The Folksbiene Troupe in touring productions of Mamma's Loshn Kugel and Makht a Tsimes. He began his journey in Yiddishland in 2002 with a class at the Workmen’s Circle / Arbeter Ring titled Instant Yiddish. 


The Folksbiene Troupe

At the heart of the program is the Di Trupe, which takes Yiddish theatre to audiences unable to attend mainstage productions. Its seven vibrant young performers, under the direction of Motl Didner (who also performs with the group) are refining their skills in Yiddish performance as they bring their work to enthusiastic audiences hungry for entertainment and social interaction.


Folksbiene @ CUNY

The Folksbiene also brings Yiddish theatre to audiences that may not have experienced how fresh and enjoyable Yiddish culture can be. Now entering its fifth year, the Folksbiene@CUNY series sponsors free performances of staged readings of classic Yiddish plays and concerts on City University of New York campuses: Baruch, Brooklyn, Hunter, Lehman and Queens Colleges.


This project has been supported by a grant from the
Conference On Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.