Rebecca Keren Eisenstadt, 28, grew up in Potomac and is a 2003 graduate of The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She went on to study at New York University’s Conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and learned Yiddish. She is currently singing and dancing in The National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene’s The Megile of Itzik Manger in a two-week performance at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in Manhattan. When not on stage, she gives lessons in Hebrew and Yiddish and works in marketing at Frankel Green Theatrical Management in Manhattan.
Why is Yiddish so important to you?
“It’s a multi-faceted answer to me. I am very invested in presenting not only Yiddish culture, but my own family’s culture. All my grandparents spoke Yiddish,” she said during a recent phone interview. Earlier, she wrote to WJW that, “Yiddish isn’t just a language. It is the soundtrack to the vibrant culture of European and American Jewry. Every moment I speak in Yiddish, I feel a ribbon pulling me toward the spirits of my grandparents and great grandparents.”
What is your goal?
“I think my life goal is to make art that is meaningful, that explores the Jewish experience. For me, it starts with the Torah. It starts with the Bible, and it goes into the present tense. We are all representative of our people, so with art, I hope to explore things with a Jewish eye.”
Describe your feelings when you are performing on stage?
“The feeling on stage is truly exhilarating, like you are five inches off the ground. When it’s a good show, you really are the character. You are playing somebody else’s experiences. It truly is a magical and extraordinary experience.” – Suzanne Pollak
Caption: Rebecca Keren Eisenstadt, who grew up in Potomac, performs in Yiddish with The National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene.