UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


The Art of the Yiddish Word: An Evening with Shane Baker

31 January 2024, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Shane Baker looking dramatic on stage with a rubber chicken

Hear “The Little Pot of Soup!” and experience a Yiddish Bullfight!

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies


Email for event location
Gower Street
United Kingdom
Image: Shane Baker and friend in The Big Bupkis. Image by Jordan McAfee, The Forward

Recitations from Yiddish literature in Yiddish with English translation followed by a conversation with Shane and Dr Vivi Lachs (in English). A unique opportunity to catch “Yiddish Superstar” Shane while he is in Britain, and hear the story of an altar boy’s path to Yiddish Theatre.  


£10-15 (sliding scale) entry on the door

About the Speakers

Shane Baker

Actor, Translator, Director of the Congress for Jewish Culture

Shane Baker is an actor, translator and director of the Congress for Jewish Culture. His Yiddish translation of Waiting for Godot for the New Yiddish Rep, in which he also played Vladimir, has played Off-Broadway and internationally to critical acclaim.

Baker has published numerous Yiddish books and journals and produced innumerable Yiddish events.

Shane on The Shmooze (Yiddish Book Center podcast).

More about Shane Baker

Dr Vivi Lachs

Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

Vivi Lachs is a social and cultural historian, Yiddishist, teacher and performer. Her PhD, completed in 2016, offered a new reading of East End immigrant history gleaned from the lyrics of the popular culture of the Yiddish-speaking immigrant community. An examination of poetry, satire and music-hall song, showed details of insider debates on politics, sex and religion, analysed through the lenses of transnationalism and the push for anglicization.

Vivi’s most recent monograph positions London’s Yiddish popular culture in historical perspective within Anglo-Jewish history, English socialist aesthetics, and music-hall culture, and shows its relationship to the transnational Yiddish-speaking world, Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London 1884–1914 (Wayne State University Press, 2018).

Her current research draws out social histories from Yiddish short stories written in and about thirties and forties London. The translated stories offer newly framed perspectives on fascism, antisemitism, Zionism and generational change.

More about Dr Vivi Lachs