Yiddish Culture at the Fore with KlezKamp, Greenfield Institute

The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus became a nexus of Yiddish music and culture from July 10-14 thanks to the inaugural Madison Summer KlezKamp and the 12th annual Greenfield Summer Institute, “Yiddish in the Twenty-first Century,” both presented by the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies.

The Madison KlezKamp is a counterpart to the original KlezKamp, a weeklong festival of klezmer music and Yiddish culture founded by Henry Sapoznik and held each December in New York’s Catskill Mountains. KlezKamp offers classes in klezmer music, Yiddish song, dance, cultural and linguistic history, and art. Evening concerts and dancing are part of the celebration.

Founded in 2000 by the now-deceased Lawrence Greenfield, a member of the Center for Jewish Studies Board of Visitors, the Greenfield Summer Institute offers adult learners a blend of continuing education, entertainment and fellowship focusing on Yiddish language, arts and culture.


A group of dancers is moved by a Summer KlezKamp band performance.Sherry Mayrent plays clarinet as part of a Summer KlezKamp performance. Mayrent and wife Carol Master, via the Corners Fund for Traditional Cultures, established the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture within the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies. As part of the gift, Mayrent donated her collection of more than 6,000 78-rpm discs of Yiddish music and spoken word to the University's Mills Music Library.A group of dancers is moved by a Summer KlezKamp band performance.An ad-hoc band of musicians at UW-Madison for Summer KlezKamp and the Greenfield Summer Institute made its way down State Street on Wednesday evening, July 13. The performers picked up listeners, dancers and spectators along the way.