About

Josh Waletzky is a leading contemporary Yiddish songwriter and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He co-produced the Grammy-nominated album of Jewish songs of resistance, Partisans of Vilna (1989), and his groundbreaking CD of original Yiddish songs, Crossing the Shadows (2001), was greeted as “a classic of the American-Jewish folk revival.” With the arrival of his newest album of original Yiddish songs, Passengers / pasazhirn (2017), Waletzky has been hailed as “the poet-laureate of new Yiddish songwriting.” Waletzky has been involved as a director and editor of a number of acclaimed films. He directed Image Before My Eyes (1981), Partisans of Vilna (1986), and the Academy Award-nominated Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992). His newest film, Yonia Fain: With Pen and Paintbrush (2017) is a bio-doc of the Vilna-educated writer and painter. Waletzky’s editing credits include the Emmy Award-winning documentary Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler’s House (1995). He was additionally a consultant to Barbra Streisand on her production of Yentl. He has served as a master teacher to a number of Yiddish singers and songwriters through the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and New York State Council on the Arts’ Folk Arts Apprenticeship program.