When “Midlife Crisis” turns into a “Yidlife Crisis”, viewers suspect that playing on words and word composition will be an essential part of the show. If English, German, and Yiddish also have a mishm, the basis for entertainment, but also a thought-provoking cultural experience.
Ellie Battlian and Jamie Ellman, two Canadian Jewish satirists and actors, want to achieve just that with their shows and also show Jewish life in Montreal.
Confusion of languages During telephone interviews with Ellie in Montreal and Jamie in Los Angeles, who is currently able to travel to Canada only in exceptional cases due to travel restrictions related to Kovid, you need to recognize subtle jokes and understand the confusion of languages Have to listen carefully.
»This is a shand we do not yet have in Germany and Berlin.
“This is a shand we are not yet in Germany and Berlin,” Allie said. They regret that they have not yet visited Germany and Berlin. Because in Germany they have a fan base with which they are connected online and by email.
Both strongly planned to come to Germany. “But that was BC,” Jamie says. B.C? In the English-speaking world, this abbreviation is “before Christ”, the Christian calendar. “Before Kovid,” Jamie says. “We hope to be able to do so in the post-Kovid period.”
Jewish Eli Battlian and Jamie Ellman grew up in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, with a large Jewish community. Both attended Balik High School, where Yiddish was one of the four languages. Due to their age difference of four years – both actors are in their 40s – they had no contact at school and went on their way after leaving school.
They regret that they have not yet visited Germany and Berlin.
After graduating from college and university, Eli first made a career in hip-hop music in Canada. Jamie moved to Los Angeles at the age of 23 to work as an actor. They met in 2005 in Los Angeles when Ellie came to town with her show.
They kept in touch and the idea of making a comedy show in Yiddish would be about Jewish life in Montreal. “Love for Montreal is part of our DNA. And culture, food and language are an important part of Jewish life in Montreal, ”says Jamie.
In 2014 he published the first episode of his web series Yidlife crisisIn which they roam in Montreal as Yiddish-speaking friends Lizard and Chami – dine and debate.
Bagel The Jews who immigrated from Eastern Europe established the first bagel bakery in Montreal in the early 20th century. Two of them, Fairmont Bakery and Bagel Bakery on St. Viator Street, are fighting over who makes the best bagel.
In one of the episodes, Lemendar and Chami argue deeply about the quality of the bagels, following Talmudic principles. “A vindictive debate is an in-depth analysis of good and evil, and every word is interpreted. We learned this analytical thinking as students. We are now using it to analyze Jewish life, «says Eli.
Both were raised in a more conservative traditional style, they learned Hebrew and Yiddish.
Both were raised in a more conservative traditional style, they learned Hebrew and Yiddish. But they place themselves “in the midst of reform and conservatism”. “We are at the peak against all sides, we want to build bridges for the conservative and reform communities. We want to bring people together through our comedy, including Jews and non-Jews, ”says Jamie.
to do a mischief The vigilante virtual debut is known as a comedy series Yidlife crisis Enthusiastic followers were found worldwide in Jewish communities on comedy and Jewish cultural festivals. During them Yidlife crisisVideos produced in Yiddish with English subtitles, stage performances are in English. Or “mishmash,” as they say.
His documentation was also a big success Chevadism, A play on words that combines the English words “jugal” (to chew) and “Judaism” (Judaism). With “A Taste of Jewish Montreal” in an hour-long documentary they eat their way through Jewish restaurants and grocery stores and tell the story of the Jewish community in Montreal over the last 100 years.
Both artists weighed several kilograms. “It was a sacrifice, but we made it for the love of art,” Ellie says.
Live show “We had great years with our live shows. It was great to showcase Jewish life, ”says Jamie. Then Kovid came. “It was disappointing and caused a lot of headaches. How did we go “Like many other artists, he went online and designed the show. De facto jewish. Viewers can not only watch the show, but can also comment and inspire the cast.
“We had great years with our live shows. It was great to showcase Jewish life, ”says Jamie.
“Now we have almost the opportunity to perform in small communities.” Jewish communities large and small can contact Jamie and Ellie – and the cast put together a show that also includes local features. “We try to get to know the community first and then incorporate some of the inside information,” Jamie says.
The series is also part of their digital offering Global ShtetlIn which they explore Jewish life in large cities such as Toronto, Houston, Detroit, New York or Tel Aviv. »Religion and comedy often do not go together. But we believe that the Jewish community understands that our shows are also a tribute to religion and culture, «he says. And they hope to find more fans in Germany with their message and their way of presenting it to Yiddishkait «.