Speaking Tours

Book Dr. Turtletaub to speak for your group!

Dr. Khane-Faygl (Anita) Turtletaub has entertained numerous groups with a wide variety of humorous and informative programs relating to Judaism, Yiddish, and Yiddish culture for over thirty years.

Dr. Turtletaub has appeared twice on the “Friends” show (on cable) and four times on “The Milt Rosenberg Show”  as well as producing and hosting her own two-hour weekly radio program, “All Things Jewish.”

Click on each category below to choose between 60 different topics (or Dr. Turtletaub can create a program specifically for your group):

YIDDISH LANGUAGE
  • Yiddish: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – a lively overview of the rise and development of the Yiddish Language
  • Yiddish: The Language of a Jewish Soul – the way Yiddish reflects our unique Jewish culture and experience
  • Yinglish – an interesting and humorous discussion of the tremendous impact Yiddish has had on English
  • Yiddish Folk sayings and Proverbs – the wisdom of the ages in charming expressions that are still so appropriate today
  • Blessings, Hopes, Curses and Fears – Discussing those quintessentially Yiddish sayings that invoke or ward off the mystical forces around us
  • Yiddish Translation Seminar – Snow White translated into Yiddish – for those who already know a little Yiddish. This program is a lot of fun!
YIDDISH LITERATURE
  • Jewish / Yiddish Storytelling – What is a Jewish story? Does the author have to be Jewish? Does the content have to be Jewish? If the author is Jewish and the content is not, is it still a Jewish story? This program lends itself to expansion with the telling of many Jewish stories.
  • Yiddish Literature – An overview of the development of Yiddish literature
  • Sholom Aleichem – A fascinating biography of one of the most famous, if not the most famous, Yiddish writer–told in the style of one of Sholom Aleichem’s own tales
  • Y. L. Peretz – A discussion of the life and works of another great master of Yiddish Literature, followed by a reading of one of his most poignant stories, Domestic Bliss
  • Mani-Leib – One of the sweetest voices in Yiddish poetry–a biographical sketch is presented which integrates samples of his best work
  • Itzik Manger – A poet of wit and humor–his life and representative selections of his delightful poetry are presented
  • Mordechai Gebirtig – A discussion of the major biographical events which lead to the creation of the most memorable Jewish melodies. This program can be done in conjunction with a singer who performs the songs.
  • “A Bintl Brief”: The “Dear Abby” Column of The Forward – The poignant and humorous letters written to the editor reflect the range of immigrant experience. This talk can be followed by the movie Hester Street if desired
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – Our Yiddish Nobel Prize winner, whose own life often sounds like one of his own novel
JEWISH PERFORMANCE AND PERFORMERS
  • Yiddish Theater in America – From the Purim play to the Golden Age of Second venue
  • Molly Picon – Her life and varied career. This program can be presented by itself or followed either by a singer who will perform some of Molly’s famous songs or followed by one of her humorous films (with English sub-titles)
  • Jan Peerce – A delightful discussion of Jan Peerce’s life and development into one of our most versatile and beloved singers
  • Jackie Mason : The Rise of a Jewish Star – This program can be followed by Jackie’s video The World According to Me!
  • Jewish-American Comedians– This program can be given in three or four parts or as individual programs. As a course, the first segment would be “The Rise of the Borscht Belt”. The other segments would be on the following comedians, either individually or in tandem:
    1. George Burns & Gracie Allen – “Say goodnight Gracie.”
    2. Milton Berle – “Mr. Television”
    3. Woody Allen – You either love him or hate him!
    4. Jerry Sienfeld – Much ado about nothing.
    5. Jackie Mason (see above)
  • Love in Yiddish Song – The idea of love as found in Yiddish folk and theater songs is explored. The songs are recorded
  • Occupations – A musical program that accompanies a humorous discussion of occupations in the shtetl
  • The Rise of the Borscht Belt – The development of the mountain breeding ground for many of today’s top performers. Can be followed by a film about the Borscht Belt.
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer Story and Film Fest– A fascinating study of Singer’s works and their transformation into film. Do they lose or gain in the translation?
    1. Introduction to I.B. Singer’s Life and Works followed by the film “Conversations with I.B. Singer.”
    2. “The Magician of Lublin” – Discussion of the major themes of the book and the Hollywood rendition
    3. “Yentl” – Is this really a feminist film?
    4. “Enemies: A Love Story” – Comparison of the book and the film
    5. Optional fifth class: “Gimpl the Fool” – Although there is no film to show, this short story is the culmination of all of Singer’s works and ties together all his themes
YIDDISHKAYT / JUDAISM
  • Jewish Women of Our Heritage – Are they role models for our time?
  • Khassidic Tales of Enduring Faith – A program based on the inspiring book Khassidic Tales of the Holocaust. Suitable for Yom Hashoah programs
  • Women as Sources of Torah – Women who made it in a man’s world, including some fascinating women who were khassidic rebbes
  • The Mystical Significance of Your Yiddish and Hebrew Names
  • The Yiddishe Mama: Fact or Fiction?
  • Introduction to Jewish Mysticism: The Early Masters
  • Bashert, Fate, Kismet, Karma: Your Destined Mate
  • Matchmaking from a Shadkhan’s Point of View: Are You Really Ready to Get Married?
  • The Soul and Its Incarnations: Dybbuks and Gilguls
  • Dreams in Judaism: Do Our Dreams Dream Us?
  • Jewish Angel Lore: Do Jews Believe in Angels?
  • Elijah The Prophet – Is he a man or an angel or a little bit of both
  • Passover in Many Lands: Different customs in different lands and different times
  • Two Talks on Ruth – Suitable for Shavuot programs
  • The Story of Ruth – Told with an interesting twist
  • The Soul of a Convert – How does a convert to Judaism get to be the progenitor of the Messiah?
  • Was Columbus Jewish? – Great for October! It raises some fascinating questions.
  • Rebecca Gratz: A Woman with a Social Conscience
  • G.E.T. (Getting Equitable Treatment) – The importance of a religious divorce and the heart-breaking abuses now prevalent
BOOK REVIEWS
  • Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus – What is John Grey really saying about contemporary relationships between men and women? A different point of view.
  • The World to Come – Dara Horn’s exciting novel based on fact: the theft of a Chagall painting. It interweaves reality and Jewish mysticiscm, our past and present.
MOVIE REVIEWS
  • Crossing Delancy – How do we pick our mates? Do we see ourselves as others see us? A discussion of secular vs. Jewish values in dating.
  • The Dybbuk – The first and most famous movie pertaining to Jewish mysticism. How much is fact and how much is fiction?
  • Life is Beautiful – Is this a comedy or a tragedy? Who would make such a film?
  • A Price Above Rubies & Kadosh – Are these controversial films good for the Jews or bad for the Jews?
  • The Sixth Sense – Some people have powers to see departed souls. What is the Jewish view?
  • Sliding Doors – Have you ever wondered how your life might have been different if you had made one small different decision in your life? “The Road Not Taken” as a movie. Is everything in your life bashert?
  • You’ve Got Mail! – The Jewish point of view about relationships.

 

Testimonials:

Your lecture about The Bintel Brief was excellent! Everyone really enjoyed your presentation and came away with more knowledge about Judaism, Yiddish and the trials and tribulations that American Jews went through (and continue to go through!) You are very knowledgeable about your subject
Felicia Ross, Education Director, Temple Judea Mizpah

Elderhostel Evaluation of Program: Jewish Mysticism as Viewed Through the Jewish Short Story
Perhaps one of the best teachers I’ve ever had; Terrific, Lively and Enlightenng!
Dr. Turtletaub is a gem; Interesting and stimulating to the soul; The instructor is an inspired storyteller; Superb!

We ALL loved you and truly wanted you to keep going and going. Thanks for schlepping out here and doing such a great job. Save all those directions, I KNOW YOU’LL BE OUT HERE AGAIN!!!!
Nanci Soriano, Education Committee, Temple Beth-El, Rockford, IL

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