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philip@mapmyway.co.+27 83 783 1003


heather@spiritsister.co.za +27 72 143 332


heather@spiritsister.co.za +27 72 143 3132



+27 21 975 2114

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Vancouver embraces Leah Teddy & the Mandolin

December 1, 2019

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Johannesburg - Discover a magical new world through the universal language of song!

March 5, 2018

"Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin - Cape Town Embraces Yiddish Song" comes to the goldene medina of Johannesburg on Sunday 18, where it will be screened at the Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre.


There will be 2 shows followed by a Q & A with the directors:

  • 4.45pm for 5.30pm (refreshments served before)

  • 7.30pm (refreshments served after)

This musical documentary must not to be missed! All screenings were sold out in Cape Town  and the response was incredible!!


I've just got home from tonight's screening and I am still smiling and have a major spring in my step. The film is an absolute joy to watch and to experience. Huge mazals to you both. An absolutely wonderful production.  Lisa Chait - Producer 'Legacy of Light'


Noo - so just in case you need to be persuaded that you should come to the screening - click on to Watch The Trailer.  Then book already!


WHEN: Sunday 18 March at 5.30 & 7.30pm
DONATION: R90.00 (including refreshments)
WHERE: Clive M Beck Auditorium, Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC), cnr Glenhove Rd & 4th Street Houghton, East of the M1               
BOOKING: Hazel or René (011 728 8088/8378) After Hours (011 728 8378) Email: rchcc@telkomsa.net or rene.s@telkomsa.net
Bank details: Nedbank Norwood Code: 191905  Account name: RCHCC

Account number: 1920 116 699  Please put your name as reference


Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin is a contemporary cultural celebration which adds to the rich South African musical tapestry.

The story told through the ten years of archival footage from the Annual Leah Todres Yiddish Song Festival, held in Cape Town. Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin raises an awareness of the rich genre of Yiddish song - bringing it to the attention of a wider and younger audience. Yiddish song extends from traditional folksongs through music hall and vaudeville to Broadway and beyond.  


The songs allow an informed audience to appreciate the contribution of Yiddish song and songwriters to the contemporary American musical. Listening to the 1938 song Undzer Shtet’l Brennt - Our Town is Burning, written by Mordechai Gebirtig, one sees the powerful resonance to Kurt Weil.  The bitter-sweet, minor key compositions, distinctive of Klezmer music, evoke comparisons to jazz and the blues.  The documentary highlights these associations and the overall context and contribution of Yiddish song.


The festival even inspired an international song writer, the late Hal Shaper, to contribute two original songs to the festival.  ‘Those Were the Days in Muizenberg’ is based on the Gene Raskin classic ‘Those Were the Days’ that he had based on a Russian and arguably Jewish melody. ‘The 10 Tap Dancing Rabbis from Minsk’, completed the day before Shaper died, is a remarkable parody that tells the story of Yiddish song’s journey from shtetl to Broadway, and is included in the documentary. 


Leah, Teddy & the Mandolin records this achievement and honours the singers and musicians, who contributed to reviving Yiddish song in Cape Town.  
The Cast and Creative Team
SOLOISTS: Aviva Pelham; Beverley Chiat; Ivor Joffe; David Gordon; Dragana Jevtovic; Kevin Derman; Caely-Jo Levy; Erez Shaked; Richard Gore; Zola; Barry Braun; Tessa Snitcher; Santa Pelham
CHOIRS: Herzlia Yiddish Festival Choir directed by Sandy Segal; Herzlia Vocal Ensemble directed by Ivor Joffe; Green and Sea Point Shul Choir directed by David Gordon
MUSIC: Playing with Fire Klezmer Band directed by Matthew Reid
CREATIVE TEAM: Irma Kesler; Fay Singer; Matthew Reid
FILM DIRECTORS: Heather Blumenthal; Philip Todres FILM PRODUCERS: Seyma Lederman; Shoshana Lederman


  • I may be a little biased, but I thoroughly enjoyed this moving and important documentary, from start to finish! I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I tapped my feet, danced in my seat and was inspired that Yiddish Song has and will continue to be heard by generations to come, all around the world! Thanks to all who participated in the production, on stage and off! Zola Piatka Shuman reviewed Leah, Teddy and the Mandolin – 5 star

  • Philip and Heather, you and your team created a fabulous film! Well done!  Very moving and inspiring, and fun too! I WAS singing along and tapping my feet and “mini-dancing” in my seat…and crying too!!!  

  • All good! Thanks for putting this out into the world! Such a wonderful movie and so moving. Mazeltov to you and Heather...it deserves to get world recognition.   Beryl Eichenberger, Publicist

  • Just to say Mazeltov on a wonderful documentary!  Superb!  I know it will do extremely well worldwide. Rochelle Maisel

  • "I LOVED IT and will definitely come see again", was a message received from several of those at the premiere.


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