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Golden Peacock 2023 – Sing Yiddish

Sunday 20th August 2023 | 10:00 am Friday 25th August 2023 | 5:00 pm


The Golden Peacock The Yiddish Song course led by internationally acclaimed Yiddish singer and teacher Shura Lipovsky with esteemed colleagues Rachel Weston and Joseph Finlay.

It is designed for all singers who wish to deepen their knowledge of the rich Yiddish song repertoire.

You will spend the morning studying music theory, repertoire, roots and traditions of Yiddish Song, modes and melodies. While afternoons will focus on studying further repertoire, master-classes and a Yiddish Choir. You will be amazed at how much you will be learning, singing and performing Yiddish song in only one week!

Here are a few reasons why this promises to be a week not to be missed this summer…

This is the only opportunity in the UK to immerse yourself in the deep and inspiring world of Yiddish Song for a whole week with interesting and like-minded people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

You will have the privilege of working with some of the UK’s, USA’s and Europe’s top educators and performers. No matter what your level in Yiddish whether a beginner or a budding linguist, professional singer or amateur enthusiast, you will benefit from the width and breath of programmes on offer through the week, both day and night.

The programme is based at SOAS, the heart of Ethnomusicology and the study of world cultures in the UK, at the Russell Square Campus in central London. What better chance to combine meeting an eclectic bunch of Yiddish enthusiasts with exploring one of Europe’s finest capital cities.

Every morning will begin with a communal dancing sessions led by our dance tutor Sonia Gollance and the Klezfest Faculty with both Klezfest and Golden Peacock students together.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the JMI team for extra information about the course, accommodation advice or financial support.


Full rate £250 (£225 if booked before 1st June 2023)
Student / Senior rate £175 (£160 if booked before 1st June 2023)
Senior rate is set at 65+

Refund policy:
10% if cancelled before 1 June.
25% if cancelled before 1 July.
50% if cancelled after 1 August.

Jewish Music Institute
Room 536
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street,
Russell Square,
London WC1H 0XG

£160.00 – £250.00


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Shura Lipovsky - Head of Faculty

Shura Lipovsky (Director of the Golden Peacock Yiddish Song School) was born in The Hague (Netherlands) and is a highly valued performer of Yiddish song. A writer and composer of new Yiddish songs, she appears as a singer and storyteller in Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Russia, the United States and Canada. She has produced several cd’s, ‘Moments of Jewish Life’, ‘Heroes and Poets’ and ‘Tsart’ with her new CD ‘Vaytinke’ having been released in December 2013. She was featured in Dutch, Belgian, American and Canadian documentaries (‘Jiddisj is mijn instrument’, ‘Terpe Kind Mains, Terpe’, ‘Yiddish Soul’, ‘Journey 4 Artists’, ‘Wandering Muse’). In 2008, 2012 and 2017 she was a member of the jury for the International Jewish Music Competition in Amsterdam.

Rachel Weston

Mezzo-soprano Rachel Weston is a singer, song-collector and cantor in training at Hebrew Union College. She researches and performs various strands of Jewish folk repertoire and is interested in Yiddish folk music as a reflection of human experience, particularly the movement and migration of Ashkenazi Jews. Within the UK she has coordinated and taught Yiddish song and Niggunim workshop programmes for the Jewish Music Institute, SOAS, Kleznorth, and WOMAD festival, and the London Yiddish choir.

Joseph Finlay

Joseph Finlay is a composer, musical director and pianist, trained at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. He is musical director of Hendon Reform Synagogue and the London Jewish Male Choir, and has previously directed choirs at Central Synagogue,  New North London Synagogue and New London Synagogue. He has composed a substantial body of Jewish music, both liturgical, secular, vocal and instrumental. He regularly performs Jewish music, particularly with Yiddish singer Rachel Weston, and together they form half of the accapella quartet the Barberschlepps. Joseph is a keen Yiddishist, having studied at Ot Azoy, Yiddish Farm and with Vivi Lachs and Barry Davis and has arranged many Yiddish pieces for choirs and ensembles. He is also writes musical theatre and is a member of the Book Music and Lyrics advanced workshop for composers, lyricists and book writers. In 2015  he won the prestigious Stiles and Drewe Best song award, and his musical This Is Also England was recently showcased at the Page to Stage and BEAM festivals.

Sonia Gollance - Dance Tutor

Born in New York and based in London, Sonia Gollance is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Yiddish at University College London. A scholar, translator and dance leader, her research is broadly concerned with the ways dance, theatre, gender and the body mediate Jewish experiences of modernity. One of the leading scholars of European Jewish dance, her work engages with the emerging field of literary dance studies from a Jewish Studies perspective. Her first book, It Could Lead to Dancing: Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity (Stanford University Press, 2021) was a National Jewish Book Awards (USA) finalist. She has taught dance and presented her research at Jewish cultural festivals in the United Kingdom and internationally, including KlezNorth, Yiddish New York and KlezKanada. She is the Managing Editor ofPlotting Yiddish Drama, an initiative of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project that offers an online database of English-language synopses of the Yiddish dramatic repertoire. She is currently translating Tea Arciszewska’s play Miryeml and developing a new project on women who wrote plays in Yiddish.