The Jewish song and dance ensemble Fayerlakh celebrated their 50th birthday on Sunday, June 19, at the Polish House of Culture in Vilnius with performances by musicians, singers and dancers.
The group formed back in the early 70s within the general milieu of Jewish, Lithuanian, Russian and Polish volunteer collectives, including the Yiddish-language People’s Theater. Many of the Jewish volunteer cultural groups–a choir, vocalists, a dance troupe, actors and personnel from the People’s Theater and a popular stage band–later immigrated to Israel and formed the Anakhnu Kan ensemble there. 1971 was also the year Jewish musician Yasha Magid founded a vocal and instrumental group. By 1972 this group had formed its core of enthusiastic musicians and the dance troupe, and held their first concert. That’s the story of how Fayerlakh, at the time the only Jewish song and dance ensemble throughout the Soviet Union, formed in Vilnius.