Avi Hoffman was recently awarded Congressional recognition, was invited to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis and was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame for his lifetime work advancing Jewish culture, Yiddishkeit and Holocaust awareness through his charity, Yiddishkayt Initiative, Inc. As an actor, he was nominated for a NY Drama Desk Award for his Yiddish-language portrayal of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. He is best known for his award-winning one-man shows Too Jewish, Too Jewish, Too! and his latest show Still Jewish After All These Years. On TV, he was featured as Sid Raskin in the Starz TV series Magic City, as well as on Netflix’s Bloodline,A&E’s The Glades and the NBC series Law and Order. He starred in the international award-winning short Yiddish film Shehita and the motion picture The Imported Bridegroom. He was seen in the PBS documentary They Came For Good: A History of the Jews in the US. Hoffman has performed all over the world, has numerous acting and directing credits and has received multiple awards and nominations.
Playwright/composer Yale Strom is one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of Klezmer and Roma music and history. He has done extensive ethnographic research in Eastern Europe. His findings were instrumental in forming the repertoire of his Klezmer band Hot Pstromi, based in New York and San Diego. Since organizing his band in 1981, he has composed original New Jewish music that combines Klezmer with Chasidic melodies, as well as Roma, jazz, classical, bluegrass, Balkan, Arabic and Sephardic motifs. Strom's compositions range from several quartets to a full symphony. His classical works have been performed by orchestras, ballets, dance companies and other ensembles around the world. In addition, he has composed original music for theater, film and television. Yale’s 15 CDs run the gamut from traditional Klezmer to "new" Jewish jazz. As a collaborator, Strom has had numerous world-renowned partners performing from Carnegie Hall to the United Nations General Assembly to the Kennedy Center. Strom has also directed nine award-winning documentary films and written 13 books and two audio dramas. Currently, Strom is developing a musical about the life of artist Marc Chagall with the San Diego Repertory Theatre. He is presently an artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University, a position created for him in 2006. Before this, he taught at New York University.