Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup

based on the 1935 book by Chaver Paver

Translated by Miriam Udel

Adapted and Directed by Jake Krakovsky

May 24 - June 5


Sign up here to get an email when Labzik goes live!



Adapted from a book of children's stories by Yiddish author Chaver Paver, Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup follows the (mis)adventures of a clever mutt named Labzik and the working-class Jewish family that adopts him. Balancing playful humor with gritty realism, the stories find Labzik and the other residents of the Bronx up against social and political forces that are no less relevant today: unemployment, political protest, racism, police brutality, even an airborne disease. The bilingual Yiddish-English short film is produced in cinematic "miniature theater" style, employing lavishly illustrated paper puppets (performed by Krakovsky and built by designer Ryan Bradburn) to evoke the ink illustrations of the 1935 original. A cast of both student and professional voice actors bring the characters and stories to life, including award-winning Yiddish actor Shane Baker. Featuring original music from Klezmer greats Michael Winograd and Jake Shulman-Ment, and singing by Lisa Fishman and Mikhl Yashinsky of off-Broadway's Fidler afn Dakh (Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof) and Lorin Sklamberg of Grammy award-winning klezmer band The Klezmatics. 
Labzik streams on-demand May 24 - June 5.

Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup is presented by Theater Emory and sponsored by The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and The Department of German Studies, Emory University. This project is sponsored in part by a grant from the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts David Goldwasser Series in Religion and the Arts.


Labzik in the News:


Tablet Magazine

"Puppy Politics Rokhl’s Golden City: What a dog named Labzik can teach us about communism"


APRIL 30, 2021

Rokhl Kafrissen is one of today's leading writers on contemporary Yiddish cultural production. Her biweekly column "Rokhl's Golden City" does a deep dive on a current topic, and also includes a list of links, the "must see/hear/experience" of Yiddish arts and culture. Labzik himself is the lead and main framing device for her article on the legacy of Jewish communists in the US, and Theater Emory's presentation of Labzik is the very top link in her what's-hot-in-Yiddish roundup.


Yiddish Forward

"New Yiddish film about a radical dog"

MAY 7, 2021

Labzik is featured in Yiddish Forward, the oldest continuously published Yiddish newspaper still in existence! 


Emory University Tam Institute for Jewish Studies

"From Classroom to Stage: Udel and Krakovsky present Filmed Puppet Show"

MAY 9, 2021

The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies (TIJS) at Emory University, established in 1999 to bring together students and scholars in the interdisciplinary exploration of Jewish civilization and culture, is the largest Jewish Studies program in the southern United States. The Institute’s core endowment was provided by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. TIJS is a sponsor of "Labzik: Tales of a Cleaver Pup"


Atlanta Jewish Times

"Yiddish Puppet-based Film at Emory"


MAY 14, 2021

New bilingual show demonstrates the relevance of a 1935 Yiddish children’s story.