Jeremy Dauber is a professor of Yiddish literature at Columbia University, where he also serves as director of its Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and teaches in the American studies program. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar. His previous books include In the Demon’s Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern and Antonio’s Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature, and he frequently lectures on topics related to Jewish literature, history, and humor.
Heidi Durrow is the New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (Algonquin Books), which received writer Barbara Kingsolver's PEN/Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change and was hailed as one of the Best Novels of 2010 by the Washington Post. Ebony magazine named Durrow one of its Power 100 Leaders of 2010, along with writers Edwidge Danticat and Malcolm Gladwell. A graduate of Stanford University, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School, Durrow is a founder and a producer of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival and an occasional essay contributor to National Public Radio. www.heididurrow.com.
Andy Teirstein writes music inspired by the rich and diverse folk roots of modern culture. A student of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Brant, Teirstein composes for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. His newest CD, Open Crossings, draws on Balkan, Appalachian, and classical influences. He has composed film scores for BBC and PBS. His opera, A Blessing on the Moon, is an adaptation of the novel by Joseph Skibell. Two of his musicals, Winter Man and Skels received NEA Opera/Musical Theater Awards. Teirstein studied with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents at New York University (NYU) and went on to earn a PhD in music composition. He extended his musical education in the pubs of Ireland and performing as a musical clown with a Mexican circus. He is currently an associate arts professor at NYU.