the theodore bikel legacy project

We know what happens when good men and women remain silent in the face of injustice, bigotry and hatred” - Theodore Bikel

Theodore Meir Bikel

of blessed memory

Theo Meir Bikel (1924-2015) was a legendary Academy, Emmy, Tony and Grammy nominated Actor and folksinger; a civil rights, peace, and Jewish activist; and a devoted labor union leader. He was known for creating iconic roles on stage, film, and TV, such as Captain Von Trapp in the Broadway production of The Sound Of Music, and he played Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof more than any actor in history. With Pete Seeger, Theo founded the Newport Folk Festival, and recorded dozens of best selling albums in many languages. He was beloved for his leading role in keeping Yiddish culture alive, and for being an outspoken voice for Justice. He is most cherished for his undying devotion to Tikkun Olam, the daily work of making our world a better place. May his memory be for a blessing. 


Theo, born on 5/2/1924, would have been 100 this year!

In honor of his centennial, the Theodore Bikel Legacy Project has events planned around the country. Please check back frequently so that you can take part in one or more! 


The Theodore Bikel Square, Los Angeles, CA :   naming ceremony Oct 13, 2024

In May 2024, the LA City Council voted unanimously to name the junction and the adjoining small garden outside the SAG AFTRA building on WIlshire Blvd “The Theodore Bikel Square”.  This spot, adjacent to the LA Brea Tar Pits, the LA County Museum of Art, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Museum, is a perfect spot to remember Theo. He was a long time leader of the actors' and performers' unions, a board member of the Actors' Fund (an arm of SAG AFTRA devoted to taking care of actors in need), a commited patron of the ats who was one of the founding member of the National Council on the Arts (appointed by president Clinton), and a long time member of the Academy of Motion Pictures. Thank you to LA councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky and her team for their dedication in making this happen. The public is invited! to RSVP:

Actors' Equity: Theo Bikel 100 Birthday Party 

In recognition of Theo's over 40 years of leadership, first as Actors' Equity's VP long-time president and then as president of the 4As- the umbrella union of all US performers, Actors' Equity is throwing Theo a birthday party in NY this fall (open to AE members only). 

The Magic of Theo Bikel: A Centennial Celebration 

Aimee will be travelling through the country in 2024-2025 (now extended into 2026!) with the TBLP flagship program: The Magic of Theodore Bikel: A Centennial Celebration. Aimee, a professional storyteller and public speaker, will present the incredible life and legacy of our beloved, legendary, Theo Bikel, using video, book excerpts, anecdotes, and in-depth commentary on how Theo, a child refugee of Nazi Austria, grew up to be not only a world famous entertainer but more importantly, a staunch, indefatigable activist for peace, justice, and love among all people of the world. Below, a partial list of Aimee's appearances, with more geting added weekly. If you are interested in bringing this wonderful, inspiring, uplifting program to your community, please write Aimee, at aimee@aimeeginburg or write to her using our contact form. 

*Feb 2024: La Jolla JCC- The Jewish Music Archives

*March 2024: Phoenix AZ- The Bureau of Jewish Education

*June 2024: Boise Idaho- Congregation Ahavat Beth Israel

*Aug 18 2024: Detroit MI- The J

*Sept 4 2024: Baltimore MD- Beth El Congregation

*Sept 5 2024: Church Falls, VA- Temple Rodef Shalom

*Sept 8 2024: Potomac MD: Congregation Har Shalom

*Sept 17 2024: Oceanside, NY: Friedberg JCC

*Sept 18 2024: Commack NY:  SYJCC

*Sept 28 2024: Jefferson Station, NY: North Shore Jewish Center

*Oct 27 2024: Springfield NY: Sinai Temple

*Nov 9 2024: Long Beach: Alpert JCC

*Nov 14 2024: Denver, CO: the Mizel Arts and Culture Center

*Nov 17 2024: Albuquerque, NM: NM Holocaust and intolerance Museum 

*Nov 19 2024: Santa Fe, NM: Temple Beth Shalom

*Dec 14 2024: (scholar in residence program) New Rochelle, NY: Temple Israel

*Jan 26 2025: Voorhees, NJ: Temple Beth El

*Feb 2 2025: Bellingham, WA: Beth Israel 





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The Theodore Bikel Legacy Project was founded by Aimee Ginsburg Bikel several months after the passing of her husband. The TBLP is dedicated to keeping the legacy of Theo Bikel alive while using his great body of work and his principles of Tikkun Olam in our quest to make the world a better place. The TBLP, with Aimee as its director, has produced major civic events, fundraising concerts, musical projects, a documentary film, and lectures for adults and for schoolchildren about the importance of raising our voice in the service of social justice. Aimee regularly screens Bikel's autobiographical film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem for audiences across the US; together with her presentation about her late husband's legacy and the lessons for our times, the program makes for a profound, moving, and an inspiring event. To book a TBLP program, and/or a screening of the documentary film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem, contact us

Aimee Ginsburg Bikel

In collaboration with the TBLP, The Milken Archive of Jewish Music produced this 7 minute, archival documentary of Theodore Bikel, narrated by the TBLP director Aimee Ginsburg Bikel.