YSW Team

Dr. Alan Bern

is the recipient of the prestigious Weimar Prize in 2016, co-founder and chair of Other Music Academy e.V. and creator and artistic director of Yiddish Summer Weimar and Winter Edition. He is a composer/arranger, pianist, accordionist, educator, cultural activist and philosopher.

In 2017, Bern was honored with the Thuringia Order of Merit.

He is co-founder and director of "Brave Old World," founder and director of "The Other Europeans" and "Diaspora Redux," and he also performs with Bern, Brody & Rodach and with Guy Klucevsek.
His education included classical piano with Paul Badura-Skoda and Leonard Shure, jazz with Karl Berger, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton and others, contemporary music with John Cage, Frederic Rzewski, Joel Hoffman and others, and philosophy and cognitive science with Dan Dennett. He received his master's degree in philosophy and his doctorate in music composition. 

In 2009, he was given the Ruth Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a musician and educator and achievement with "Brave Old World".

>> www.alanbern.net

Photo: Shendl Copitman

Andreas Schmitges

Andreas Schmitges is a musician (guitar, mandolin), musicologist, dance leader, cultural manager, artistic consultant and  workshop instructor, primarily in the field of Yiddish music culture. He studied jazz guitar at the Cologne University of Music (Diplom) as well as musicology at the University of Halle (Master). He has authored several scholarly essays on Yiddish music and dance. In 2019/2020 he was a fellow at the Oxford Institute for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in a research group focusing on “Jewish Musical Cultures in Europe, 1500-1750.”
Andreas has been affiliated with Yiddish Summer and the Other Music Academy since the very beginning, and is happy and proud to be able to contribute to the development of Other Music Academy e.V. as a member of the board. He is the Curator of YSW and the Project Manager and initiator of many OMA projects, including the Kadya Youth Choir, Triangle Orchestra, Caravan Orchestra & Choir and YAM Ensemble.
Photo: Shendl Copitman

Katrin Füllsack

Mother, friend and companion. Someone who keeps things rolling. Project manager. Dedicated decaf drinker. Katrin is all these things and more: she is also the person responsible for the renovation of the Other Music Academy building and other OMA projects, working behind-the-scenes for Yiddish Summer and standing in for the chairman of the board when he happens to be away;-).

Photo: Pierre Kamin

Sabrina Rostek

As a creative office all-rounder, Sabrina works for the management team of the Other Music Academy e.V. She is a typical humanities scholar with creative ambitions who is keen on cultural events. For the association, she mainly takes care of the financial matters of Yiddish Summer Weimar, but she can also solve HTML or computer problems and make good coffee! She will not be present at YSW 2023 and 2024, as she will again be facing family challenges and taking care of offspring.

Photo: Antonia Ramljak

Sabine Roselt

Sabine is like a multifunctional tool and has already worked in many areas of the festival. With her experience from various events and festivals and seven years of Yiddish Summer Weimar, she has become indispensable for the festival.

This year, she is focusing on finance and controlling, handling everything that happens in the office. When she's not digging around in the OMA database, she's playing the cello, practicing creative hobbies or baking a delicious cake.

Photo: Antonia Ramljak

Anna Grochocka

Anna is a project manager for the OMA since 2021. She studied linguistics and Jewish studies. During the festival she ensures the well-being of the artists, teachers, and volunteers and coordinates the festival team. The rest of the year, she works on the follow-up of the festival and preparation for the next summer at the OMA office.

Anna was part of the first cohort of YSW volunteers in 2012 and continued to come to Weimar regularly in the following years. In the summer of 2019, she coordinated the Triangle Orchestra, a project with young musicians from Poland, France and Germany dedicated to the presentation of an almost-forgotten Yiddish opera, "Bas Sheve".

Her heart beats for YSW, but above all for the people who make it happen every year.

Alessa Augustin

As a former FSJ of the Other Music Academy e.V. in 2019/2020, Alessa has already supported YSW several times. After her voluntary year, she began studying economics in Jena.

In the context of YSW, she’ll be supporting the back office, and she’s looking forward to being part of it again.

Antonia Ramljak

Antonia, or Toni, as she is called in the festival, studies, works and lives in different cities in Thuringia and has been part of Yiddish Summer Weimar since 2018.
With her experience of various festivals and events, she supports YSW as head of production. In her free time, she rides the train along the RE1/RE3 line, works as a ski instructor, listens to and makes music herself, and is always on the go.
Feel free to talk to her when you see her; she always has a joke or a funny story ready.

Seraphina Voigt

Seraphina Voigt decided to spend a year volunteering at a cultural organization after completing her finals at school. She saw the OMA as the perfect place to develop her skills and learn about culture in society. Seraphina mainly supports the team in the office and helps look after the OMA building.

At events, she supports the team in setting up, organization and post-event follow-up. At Yiddish Summer Weimar 2024 she is responsible for the registration and support of the workshop participants. She is excited about the festival and the people she’s going to meet this year!

Lorena Komnick

As a former volunteer of the Other Music Academy e.V., Lorena has already had the opportunity to support YSW twice. After her voluntary year, she began studying social work in Würzburg.

At YSW, she will once again be in charge of supporting the workshop participants, and she’s looking forward to being at YSW for a third time.

Sanja Pantovic

I joined the OMA as a European Solidarity Corps volunteer this year. Coming from a background in Cultural Anthropology, I try to always stay curious.

As a student, I had the opportunity to participate in, execute, and write European Erasmus+ projects. Even when I later worked in a corporate environment, the goal of active citizenship never left my mind. I continued to try to make a change through various projects at the companies where I worked, whether in climate change and sustainability or communication mediation between management and employees.

My curiosity led me to the inspiring people of the OMA community and their philosophy. I hope that during my European Solidarity Corps volunteer year, engaging in the world of the OMA will help me direct my career path, but especially grow as a person.

Photo: Stefan Majstorovic

Louise Trouillet

Louise arrived at the OMA in February a European Solidarity Corps volunteer and in that short time, she has already co-organised the Wolf GANG Festival. Caution! She is not the grandmother eaten by the wolf (the symbol of the WG Festival) – she is full of energy and imagination. Dance, theater and singing are all a part of her personality making the OMA a perfect fit for her!

Photo: Valerie L.

Claas Sandbothe

I am an enthusiastic drummer, spoonman & DJ. In 2012 I came to Yiddish Summer Weimar for the first time as a participant.

Besides the music, I was infected by the passion of the musicians and the team. And the special energy of the OMA as a lively cultural center, where exchange, knowledge transfer and jam sessions joyfully go hand in hand.

Since 2018, I've been part of the production team, taking care of events and their tech equipment.
Nowadays I also bring Klezmer music to the stage and to the people as a drummer and lecturer, e.g. at the Klezmer Orchestra Erfurt (KlezWeCan e.V.).

Apart from that, I like to ride a cargo bike and wave a towel every now and then.

Photo: Shendl Copitman

Daria Fomina

Daria Fomina is a musician from Kharkiv (flute, piccolo, sopilka).
She grew up surrounded by Yiddish music, influenced by her father, the renowned klezmer clarinetist Gennadiy Fomin. Daria actively promotes Ukrainian culture worldwide through Yiddish music. She taught music in Kharkiv, shaping the journeys of over 30 students and participating in projects in diverse genres. She is currently based in Hamburg.

Daria has been part of Yiddish Summer Weimar since 2018, and this year she is taking charge as our volunteer coordinator to ensure that all our YSW volunteers have a smooth and fun experience.

Photo: Olena Karakaptan

Jonathan Mürmann

Jonathan Mürmann works creatively and artistically, and is also active in political education. With a degree in music and media arts in his background, he works as an illustrator and sound designer (often in radio). His political work focuses on feminist issues and the realities of the LGBTIQA* community. Since 2020 they are co-founder and editorial board member of Queerdinx magazine.

He has joined Yiddish Summer Weimar in 2023 and has been managing the festival's social media ever since. Tip: as a festival freshman, he might get your name mixed up...don't be mad!

Photo: Jay Steinert

Rosamond van Wingerden

Rosamond (Ro) is a singer, translator and writer who lives in Berlin. She first joined YSW in 2022 as a volunteer while researching Yiddish song with a grant from Fulbright Germany. During the festival, she works as YSW’s press coordinator, and throughout the year, she writes grant applications and runs the YSW TikTok account. She also enjoys Yiddish dancing and attends the music and dance workshops whenever she can.

Photo: Shendl Copitman

Mark Kovnatskiy

In addition to being one of the world's leading Yiddish violinists, a composer, a Yiddish dance teacher and a frequent faculty member at Yiddish Summer Weimar, Mark Kovnatskiy is also a passionate video maker. He has been part of our team since 2020, creating video documentation of all Yiddish Summer Weimar events.

Photo: Shendl Copitman

Sayumi Yoshida

studied Visual Communication and worked in a Tokyo design agency before coming to Berlin, where she studied at the Hochschule der Künste (today the Universität der Künste). After obtaining her degree in 1993, she worked as an artist on sound and site installations and also as a freelance graphic designer.

Since 2010, she has been responsible for the visual image of Yiddish Summer, Other Music Academy and Other Music Academy e.V., including internet presence, posters, t-shirts and more. 
She has long been interested in Yiddish dance and has given workshops on the subject in Japan at "Osaka University" and "Japanese‐Jewish Friendship and Study Society in Kobe."

Since 2006, she's been a member of the Berlin-based dance ensemble "TarantaScalza" (Tarantella – traditional Southern Italian dance) with whom she has performed at many festivals.


Photo: Shendl Copitman

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