The Jewish Fringe returns next month with music, comedy and theatre in venues around Hampstead and Highgate.

A play on the word for a knotted ritual fringe worn by observant Jews, it's the second edition of Tsitsit which runs under the strapline 'if it's Jewish enough for you, it's Jewish enough for us.'

Events with a "Jewish-ish flavour" include a new play exploring Jewish demonology, a comedy night at North Finchley Arts Depot, folk music with Buenos Klezmer at Camden Town's Green Note, and Yiddish versions of Shakespeare soliloquies by actor David Schneider at the Jewish Museum, Camden Town. Fringe Director Alastair Falk hopes the programme will appeal to those of Jewish heritage or not.

Ham & High: Kramer Durcan Duo features Golders Green violinist Miriam Kramer and pianist Nicholas Durcan who explore Jews in Jazz including the Great American SongbookKramer Durcan Duo features Golders Green violinist Miriam Kramer and pianist Nicholas Durcan who explore Jews in Jazz including the Great American Songbook (Image: Supplied)

Golders Green violinist Miriam Kramer appears in three events including cabaret and comedy evening If It's Jewish Enough For You featuring Ivor Dembina, Rachel Creeger, Caroline Kennedy, Josh Curiel and an extract from Nick Cassenbaum's hilarious new play about a plot to kidnap a well-known Labour politician.

"I will do a set of all kinds of Jewish music, Israeli, classical Klezmer, so there will be a nice mix on the evening," said Kramer.

She also performs a programme of Jewish composers "alongside composers who befriended Jewish people" and settings of poems by Israeli writer Yehuda Amichai at Burgh House, featuring work by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Mahler.

Then on November 14 at Piano Smithfield, Barbican, her Kramer Durcan Duo alongside a singer, trumpet player, bass and drummer celebrate Jewish composers who dominate the Great American songbook.

"It's going to be a wonderful evening and I will talk about why so many of the jazz songwriters were Jewish," she explained.

"Around 1880 to 1920 there was a big influx of Jews from Europe coming to U.S but sadly a lot of industries wouldn't employ Jewish people and there was a quota on Jewish students in universities.

Because they weren't readily welcomed, they tried to get themselves Americanised by joining the entertainment industry - which was accepting and wide open. Jazz was flourishing in the Afro-American community and these two streams met, mixing Klezmer idioms with African songs. The two communities, both discriminated against, befriended each other. At a time when others weren't hiring Black entertainers, Jewish impresarios promoted singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday."

Raised in Connecticut, Kramer's grandfather was a synagogue cantor, and she picked up a violin aged four.

"I was brought up with a lot of Jewish music in my home and attached myself to music from a young age, so maybe something gets handed down through the generations."

Jews in Jazz celebrates songs by Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Victor Young, Harold Arlin, Jules Stein and Irving Berlin.

"People don't realise how many famous songs from White Christmas to Somewhere Over The Rainbow were written by Jewish people - there's such a rich tradition."

Other fringe highlights include ‘Velkom to Inklandt’ a new one-woman-play adapted from Sophie Herxheimer's poem about a woman fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938, performed at JW3 by Sarah Malin, and an evening of music film and poetry celebrating Scots and Yiddish culture inspired by Sholem Asch's incendiary 1923 play God of Vengeance. It is performed at Burgh House by Clara Kanter who grew up in Crouch End and is Asch's great-great granddaughter.

There's more music with multi-talented Monica Acosta performing Sephardic/Ladino songs at Lauderdale House Highgate, and Mum Thumb, is a heart-warming play inspired by the writer's elderly mother, showing how music, memories and Jewish heritage nourish them through life's challenges.

Ham & High: Buenos Klezmer perform at The Green Note, Camden as part of the Jewish Fringe Festival 2022Buenos Klezmer perform at The Green Note, Camden as part of the Jewish Fringe Festival 2022 (Image: (C) Karla Gowlett)

The Festival rounds off on November 27 at King Alfred Phoenix Theatre with Villa Russo, a work-in-progress adaptation by Julia Nelki of her 20th century family saga about Jewish circus performers, cheesemakers and Communists living in Germany.

Kramer said: "It's a rich tapestry bringing together different sorts of Jewish contributions to art and culture. It's not just for Jewish people, it's wide open for everyone to enjoy side by side."

Tsitsit runs November 3 to 27. Tickets from £12 with some events free. Details at