The Theodore Bikel Legacy Project

The Theodore Bikel Legacy Project

Perpetuating the ideals and passions that were the wellspring of Theo Bikel's life and work

Message from the Director:

In the months after Theo’s death, on July 21 2015, the need for theTheodore Bikel Legacy Project became clear; by January 2016 we were well into our activities. Some of us who love Theo and are active in his Legacy work make the mistake of thinking, without really noticing, that if only we could find the perfect way to keepTheo’s gifts alive, he personally will come back again, reappear with his guitar and laugh and sing until the sun comes up. It is hard to accept the reality and the permanence of death. But luckily, Theo left so much behind for us to see, hear, read, touch: and he did so purposefully, at least in his later years. He thought often about the question of what remains after our body leaves. He began to sing theYiddish song “Ver Vet Blaybn” (What will remain) more and more often in those final years; his other favorites towards the end were “In my Own Lifetime”, and “While I’m Here” (When I”m Gone). 

It is an immense honor to be charged with Theo Bikel’s legacy. It is very clear that if he were still here in these troubled times that have fallen upon us, he would be raising his voice with a great and urgent passion, morning and night, calling out for justice, singing out for freedom, for love between our brothers and our sisters, all over this land.

Thank you for your support-Your donations, and love, are needed, and appreciated. 

Aimee Ginsburg Bikel Director, 

Theodore Bikel Legacy Project



For over 7 decades, Mr. Bikel devoted himself to a variety causes with a sense of urgency coupled with boundless joy and love of life. His work revolved around three main themes: 

*The preservation and renewal of Jewish culture, and in particular the Yiddish culture- the language and the songs- of his Eastern European childhood and ancestors. “Not because they are better than the songs of my neighbor”, Theo often said, “but because they are mine. And if I don’t keep them alive, they will wither, and die”. 

*Music in service of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) - particularly in the areas of peacemaking, human rights, and building bridges between all people. “In my ongoing fight for peace and justice”, Theo said, “my voice and my guitar are my only weapons”. 

*The imperative to speak out and act in support of human dignity, and against injustice, with courage and conviction. “We know what happens when good people remain silent. We must be vigilant about our own tendency to look away”. 

The Theodore Bikel Legacy Project (TBLP) is under the fiscal sponsorship of the Center for Jewish Creativity and Culture, a non-profit charitable organization (501(c)3). The TBLP is funded by private contributions and grants. The purpose of the TBLP is to initiate events and ongoing projects designed to continue on with Mr. Bikel’s work while keeping his blessed memory alive. 

Theodore Bikel Legacy Project:  

Director:  Aimee Ginsburg Bikel 

Advisory Board: 

*Peter Yarrow: Activist, singer/songwriter, “Peter Paul and Mary”  

*Nadine Epstein, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Moment Magazine. 

*Chazan Mike Stein, Temple Aliyah 

*Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D. 

*Jean and Jerry Freidman, Founders: Shalhevet High School, The Zimmer Children’s museum 

*Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Congregation P’nai Tikvah 


Honorary Board 

*U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy 

*US senator Ed Markey  

*Arlo Guthrie, Activist, singer/songwriter