Nostalgia, a bittersweet yearning for the past, is an important element in Jewish-American performances of the late twentieth century. Numerous plays and films of this time use nostalgia to engage Jewish, including Yiddish, cultural themes and images. Nostalgia offers audiences a window through which to examine past and current social changes. These include American Jews’ departure from Europe to America, the city for the suburbs, Yiddish for English, as well as the civil rights, women’s, peace, and gay and lesbian movements, and other transformations. These performances illustrate how theatre and film transmit culture from generation to generation and between one ethnic community and the wider American scene.