Joanne Borts was born in Syosset, New York. Her parents and grandparents were all active members of the Workmen’s Circle, the national fraternal organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the Yiddish language and culture and to Jewish social issues. At twelve she studied at the Workmen’s Circle Mitl-Shul. She has collaborated with Zalmen Mlotek on numerous Yiddish projects, including the annual children’s holiday show Kids & Yiddish. Borts made her off-Broadway debut in 1985 in the musical The Golden Land and her Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof in 1991. Her concert appearances include Carnegie Hall (debut 1992), Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.