Ensuring the Future of Yiddish with a Lead Gift to the Yersushe Campaign
A Focus On Yiddish Literature
For Jewish Book Month, how could we not focus on Yiddish literature? While it's impossible to capture this vast, rich literature in just a few items, here are some especially interesting finds from our collections: Read an excerpt from Yosua Perle's 1935 novel Everyday Jews—considered scandalous at the time, but now recognized as a modernist masterpiece—in English translation. Listen to a 1983 talk by Irving Howe on how Jewish literature reflects a changing world. And hear an interview with Itzik Manger biographer Efrat Gal- Ed about his research on the Yiddish poet and playwright.
Handpicked Josh Lambert
Josh Lambert, academic director at the Yiddish Book Center, highlights interesting and intriguing items from our collections.
“Der mishpet” is a strange short story by Joseph Opatoshu, in which children learn how brutal a society can be in imposing morality—by watching the trial of a stork accused of infidelity. Published in Warsaw in 1924 with a set of haunting woodcut illustrations, it makes you wonder: who thought of this as fitting literature for kids?
Reflections on the Jewish Novel
In this event, recorded on October 26, 1969, at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, the novelist Chaim Potok, still riding high on the massive success of his first book, "The Chosen," discusses his background and the current state of Jewish literature.
“What Culture War?"
Is Yiddish more “authentic” than Hebrew? Is there a “culture war” between the two languages? Kenneth Moss, associate professor of Jewish history at John Hopkins University, says—speaking in Yiddish, with subtitles—an emphatic “neyn.”