Professor Samuel Kassow talks about Birobidzhan, which was an area located in Eastern Siberia and developed as a Jewish autonomous region. The hope for Birobidzhan was that it would become a full-fledged Yiddish-speaking Soviet Republic, though there were many factors working against fulfilling this hope.
Professor Samuel Kassow explains the popularization of science in different sectors of Jewish communities both in the US and in Europe. Kassow also speaks about the development of Yiddish secular education beginning around World War I, as new science textbooks for schoolchildren were written in Yiddish.
Professor Sam Kassow notes the “nostalgic glow” of post-war Yiddish literature. Kassow cites Grade, Sutzkever, Glatshteyn, and Molodowsky, among others, as writers who exemplify this post-war nostalgia through their work.
Professor Ruth Wisse praises Sholem Aleichem as the “greatest genius that Yiddish literature ever produced.” Aleichem was monumental in recasting and interpreting the Jewish people through his literature, creating an image of the Jewish people that they then internalized.