A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Mole Latkes: A Hybrid Eastern European-Mexican Jewish Culture
Ilan Stavans, academic and writer, explains his family and community's fusion of Ashkenazi culture with Mexican culture, leading to some interesting culinary innovations.
This interview was conducted in English.
Ilan Stavans was born in 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico.
This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Mole Latkes: A Hybrid Eastern European-Mexican Jewish Culture3 minutes 31 seconds
My Father, "Rebel" Actor of the Mexican Jewish Community1 minute 46 seconds
The Jewish Geography of Mexico City4 minutes 21 seconds
The Jewish Grandparents' Kiss in the Square of a Spanish Inquisition Burning3 minutes 33 seconds
Golemito, the Nahuatl Golem3 minutes 11 seconds
"I Think I Am Here in Order to Think": Ilan Stavans on Jewishness, Mexican-ness, and the Future6 minutes 28 seconds
El Iluminado: The Story of Luis de Carabajal4 minutes 50 seconds
"I Want to Provoke Thought": Ilan Stavans on Writing4 minutes 57 seconds
Ilan Stavans, a Mexican-Born Descendent of Shtetl-Dwellers3 minutes 41 seconds
"A State of Fear": Economic Collapse and Anti-Semitism in Mexico in the 1980s6 minutes 49 seconds
Yiddish to Relate to the Past: Ilan Stavans on Languages as Glasses that Change One's World View2 minutes 1 second
"A Cultural Jew with Very Strong Faith Defined by Ambivalence": Ilan Stavans on His Jewish Identity3 minutes 20 seconds
Four Languages Coexisting in Jewish Mexican Life3 minutes 28 seconds
Ilan Stavans Describes his Yiddish Education in Mexico City5 minutes 9 seconds
"Daring" to Find Out Who You Are: Ilan Stavans on Writing and Jewish Identity1 minute 57 seconds
More information about this oral history excerpt
Themes in this oral history excerpt:
- Family history, stories about ancestors
- Yiddish language
- Other languages
- Jewish holidays
- Channukah, Khanukah, Channuka, Khanike, Hannukah
- Latin America
- Food and culinary traditions
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About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
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