Translation Fellows Announced
The Center has named six Translation Fellows. Each of the Fellows will receive year-long mentorship and training to complete a book-length project in Yiddish translation. As an incentive to produce works of the highest caliber, each Fellow will receive a grant of $5,000.
The 2013-2014 Translation Fellows:
Zackary Sholem Berger is an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His original Yiddish poetry and literary translations from Yiddish have appeared in journals all over the world, including InTranslation and Words Without Borders, as well as in the Harper Collins Anthology of International Poetry. For his translation fellowship project, Berger will be translating the lesser-known prose works of renowned poet Avrom Sutzkever. His translation mentor is Susan Bernofsky, associate professor and director of the Literary Translation Program at Columbia University. A prolific and award-winning translator, Bernofsky is currently preparing a new translation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis for Norton.
Motl Didner is the Associate Artistic Director at the Folksbiene, the National Yiddish Theatre in New York City. During his fellowship year, Didner will be working on musicals, operettas and plays both for the stage and for publication. Didner’s translations include Avrom Goldfaden’s Bar Kokhba and a dramatization of Y.L. Peretz’s poem Di tsvey brider (The Two Brothers). He has also created English translation supertitles for over twenty-five Yiddish theater productions, readings, concerts, and workshops. His translation mentor will be Joel Berkowitz, a scholar of Yiddish theater, currently serving as Director of the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Avi Lang is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington. He also holds two MA degrees, one in Jewish Studies from Oxford University and another in Mediaeval Studies from the University of Reading, UK. Lang has worked as a teacher of English in an Israeli high school and currently serves as an instructor of Yiddish and Hebrew at IU. For his fellowship project he will be translating a collection of short stories by the little-known Israeli Yiddish writer Avrom Rives. His translation mentor will be Aviya Kushner, a professor of creative writing and instructor in literary translation at Columbia College in Chicago. Kushner is the author of And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning, a scholarly memoir about Hebrew and English Bible translations. (forthcoming, Random House/Spiegel & Grau).
Elly Moseson is a PhD student in Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University (BU), focusing on Jewish Mysticism and the history of Hasidism. A native speaker of Yiddish from a Polish Hasidic background, he works as Assistant Archivist at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and the Elie Wiesel Archive, both housed at BU. For his fellowship at the Yiddish Book Center, he will be translating selected works by American Yiddish prose writer Joseph Opatoshu. His translation mentor will be Ken Frieden, a Professor of English and Religion and the BG Rudolph Chair of Judaic Studies at Syracuse University, and an experienced translator of classic Yiddish fiction.
Amanda Siegel is a Fulbright Scholar currently studying Argentine Yiddish literature in Buenos Aires. An accomplished poet, she recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School in New York. She has also taught English as a Second Language throughout Latin America. During her fellowship year, Siegel will translate Der Goldshpiner (The Goldspinner), an autobiographical literary memoir of Argentine Jewish life by Elias A. Marchevsky. Her translation mentor will be writer and scholar Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College.
Miriam Udel is an Assistant Professor of Yiddish language, literature, and culture at Emory University. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2008. In addition to her many scholarly publications on Yiddish literature, Miriam’s essays and reporting have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Forward, The American Prospect, and Harvard Magazine. During her fellowship year, she will compile, annotate and translate an anthology of Yiddish children’s literature. Her translation mentor is Myla Goldberg, a best-selling writer, teacher and musician whose work includes the award-winning Bee Season (2000) in addition several other novels, short stories and children’s fiction.
The Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellowship is made possible through generous support from the David Berg Foundation, with additional funding from the Righteous Persons Foundation.