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Yiddish Book Center

Regenerating Jewish Culture

Celebrating forty years of book rescue, digitization, translation,
educational programs, oral histories, exhibitions

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Your donation will help safeguard our books and support Yiddish literature and culture for future generations.

Focus On Women and Yiddish

The Yiddish Book Center's Decade of Discovery is an initiative launched by the Center to mark our 40th anniversary in 2020. Its aim is to foster a deeper understanding of Yiddish and modern Jewish culture. Our focus for the 2022 Decade of Discovery is Women in Yiddish.

In honor of our Decade of Discovery theme for 2022, "Women in Yiddish," we're featuring items from our collections that highlight the many women Yiddish writers, actors, musicians, activists, and artists who have contributed to all aspects of  Yiddish culture. 


אויסגעקליבן Handpicked Cameron Bernstein

Illustration of Cameron Bernstein

Cameron Bernstein is an artist and Yiddishist from the Chicagoland Jewish community. She began learning Yiddish in her senior year at the University of Chicago, graduating in 2020 with a BS in Statistics and a minor in Jewish Studies. Cameron has since built a Tiktok platform creating content about Yiddish language, history, and culture. She's the Yiddish Book Center's 2021-2022 Communications Fellow and is working towards a Masters in Public Health at George Washington University.

"Repairing Love" by Alexander Spiegelblatt, translated by Sean Sidky

I feel a kinship with the story’s main character, Doctor Tanya Engelnest, following in the footsteps of her father. My maternal grandparents came from the Philippines to the USA to practice medicine, and my parents met in medical school. Like Tanya visited her favorite poet’s grave before her final year of medical school, I’ve made my own pilgrimage working at the Yiddish Book Center as I apply to medical school.

“What Remains: The Suitcases of Charles F. at Willard State Hospital,” with Ilan Stavans and Jon Crispin

This public program from 2020 imagines the life of a Yiddish-speaking Russian-Jewish immigrant, referred to here as Charles F., from immigration to his institutionalization at a psychiatric hospital in New York in 1946. Charles F. cannot speak for himself, but for the belongings in his three suitcases confiscated by staff upon his arrival.


The Chicago publishing house and whimsical illustration quickly drew me to this book of children’s poetry. When not writing or teaching, the poet Rivke Galin was recovering from her recurring bouts of illness. Prior to meeting her husband in San Francisco and moving to Harbin, China, Galin recuperated in a Colorado sanatorium, where she became friends with Yiddish writer and translator Yehoash.

Itzhak Luden Sings Songs from the Medem Sanatorium

The Medem Sanatorium was established by the Yiddish secular school system in Międzeszyn, Poland to educate and improve the health of working-class children at risk of tuberculosis. Through these parody songs, we hear the children’s perspective on their experiences at the Sanatorium.

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