Yiddish Book Center
Regenerating Jewish Culture
Yidstock Live at the Yiddish Book Center, July 7-10
New exhibit: Roots, Resilience and Renewal, photographs by Chuck Fishman
Weekly Reader: The City of Lublin
June's Translation: Black Leyke by Abraham Karpinowitz, translated by Helen Mintz
Photographer Chuck Fishman: A Lens on Jewish Poland
Women Reflect on American Jewish Identity
Meet Our Donors: Irving Backman
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Sarah Biskowitz is the 2021–22 Richard Herman Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. Her Yiddish journey began at the Yiddish Book Center’s Great Jewish Books Summer Program for high school students, and she later returned to the Center to learn Yiddish at the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program. While studying abroad in Paris, she volunteered at the Paris Yiddish Center–Medem Library, which inspired her undergraduate translation thesis of Parisian Yiddish literature. She is a leader of the Rad Yiddish reading group and contributor to In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Sarah aspires to draw from the Jewish tradition to build a more inclusive and vibrant Jewish community and a more equitable world.
A mayse mit a ketsl (A Story with a Kitten) by Samuil Marshak (1953)
The other fellows and I read this story about a girl and her cat in our weekly leyenkrayz (reading circle). The author, Samuil Marshak, has been called the founder of Soviet children’s literature. This book contains beautiful illustrations, and Yiddish simple enough for beginners.
Mizreḥ un mayrev (East and West) by Wolf Wieivorka (1936)
In this collection of Yiddish short stories, Wieviorka describes the struggles of working-class Jews in interwar Paris. I first read from this book at the Paris Yiddish Center–Medem Library and translated a few stories for my undergraduate thesis. From social inequality to cultural assimilation to gender roles, the topics resonate as strongly as ever.
The Yiddish Bohemians of Montparnasse, translated by Ri J. Turner with an introduction by David Mazower (2019)
These translated excerpts of Bilder un geshtaltn fun monparnas by Chil Aronson (1963) provide a window into the glamorous and tragic world of Yiddish-speaking artists in 20th century Paris. My favorite part is the tribute to Bella Chagall.
Rokhl Kafrissen Visits with The Shmooze (2019)
Journalist Rokhl Kafrissen has long been an inspiration to me for her accessible, vibrant writing about Yiddish culture. Here she discusses a play she wrote about Yiddish women and folk traditions, and her coverage of the contemporary Yiddishist scene.
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