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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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