Oral Histories

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

Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 1000 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture. The interviews in our growing collection are conducted in Yiddish and/or English with narrators of all ages from a variety of backgrounds. For more details on how to search and browse the oral history collection, see the user guide, below.

As you explore the collection, you'll find native Yiddish speakers, world-renowned klezmer musicians, grandmothers, descendants of Yiddish writers, students, and more. The interviews are focused life histories, covering family background, involvement with Yiddish language and culture, Jewish identity, and the transmission of culture and values across generations and communities. You can find full-length (one- to two-hour) interviews and shorter (one- to five-minute) excerpted highlights through the narrator index or by searching for a topic that interests you.

Highlights from this collection:

Request An Interview

Do you have stories to share? The Wexler Oral History Project wants to hear them.

Wexler Oral History Project: A User Guide

A user guide to the Wexler Oral History Project collection.

Support Our Work

Help us capture stories about all aspects of Yiddish language and culture.

Wexler Oral History Project—Films, Features, News

Documentary films that tell personal stories about Yiddish culture; interview features around specific themes and events in Yiddish and Jewish culture; and news and updates from the Wexler Oral History Project