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.

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:

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The Wexler Oral History Project Presents...

Short films that tell personal stories about Yiddish culture, from the Wexler Oral History Project