The Yiddish Book Center's

Wexler Oral History Project

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.

They Took My Passport: A Yiddish Speaker Visits Israel

Watch now:

Emile Karafiol, attorney, remembers being asked why he didn't speak Hebrew while at the airport about to depart from Israel. When he answered that he spoke Yiddish but not Hebrew, his passport was taken he was questioned by security.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Emile Karafiol.

This excerpt is in English.

Emile Karafiol was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1935. Emile died in 2019.