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.

Oy Vey is a Slavic Expression

Watch now:

  • Emile Karafiol, attorney, explains that the phrase "oy vey" is of Slavic origin and has counterparts in various Slavic languages.

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

This excerpt is in English.

Emile Karafiol was born in 1935 in Warsaw, Poland.

More information about this oral history excerpt

Themes in this oral history excerpt:

  • Emile Karafiol
  • Oy Vey
  • Polish language
  • Slavic languages
  • Yiddish language
  • Other languages

About the Wexler Oral History Project

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Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.

Tell Us Your Story

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Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?