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.
"American Children Speak English!": Discouraged from Using Yiddish
Helen Kurzban, a native Yiddish speaker, recalls how her kindergarten teacher demanded that as an American she speak only English.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Helen Kurzban.
This excerpt is in English.
Helen Kurzban was born in New York, New York in 1930.
Other video highlights from this oral history
"American Children Speak English!": Discouraged from Using Yiddish1 minute 19 seconds
Father enters U.S. under false identity3 minutes 14 seconds
Fate of Family Members Who Remained in Europe1 minute 47 seconds
"In a shlemazl darf men hobn mazl": How My Cousin Survived the Holocaust1 minute 27 seconds
What's Lobster in Yiddish?: Teaching Yiddish to Senior Citizens4 minutes 38 seconds
Teaching about Jewish Humor2 minutes 4 seconds
Teaching The Bintl Brief1 minute 22 seconds
"I'm an American, I speak English... and by the way your Yiddish is terrible!": My Mother at 1031 minute 15 seconds
Remembering Yiddish Radio and Newspapers1 minute 26 seconds
Facing Anti-Semitism in Washington D.C.3 minutes 15 seconds
Healthcare in the International Worker's Order2 minutes 40 seconds
Consequences of Using Yiddish in a German Class1 minute 10 seconds
About the Wexler Oral History Project
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.
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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?