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.

"American Children Speak English!": Discouraged from Using Yiddish

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  • 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.

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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?