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.

"I'm an American, I speak English... and by the way your Yiddish is terrible!": My Mother at 103

Watch now:

Helen Kurzban, Brooklyn-born native Yiddish speaker and former administrator in the New York City public schools, remembers how as a young girl she helped her mother with her English language skills. She relates the story of how her mother, at the age of 103, equated mastery of English with being a proud American.

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.