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.
Uchanie: Memories of a European Shtetl
Helene Shafran, born to Yiddish-speaking Polish immigrants, describes the town in which her husband grew up and recounts the experience of returning there with him after the war.
This interview was conducted in English.
Helene Shafran was born in 1934 in Brooklyn, New York .
Other video highlights from this oral history
Uchanie: Memories of a European Shtetl3 minutes 39 seconds
A Gathering Storm: Polish Anti-Semitism Before World War Two1 minute 56 seconds
Reunion and Return: A Holocaust Survivor Reunites With His Father4 minutes 12 seconds
Assimilation and Revival: Coming Back to Yiddish as an Adult2 minutes 4 seconds
Coming Back to Yiddish, With My Husband's Help1 minute 43 seconds
A Safe Haven in Siberia During WWII2 minutes 33 seconds
One is Better Than None: Mitzvot and the Aloha Chapel2 minutes 26 seconds
"A Very Thin Line:" A Righteous Gentile Saves His Neighbors During WWII4 minutes 2 seconds
Jewish Last Rites and a Bedside Minyan1 minute 58 seconds
Nostalgia and Resentment: Fond and Not So Fond Memories of Poland1 minute 13 seconds
Linguistic Fusion: How Yiddish Speakers Made English Their Own1 minute 14 seconds
More information about this oral history excerpt
Themes in this oral history excerpt:
- Family history, stories about ancestors
- Immigration, Migration
- Jewish professions
- World War Two
- Jewish education
- Religion and ritual
- Synagogue, shul, temple
- Old Country
- Eastern Europe
- Jewish community
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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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