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.
Discovering Secular Yiddish Literature in the Yeshiva
Israel Milkow, a retired IT professional, describes his first experiences of reading classic Yiddish literature in a place where it was forbidden: the yeshiva (traditional Jewish religious school).
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Israel Milkow.
This excerpt is in Yiddish and English.
Israel Milkow was born in Slonim, Poland in 1935.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Discovering Secular Yiddish Literature in the Yeshiva3 minutes 53 seconds
Fleeing Poland: A Journey to Samarkand4 minutes 6 seconds
Life in a Children's Home in Uzbekistan During World War Two3 minutes 6 seconds
American Relatives' Lives in 1910s Dorchester3 minutes 17 seconds
What Once Was Will Never Be Again2 minutes 31 seconds
A Gliklekher Mentsh (A Lucky Man)1 minute 29 seconds
"If You Want To Eat Latkes, Wait For Hanukkah": On Jewish Identification, Especially After The Holocaust2 minutes 7 seconds
Advice: Living a Good Life, Even on the Cloudy Days2 minutes 31 seconds
"Under Jewish Jurisdiction:" Rescue by the Jewish Underground in Poland1 minute 40 seconds
"Mit a pekl afn pleytse" (With a Bag on His Back): Reflections on Jewish Wandering and Israel3 minutes 19 seconds
"I Called Myself a Yiddishist"1 minute 2 seconds
More information about this oral history excerpt
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.
Tell Us Your Story
Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?