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.

Yiddish as a Conversation With My Ancestors

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Joel Berkowitz, Director of Jewish Studies and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sees Yiddish as an opportunity for connection with the past, and explains that his deeper sense of identity with Yiddish rather than Hebrew is due to the former being the language of his own ancestors.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Joel Berkowitz.

This excerpt is in English.

Joel Berkowitz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1965.