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.
The "Mysterious Alchemy" of Embracing Yiddish
Miriam Udel, assistant professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, speaks about the tension between English and Yiddish literature she felt in pursuing her doctoral degree. At some point, she let go of the need to position the two against each other and allowed Yiddish to take control, causing her guiding question to shift from "Is this literature good enough for me?" to "Am I good enough to be a steward of this literature?".
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Miriam Udel.
This excerpt is in English.
Miriam Udel was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1976.
This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
“A Herring Is Also A Fish”: On Yiddish, Insecurity, and Being A Yiddishist in the 21st Century
3 min 14 sec
Slide 5 of 8
“I Have to Tell You, Your Yiddish is Very Strange”: Speaking Yiddish with Hadism
3 min 20 sec
Slide 6 of 8
"Find the parts that really do resonate with you, and then pursue them”: Advice to Yiddish Students
1 min 24 sec
Slide 1 of 8