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

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  • 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.

About the Wexler Oral History Project

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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

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Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?