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.

Encountering Yiddish Through Sholem Aleichem

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  • Adi Mahalel, lecturer of Yiddish Studies at the University of Maryland, recalls fondly his discovery of Sholem Aleichem through the Hebrew translation available in his elementary school library, and cites the resultant desire for reading such tales in the original language as the impetus for his future of Yiddish studies.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Adi Mahalel.

This excerpt is in English.

Adi Mahalel was born in 1979 in Haifa, Israel.

This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.

More information about this oral history excerpt

Themes in this oral history excerpt:

  • Sholem Aleichem
  • Isaac Dov Berkowitz
  • translation
  • chametz
  • seder
  • I.B. Singer
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Association for Jewish Studies
  • Adi Mahalel
  • Childhood
  • Yiddish language
  • Yiddish learning
  • Literature
  • Books
  • Transmission
  • Hebrew
  • Pesakh, Passover
  • Education

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?