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.
"Read a Merry Story and Remember Me with Laugher": On Sholem Aleichem's Yortsayt
Bel and Sherwin Kaufman, grandchildren of Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, discuss the history behind Sholem Aleichem's annual yortsayt (death anniversary). The siblings explain Sholem Aleichem's ethical will in which he requests his family to read his stories and remember him with laughter.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Sherwin Kaufman and Bel Kaufman.
This excerpt is in English.
Sherwin Kaufman was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1920. Sherwin, z"l, died in 2014.
Bel Kaufman was born in Berlin, Germany in 1911.
This interview is part of the Beyond the Books: Yiddish writers and their descendants series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
"Read a Merry Story and Remember Me with Laugher": On Sholem Aleichem's Yortsayt2 minutes 53 seconds
"Imaginary Characters More Real and True than Real Characters": Describing Sholem Aleichem's Writing1 minute 1 second
Bel Kaufman, z"l, Remembers the Passing of her Grandfather, Sholem Aleichem2 minutes 2 seconds
Finding Humor in Grief: Sholem Aleichem's Creative Influence in his Grandchildren's Writing3 minutes 27 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?