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.
Ida Maze: The "Den Mother" of Yiddish Montreal
"Ida Maze: The 'Den Mother' of Yiddish Montreal" is the premiere film of the Wexler Oral History Project's "Beyond the Books" film series showcasing Yiddish literary figures and their descendants. This short documentary presents the life and works of Yiddish poet Ida Maze, an author who sought commitment beyond her personal writings of children's poetry to foster and mentor a substantial community of Yiddish writers in Montreal. The film interweaves an interview with her son, Irving Massey, a literary scholar who has written extensively about his mother's poetry and even translated a body of her work, with archival audio recordings of an event held in honor of Ida Maze at the Jewish Public Library of Montreal in 1956. Together, Irving's eloquent memories of his mother and the praising voices of Ida Maze's colleagues make for a compelling reprise of her life, poetry, and legacy.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Irving Joseph Massey.
This excerpt is in Yiddish and English.
Irving Joseph Massey was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1924.
This interview is part of the Beyond the Books: Yiddish writers and their descendants series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Ida Maze: The "Den Mother" of Yiddish Montreal14 minutes 30 seconds
"My Mother Never Really Left Europe": Yiddish Poet Ida Maze's Childhood Memories1 minute 4 seconds
"She Wasn't Allowed To Go to Kheyder - She Listened from Behind the Door": Yiddish Poet Ida Maze's Early Education1 minute 4 seconds
"I Saw Her as Beautiful, I Guess Everyone Else Saw Her as Interesting": A Description of Ida Maze2 minutes 53 seconds
He Called Himself the First Yiddish Modernist: A Description of Melech Ravitch2 minutes 32 seconds
Remembering Anti-Semitism in Montreal and Nazi Germany2 minutes 53 seconds
Ida Maze's Writing: Strong Sincerity and Moments of Powerful Feeling3 minutes 33 seconds
More information about this oral history excerpt
- Yiddish language
- Family histories
- Career and Professional Life
- Jewish community
- Eastern Europe
- Yiddish speaker
- Yiddish scene
- Descendants of Yiddish personalities, Beyond the Books
- Irving Massey
- Ida Maze
- S. Niger
- Rokhl Korn
- Peretz Miransky
- Yekhiel Shtern
- N.Y. Gotlib
- Mirl Erberg-Shatan
- Jewish Public Library of Montreal
- Laurentian mountains
- Rita Briansky
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.
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