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.
"When the labor inspector came, they had a little ditty that they sang as a warning": Children working illegally in the Garment Factories of New York City
Sue Ehrlich—New York native, Yiddish activist, and artist—describes story her mother told her about a song adults in the Garment Factory would sing as a warning to the working, underaged children to hide when labor inspectors came.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Sue Ehrlich.
This excerpt is in English.
Sue Ehrlich was born in 1928 in New York, New York.
Other video highlights from this oral history
"When the labor inspector came, they had a little ditty that they sang as a warning": Children working illegally in the Garment Factories of New York City1 minute 13 seconds
"Nobody Would Hire You If You Were Jewish": Boy's Clubs' "connections" in New York City during the 1940s1 minute 28 seconds
"I'm grateful to the Yiddish Book Center": The Future of Yiddish1 minute 19 seconds
"I Didn't Mind Being Deprived of the English Stations": WEVD Yiddish Radio Station2 minutes 34 seconds
"Yoma Yoma": A Live Performance of a Yiddish Folksong2 minutes 58 seconds
"They served a wonderful function": Landsmanshaft in New York City1 minute 20 seconds
"Hop! Mayne Hamentashen": A Live Performance of a Yiddish Folksong1 minute 33 seconds
"It was very, very tragic": Yiddish play about Tsarist Army Conscription1 minute 10 seconds
"My brother was a character": Jews protecting Jews in Ethnically Mixed New York City Neighborhood1 minute 22 seconds
"Women Were the Transmitters of this Language": Yiddish transmission in the 18th Century1 minute 20 seconds
"Tsi Hot Ir Lib Gehat Lokshn? (Do You Like Noodles?)": A Yiddish Folktale2 minutes 26 seconds
"They would maim the child sufficiently": 'Fixers' Helping Children to Avoid Tsarist Army Conscription2 minutes 10 seconds
A Shock That Was Too Much for Some: Immigration from Kamenets, Ukraine to New York City43 seconds
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?