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.
"So Much Acceptance": Jewish Diversity at KlezKanada
Joanne Borts—Broadway singer and Yiddish activist—discusses how she "fell in love" with KlezKanada. She reflects on the mutual acceptance among Jews from a the range of religious observance at KlezKanada, and how experiencing this opened her up to dating the religious man who became her husband.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Joanne Borts.
This excerpt is in English.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
"So Much Acceptance": Jewish Diversity at KlezKanada2 minutes 14 seconds
"To Me, Yiddish Was the Language of Secular Jews and Hebrew Was the Language Of Religious Jews": Associations with Yiddish and How They Changed Over Time2 minutes 39 seconds
"For Me, Yiddish Was Always the Language of Cool": Fond Memories of Camp Hemshekh3 minutes 32 seconds
"You're Absorbing a Piece of the World That May Not Be in Everyone Else's Line of Sight": A Typical Day at Camp Hemshekh, A Socialist, Yiddishist Summer Camp4 minutes 16 seconds
Zalman Mlotek, The "Cool" 'Shule' Music Teacher who Inspired a Broadway Singer3 minutes 34 seconds
The Three Yiddish Divas: A Globe Trotting Yiddish Music Group2 minutes 35 seconds
"I'm Taking Back Yiddish": Removing the Guilt and Resentment that Became Associated with Yiddish Through Assimilation, the Holocaust, and Israel5 minutes 32 seconds
"If We're Not All Somehow Children of the Survivors, We Might Forget": New Ideas about Remembering the Holocaust2 minutes 18 seconds
"Kop, Akslen, Kni, un Fis": Yiddish "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes"1 minute 10 seconds
The Yiddish Alef-Beys (Alphabet) to the tune of The Sound of Music's "Do-Re-Mi"1 minute 1 second
Camp Hemshekh's Yiddish Anthem1 minute 16 seconds
"Why Shouldn't We Also Bring the Language With Us?" Joanne Borts on Her Kids & Yiddish Program1 minute 34 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.
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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?