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.
Yiddish, Not Assimilation
Elliott (Elye) Palevsky – former CEO of River Garden senior services and child of Yiddish-speaking former partisan fighters – talks about how Jewish immigrants avoided complete assimilation into American society. He also talks about how the role of the Yiddish language changed over time in the United States.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Elliott (Elye) Palevsky.
This excerpt is in English and Yiddish.
Elliott (Elye) Palevsky was born in Bronx, New York in 1947.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Yiddish, Not Assimilation3 minutes 43 seconds
An Interesting and Important Enterprise: Camp Hemshekh2 minutes 45 seconds
An Important Moment in American Folk History: Reflection on Camp Hemshekh and Ethnic Pride Movements in the U.S.1 minute 22 seconds
From Privilege To Partisan3 minutes 14 seconds
Couldn't Speak Love to a Child in a Language Other than Yiddish1 minute 52 seconds
Former Jewish Partisan Fighter's Reaction to Her Son's Political Activism1 minute 25 seconds
Grand Central for Holocaust Survivors in Brooklyn1 minute 15 seconds
Secular, but Not Out of Touch with Religious Roots of Jewish Culture1 minute 29 seconds
Shtetl on the 6th Floor1 minute 19 seconds
They Were Mythological Figures-Growing Up the Child of Former Partisan Fighters2 minutes 38 seconds
What Hitler Couldn't Take From Us, America Won't2 minutes 32 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?