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.
"The History That's Never Taught": On the Complexities of the Search for Yiddish Women Writers
Irena Klepfisz, lesbian poet and writer, describes the complexities and methodologies of her search for Yiddish women writers, including the multi-levels of erasure across history, and the influence of the Holocaust on the accessibility to the works. She ends by focusing on the preparation she was working on for an event marking the 120th anniversary for the Bund.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Irena Klepfisz.
This excerpt is in English.
This interview is part of the Beyond the Books: Yiddish writers and their descendants and Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
"The History That's Never Taught": On the Complexities of the Search for Yiddish Women Writers6 minutes 57 seconds
Suddenly I was a Holocaust Survivor: A Child Survivor's Experience of American Holocaust Memorial Events5 minutes 54 seconds
My Father, Michał Klepfisz’s Role in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising3 minutes 10 seconds
Irena Klepfisz on Jewishness and the Jewish Labor Bund4 minutes 36 seconds
Constructing an Identity Apart from My Hero Father: Irena Klepfisz's Memories of the Arbeter Ring Shule5 minutes 27 seconds
Growing up in the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union Amalgamated Houses2 minutes 48 seconds
My Jewish, Lesbian Experience of Second Wave Feminism and Yiddish Activism10 minutes 17 seconds
Irena Klepfisz's Poetic Inspirations, both Yiddish and English3 minutes 8 seconds
My Path to Writing Bilingual Yiddish-English Poetry6 minutes 56 seconds
Irena Klepfisz on the Queerness of Contemporary Yiddish Culture6 minutes 46 seconds
My First Impressions of the Yiddish Book Center2 minutes 53 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.
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