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.
Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav's Oral History
Benjamin Harshav, z"l, professor emeritus at Yale University, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on March 18, 2013 in North Haven, Connecticut. This interview is entirely in Yiddish.
This interview was conducted in Yiddish.
Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav was born in Vilna, Lithuania in 1928. Benjamin (Binyomen), z"l, died in 2015.
Video highlights from this oral history
History of the Sofye Gurevich School in Vilna2 minutes 43 seconds
Moyshe Kulbak Taught at My School1 minute 17 seconds
The Kletskin Publishing House Was Downstairs: Prof. Benjamin Harshav, z"l, Remembers From His 1930s Childhood in Vilna1 minute 56 seconds
Memories of Chaim Grade, Avrom Sutzkever, and Itzik Manger1 minute 59 seconds
The First “Yung Vilne”: Prof. Harshav Remembers Growing Up with the Weinreichs1 minute 48 seconds
Benjamin Harshav, z"l, Remembers Collecting Folklore in the Market in Vilna2 minutes 52 seconds
How Our Vilna School Assignments were Accidentally Saved Through WWII by the Nazis1 minute 49 seconds
We Went Right When Everyone Went Left: Benjamin Harshav and Family Escape Death During WWII4 minutes 9 seconds
I Missed the Train While Escaping to the Ural Mountains During WWII6 minutes 50 seconds
More information about this oral history
- Family histories
- Yiddish speaker
- Yiddish personalities
- Jewish education
- Eastern Europe
- World War II
- Soviet Union
- Yiddish language
- Immigration and migration
- Benjamin Harshav
- Moyshe Kulbak
- Sofye Gurevitch School
- Regina Weinreich
- Hashomer Hatzair
- World War I
- Chaim Grade
- Avrom Sutzkever
- Abraham Sutzkever
- Itzik Manger
- Gabi Weinreich
- Yung Vilna
- Max Weinreich
- Lucy Dawidowicz
- Ilya Ehrenburg
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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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