Alumni Interviews and Translations from Our Website

A Sampling of Alumni Voices and Work Featured on Our Site

Jessica Kirzane (Yiddish Book Center Internship, now Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '07; Translation Fellowship '17; Yiddish Pedagogy Program '18) specialist in American-Jewish literature, speaks about the joy of studying and researching undiscovered Yiddish authors and thinkers.

Selected Alumni Interviews from our Archives

On The Shmooze 

Diary of a Lonely Girl: Jessica Kirzane Translates Miriam Karpilove: Three-time Yiddish Book Center alum, and 2017 Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow, Jessica Kirzane discusses translating Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl, Or the Battle against Free Love, first published serially in the Yiddish daily newspaper Di varhayt in 1916–18.

Translating Experimental Yiddish Poet Celia Dropkin: Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellowship alum Faith Jones (Translation Fellowship '15) talks about her work translating the recently published The Acrobat: the Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin

Yiddish Immigrant Life in Song and Verse: 2019 Translation Fellow Vivi Lachs joins us to talk about her newly published book, Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London 1884–1914

Caraid O'Brien: Yiddish Translator, Actor, and Writer: A writer, Yiddish translator, and performer who first began learning Yiddish as a Yiddish Book Center intern (now Steiner Summer Yiddish Program) in 1994, Caraid O'Brien (Translation Fellowship '19) talks to The Shmooze about her trajectory and her current work translating Sholem Asch: Plays of My People.

Discovering and Translating Yiddish Writer Yenta Mash: In a collection of stories newly translated from the Yiddish by Translation Fellowship alum Ellen Cassedy (Translation Fellowship '15), Yenta Mash traces an arc across continents, upheavals and regime changes, and the phases of a woman’s life from girlhood to old age

The Shraybmashin-brigade: In Search of Yiddish Typewriters: 2018–19 Yiddish Book Center Fellow Adah Hetko (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '17) and 2018–19 and 2019–20 Yiddish Book Center Fellow Sophia Shoulson (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '17) discuss their work with typewriters for the Yiddish Book Center's collection.

Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Alums: On Stage at Der Yidisher IdolDer Yidisher Idol stars Leah Reis-Dennis (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '12) and Michael Yashinsky (TENT: Creative Writing '13, TENT: Theater NYC '13, TENT: Fashion Montreal '14, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '14, Yiddish Book Center Fellow 2015–16, Yiddish Book Center's 2016–2017 Applebaum Fellow) visit to talk about how they made the cut to perform their original Yiddish songs at the 2017 Der Ydisher Idol—an international singing contest in Mexico City.

From the Vault: A Collection of Yiddish Sheet Music: Three-time Yiddish Book Center alum Zeke Levine (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '16, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2017–18, Translation Fellowship '19) takes The Shmooze into the Yiddish Book Center’s vault to explore the Center’s Yiddish sheet music collection.

"A New Year's Eve State of Mind": Ri J. Turner’s Yiddish Translation: We caught up with Ri J. Turner (Translation Fellowship '14 and '18), a 2014 Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow, to chat about her translation of A.S. Lirik’s "A New Year's Eve State of Mind.”

Maia Evrona (Translation Fellowship '19), poet and translator of Yiddish poetry, speaks about the personal relationship she has with the poems she translates.

Selected Alumni Translations 

"The White Bear," by Arn Mayzl, translated by Sophia Shoulson (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '17, Yiddish Book Center Fellow 2018–19, Yiddish Book Center's 2019–2020 Richard S. Herman Fellow)

"My Mailman," By Avrom Sutzkever, translated by Maia Evrona (Translation Fellowship '19)

Petticoats and Bombs, By Klara Klebanova, translated by Caraid O'Brien (Yiddish Book Center Internship, now Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, '94; Translation Fellowship '19)

"In Which I Hate It and Can’t Stand It and Don’t Want to and Have No Patience at All," By Der Tunkeler, translated by Ri J. Turner (Translation Fellowship '14 and '18)

"Beards," By Abraham Goldberg, translated by Daniel Kennedy (Translation Fellowship '15 and '16)

"On the Landing," A short story by Yenta Mash, translated by Ellen Cassedy (Translation Fellowship '15)

The Chained Wife, an excerpt, By Maria Lerner, translated by Chloë (Zisl) Piazza (Translation Fellowship '18, Yiddish Pedagogy Program '19)

"Mir forn" ("We Travel"), A rhyming children's story by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, translated by Miranda Cooper, Raphael Halff, Zeke Levine, and Elissa Sperling (2017–2018 Yiddish Book Center Fellows)

Destined to Create, Speech by Rokhl Korn, translated by Michael Yashinsky (TENT: Creative Writing '13, TENT: Theater NYC '13, TENT: Fashion Montreal '14, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '14, Yiddish Book Center Fellow 2015–16, Yiddish Book Center's 2016–2017 Applebaum Fellow)

At a Ball, By Tashrak (Y. Y. Zevin), translated by Sonia Gollance (Yiddish Book Center Internship, now Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, '07; Cowl Fellow 2007–08; Yiddish Pedagogy Program '18)

Solomon and Shulamite, by Boris Sandler, translated by Jordan Kutzik (Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2011–12 and 2012–13, TENT: Creative Writing '13, Translation Fellowship '16)

Dory, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program alum and Alumni Coordinator/Program Assistant at TENT: Jewish Encounters, speaks about how something just seemed to "click" when she began studying Yiddish at the Yiddish Book Center, despite her initial thoughts otherwise.

Selected Alumni Articles on our Website

"Why Read Celia Dropkin?," By Faith Jones (Translation Fellow '15)

Modern in Autumn: The Belated Discovery of Blume Lempel, By Ellen Cassedy (Translation Fellowship '15) and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub (Translation Fellowship '14)

Stage director Michael Yashinsky talks about the novel that sparked his interest in Yiddish literature.

Selected 'From the Vault' Articles

Eating the Archives, By Michael Yashinsky (TENT: Creative Writing '13, TENT: Theater NYC '13, TENT: Fashion Montreal '14, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '14, Yiddish Book Center Fellow 2015–16, Yiddish Book Center's 2016–2017 Applebaum Fellow)

The Bund on the Leningrad Trials, By Abigail Weaver (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '18, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2019–20)

Tokyo Storm Warning: A Look at the Not-So-Suprising Connection Between Yiddish and Japanese Literature, by Rebecca White (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '18, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2019–20)

Pogrom Literature and Collective Memory, By Sarah Quiat (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '18, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2018–19)

Painted from Memory: Saul Raskin and the Question of Jewish Art, By Miranda Cooper (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '18, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2017–18, Translation Fellowship '19)

Love! Vengeance! Espionage! Shund Stories Escape a Fire, By Elissa Sperling (Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2016–17 and 2017–18)

Peace, Love, and Understanding: Exploring Yiddish Culture through Sheet Music, By Zeke Levine (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '16, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2017–18, Translation Fellowship '19)

Adventures of a Bad Researcher: The Mystery of the Last Yiddish Linotype, By Raphael Halff (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '14, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2017–18)

Gevalt in Our Stars: A Brief History of Yiddish Astrologic Practices, By Sadie Gold-Shapiro (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '14, Yiddish Book Center Fellowship 2016–17)

Sean Sidky (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '11, Translation Fellowship '17) speaks to the continued relevance and endless possibilities of Yiddish.

Selected Alumni Handpicked 

Beatrice Garrard (Steiner Summer Yiddish Program '13) explains how the Steiner Program left her feeling "addicted to Yiddish" and speaks about her favorite Yiddish songs.