2021 Program Faculty

Madeleine (Mindl) Cohen is the academic director of the Yiddish Book Center. Mindl has a PhD in comparative literature with an emphasis in Jewish studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on modern Yiddish literature and the relationships between Jewish politics in central and eastern Europe and writing about place. Mindl has taught Yiddish language at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and for a number of community organizations. In addition to overseeing the educational programs of the Yiddish Book Center, she directs translation initiatives at the Center, which includes the Yiddish translation fellowship and the annual Pakn Treger digital translation issue. Mindl was formerly chief editor for In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, and now serves as president of In geveb’s board of directors. 

Jessica Kirzane is an assistant instructional professor in Yiddish in the department of Germanic languages at the University of Chicago and the editor-in-chief of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. Her field of study is American Jewish literature, and she has published articles on representations of race, regionalism, gender, and intermarriage in American Yiddish and Jewish-English literature. She is also an enthusiastic translator of Yiddish literature, including work by Yiddish writers Joseph Opatoshu, Yenta Serdatsky, Miriam Karpilove, and others. She completed her translation of Miriam Karpilove's novel Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle Against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, 2020) with support from a translation fellowship from the Yiddish Book Center. She has also published numerous resources and reflections on pedagogy in In geveb and on the Teach Great Jewish Books website of the Yiddish Book Center.

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German studies and Jewish studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in comparative literature from the same institution. Her research interests include Yiddish modernism, genre studies, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press, 2016), winner of a National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. In 2020, Miriam published Honey on the Page (New York University Press), an annotated, translated anthology of Yiddish children’s literature, which she began working on in 2013 as a Yiddish Book Center translation fellow. Miriam has taught frequently in the Yiddish Book Center's educational programs, including the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program and Tent.