2021–22 Yiddish Book Center Fellows

Every fall, the Yiddish Book Center welcomes a select group of recent college graduates who spend the following year working as full-time staff members, gaining valuable professional experience in Yiddish language and Jewish cultural work through the Center's Fellowship Program. 

What attracts people to the Yiddish Book Center Fellowship Program? What do fellows do during their time at the Center? Read about the backgrounds of our current fellows and learn about the projects they're working on:  

Cameron Bernstein is an artist and Yiddishist from the Chicagoland Jewish community. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020 with a BS in statistics and minor in Jewish studies and has worked within the nonprofit space to improve health access and equity in her city. She began learning Yiddish her fourth year at university, and since graduating has channeled her education into making engaging and accessible content about Yiddish language, culture, and history across platforms like TikTok and Instagram. She is looking forward to the opportunity to work professionally in the Yiddish world, in communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

Sarah Biskowitz, 2021-22 Richard Herman Fellow, a native of Milwaukee, WI, graduated from Smith College in 2021 with a degree in French and Jewish studies. Her Yiddish journey began at the Yiddish Book Center’s Great Jewish Books Summer Program for high school students. She returned to the Center for two summers during college to learn Yiddish at the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program. While studying abroad in Paris, she took classes and volunteered at the Paris Yiddish Center-Medem Library, which inspired her undergraduate translation thesis of Parisian Yiddish literature. A leader of the Rad Yiddish reading group and contributor to In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, she loves to connect with Yiddish students and teachers around the world. Her passions include exploring feminist Yiddish history and literature, planning and facilitating Yiddish events, and creating accessible and dynamic new Yiddish content. Sarah aspires to draw from the Jewish tradition to build a more inclusive and vibrant Jewish community and a more equitable world.

Sonia Bloom is a museum educator, language tutor, and Spanish-English translator from Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2018 with majors in comparative literature, Spanish, and Latin American studies, along with a concentration in literary translation. After participating in the 2019 YIVO-Weinreich program, Sonia spent last year living in Argentina and getting to know the bobes and zeydes of Buenos Aires in Yiddish courses at the IWO. She is particularly interested in Yiddish’s presence in Latin America and how language and translation help to deepen our understanding of historical memory, politics, and collective identity. 

Emily Mazza, 2021-22 Phyllis Pasker Fellow, graduated from Smith College in 2018 with a degree in history and Jewish studies, where she began her study of Yiddish language at the Yiddish Book Center. Since then, she has taught as a Fulbright fellow in Lithuania and completed her MA in comparative history with a specialization in Jewish studies and archives at Central European University. She is interested in Yiddish culture and language, Jewish history, archives/museums, and hopes to one day attend rabbinical school. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting, writing, and spending time with her family, including their two cats.

Richard S. Herman was an accomplished attorney and a lifelong lover of books, known for his kindness and generosity. He was excited about the Yiddish Book Center’s educational programs and, in 2019, he left a bequest of $1 million to endow an annual fellowship in his name.   

Richard S. Herman Fellows:
Sophia Shoulson, 2019-20
Sasha Stern, 2020-21
Sarah Biskowitz, 2021-22