GRAND OPENING | Yiddish: A Global Culture

Join us on Sunday, October 15, 2023 from 10 a.m.–5:00 p.m. for the grand opening of our new permanent exhibition, Yiddish: A Global Culture!

On October 15, 2023, the Yiddish Book Center will debut our major new permanent exhibition, Yiddish: A Global Culture. The exhibition tells a multitude of global yet deeply personal stories, exploring modern Yiddish literature, theater, music, press, and politics through approximately 350 objects. A grand reopening celebration on October 15, 2023 will include a dedication, live performances, and exhibition tours throughout the day. 

We’ll close with a grand celebratory performance, The Glorious, Fabulous, Incandescent World of Yiddish Theater, co-created by the cast Shane Baker, Caraid O’Brien, Frank London, Miryem-Khaye Seigel, Lorin Sklamberg, and Mikhl Yashinsky. See below for the full schedule of events:

Yiddish: A Global Culture, Opening Day of Events:
10:00 a.m. | Doors open
10:30 a.m. | Short pop-up performance #1
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. | Food truck
11:30 a.m. | Short pop-up performance #2
1:30 p.m. | Short pop-up performance #3
2:00 p.m. | Q&A with David Mazower, chief curator and writer
3:00 p.m. | Dedication by Aaron Lansky and Susan Bronson
3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. | The Glorious, Fabulous, Incandescent World of Yiddish Theater
Public tours will be available throughout the day

Tickets are now on sale for The Glorious, Fabulous, Incandescent World of Yiddish Theater. All other events are free and open to the public.

About Yiddish: A Global Culture

An immersive experience, Yiddish: A Global Culture tells the diasporic story of modern Yiddish literature, theater, music, press, and politics through approximately 350 objects, including rare books, artwork, photographs, sheet music, Yiddish typewriters, memorabilia, and more. Global in scope yet deeply personal—with many prized heirlooms donated by families over the past 40 years—the exhibition tells the stories of both the creators and the consumers of Yiddish culture.

The exhibition displays artifacts from the Center’s collections or on special loan, all shown in public for the first time. Highlights include a 60-foot color mural of global “Yiddishland” by illustrator Martin Haake; an enormous hand-drawn 1945 micrographic portrait of Yiddish activist Chaim Zhitlowsky, composed of thousands of miniature letters from his selected texts, created in Buenos Aires by immigrant textile worker Guedale Tenenbaum;  a well-worn leather medicine ball, used by the popular Yiddish novelist Sholem Asch when he relocated to the United States in the 1940s; and vintage clothes and a leather steamer trunk from the 1920s that were used by the celebrated Yiddish literary couple Peretz Hirshbein and Esther Shumiatcher on their decade-long travels around the world.

Visitors can also explore a re-creation of the turn-of-the-century Warsaw apartment of writer I. L. Peretz, whose legendary salon stood at the forefront of Yiddish modernism in the 1900s and 1910s. The period reproduction features books, profiles of writers and artists in Peretz’s circle, a soundscape of voices from the salon, a re-creation of Peretz’s desk, and wallpaper based on original photographs.

Join us for the celebratory opening on Sunday, October 15, 2023—or at any time after—to experience Yiddish: A Global Culture.