A new documentary film explores the life and legacy of Yiddish activist and artist Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman.
The Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project is excited to present BEYLE: The Artist and Her Legacy, a forty-minute documentary film about beloved Yiddish poet, artist, and activist Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, z"l. Screenings of BEYLE are taking place around the country and abroad. See the list of film screenings.
Beyle (pronounced "bay-luh") was born in 1920 and raised in Czernowitz by her father, a proud Yiddishist, and her mother, an admired folksinger. After surviving the Holocaust in Europe, she raised her children in Yiddish in a small community in New York City known as Bainbridgivke. She began writing to provide material in Yiddish for her children’s study and play.
Beyle’s poems and songs are part of the fabric of postwar Yiddish culture worldwide. Beyle, who was recognized as a Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts, had a lasting impact on many Jewish artists and scholars, as well as on her family, many of whom continue speaking, writing, and working in Yiddish to this day.
The film features exclusive interviews with Beyle, her son, and granddaughter that offer intimate reflections on her lifelong commitment to Yiddish art and culture. Interviews with scholars of Yiddish culture provide a heightened understanding and appreciation for her influence on the global community.
The Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project is a growing collection of more than 1,000 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. Learn more about and explore the Wexler Oral History Project collection.
This film was made possible in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign. A groysn dank (a huge thank you) to our generous supporters:
Alexis Aaeng, Anaïs Acosta, Corbin Allardice, Steward Alter, Susan Arbuck, Carrie Baker, Judy Barlas, Inna Barmash, Robin Baron, Marsha Baron-Berg, Emily Bell, Terry Berger, Zackary Berger, Sarah Biskowitz, Bob Blacksberg, Brian Boisvert, Steven Bookshester, Susan Bronson, Alec Burko, Debra Caplan, Maya Wax Cavallaro, Fanny Chalfin, Jeffrey Cosiol, Lou Cove, Rachel Crosby, Lisa Dabek, Mark David, Jillian Davidson, Judy Dein, Sara DeWitt, Alan Divack, Joel Edelstein, Jamie Ehrenpreis, Howard Falberg, Maida Feingold, Emily Felder, Adrienne Figus, Rita Fogelman, Miriam Forman, Josh Fraidstern, Hazel Frankel, Susan Freeman, Don Fried, Emily Gelfman, Michel Gerecht, Rachel Gerstein, Amy Glaser, Barry Goldstein, Sonia Gollance, Esther Goodman, Rebecca Gorlin, Brad Gornstein, Paul Goubern, David Greenberg, Robin and Danny Greenspun, Daniel Gruen, Jayne K. Guberman, Michael Gurevitch, Beth Hakenewerth, Mac Hamilton, Mayrena Hansen, Kathi Heffernan, Susan J. Herzberg, Herman Huber, Lee Hutt, Roz Hyman, Aga Ilwicka-Karuna, Leslie Isaacs, Joan Israel, Tina Jaskoll, Mandy Jenkinson, Aaron Jacob Jones, Faith Jones, Sylvia Kagan, Lily Kahn, Sharon Karmazin, Pauline Katz, Eitan Kensky, Ulrike Kiefer, Elenna King, Jessica Kirzane, Michelle Kisliuk, Lawrence Klein, Sonia Kramer, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Milly Guberman Kravetz, Ron Laby, Stephanie Lainoff, Agi Legutko, Susan Lerner, Stanley “Shimke” Levine, Job Levy, Myra Leysorek, Helena Lipstadt, Barbara BaLo Lorenz, Amanda Lundquist, Sara Maltzman, David Mandiberg, Kristine Navarro McElhaney, Michael Melnick, Isaiah Milbauer, David Mink, Isaac Daniel Moore, Jon Myerov, Jane Myers, Charles H. Nadler, Stephen Naron, Kayla Niles, Sharyn November, Paul Olson, Elliott Palevsky, Andrea Pancur, Larry Parker, Jessica Parker, Gerhard Paulesich, Sylvia Peterson, Sue Piantaggini, Lance Piantaggini, Howard Polonsky, Robert Pratte, Jonathan Prial, Rivke Lela Reid, Eleanor Reissa, Joan Rosenberg, Ben Rubinstein, M. Safadi, Nahma Sandrow, Rhea Schwartz, Franziska Seehausen, Fran Shectman, Elizabeth Shook, Neil Silins, Richard Simon, Andrea Simon, Renata Singer, Julie Slavet, Beth Slavet, Claudia Sobral, Yvonne Solomon, Enid Sperber, Liz Starin, Ruth Stark, Matthew Stein, Michael Steinlauf, Julie Stelton, Estela Stern, Amy Strauss, Laura Trachtenberg Strauss, Marianne Tatom, Evelyn Tauben, Irwin Tauben, Naomi Alazraki Taylor, Alan Telford, Barbara Tellerman, Frances Tracht, Jane Tuma, Kenneth Turan, Turner, Howard Ungar, Amelia VanderLaan, Rom and Jan Vargo, Ginger and Bill Wadsworth, Ira Wagner, Gabriel Weinreich, Elsa Weintraub, Rachel Weitz, Andrej Werner, David Whitney, Jim and Betty Whitney, Rebecca Whitney, Arnee R. Winshall, Dalia Wolfson, Judy Woll, Carol Huberman Yacowitz, Lesley Yalen, Michael Ari Yashinsky, Gail Yucht, the Ehrensteins, Steven Musher, and many others who would like to remain anonymous.