Remembering Norman Lear (1922–2023)

We are mourning the loss of the great television writer and producer Norman Lear. Here are some words from Christa Whitney, director of the Wexler Oral History Project of the Yiddish Book Center, who had the honor of interviewing Norman in 2020:

"Recording an oral history with Norman Lear, z"l, was a bright spot in the those grey, early days of the pandemic, when all our interviews were recorded on Zoom. In keeping with his generous spirit, Norman Lear openly reflected on some of the most tender parts of his life: his warm relationship with his Yiddish-speaking grandmother, the Yiddish jokes he and his other Hollywood pals would share, and the ethical quandaries he grappled with after his experience serving as part of a bomber crew during World War II. What an honor to have had this touch-point with such an influential and caring person. Koved zayn likhtikn ondenk—honor his brilliant memory."

—Christa Whitney

Below are highlights from his 2020 interview.

Forming the "Yenem Velt" Group: "We Had the Great Laughing Time of Our Lives"

"I Loved the Way It Tumbled Out of Her Mouth": Norman Lear Remembers Yiddish from His Grandparents

Norman Lear Fondly Remembers His Bubbie Lizzie