The Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellowship trains, supports, and encourages a new generation of Yiddish literary translators.
Each year, the program selects a group of translators who are versed in Yiddish language and culture. Translators may apply in one of two tracks: Emerging Translators are those who are working on their first book-length translation from Yiddish to English. Senior Fellows are those who have either previously participated in the Translation Fellowship or have already published one or more works of translation. Fellows are awarded a generous stipend to complete a book-length project of their choosing, as well as a research fund for use during the fellowship year, and are provided with training, mentoring, and opportunities to workshop and network with other translators.
Over the course of the year, Fellows attend three two-day residencies at the Center to workshop their translations in a rigorous collaborative environment led by seasoned literary translators and other experts in the field. Fellows are also paired with a carefully selected mentor—an experienced translator who matches their literary profile—with whom they will work closely throughout the program. Additionally, Fellows are paired together for the year to continue discussions and exchange drafts with a peer.
Applicants to the Emerging Translator track must possess at least a high intermediate command of Yiddish and a talent for creative writing in English. While no professional experience in literary translation is required, Fellows must display an aptitude for and a commitment to the wider project of Yiddish translation.
Applicants to the Senior Fellow track must have previously participated in the Translation Fellowship, published a book of translation, or otherwise demonstrate equivalent professional experience as a Yiddish translator.
The deadline to submit applications for the 2020 Translation Fellowship has passed. Applications for 2021 will open in the fall.
The Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of The Applebaum Foundation, New York, with additional funding from Dr. Paula Bursztyn Goldberg, the Estate of Joseph Esselin, the Alice Lawrence Foundation, Eileen Tunick in honor of her father Aaron Tunick z”l, and the Marilyn Rae Sporty Fund for Translation.