Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: America Won’t Take That Away From Us: Growing Up With Yiddish

“What Hitler couldn’t take away from us with his hatred, America won’t take away from us with her goodness.” Elliott Palevsky reflects on why his Holocaust-survivor parents insisted on raising their children in a Yiddish-speaking household in America.

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Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Ida Maze, “Den Mother” of Yiddish Montreal

This short documentary opens a window into the life and legacy of Yiddish poet Ida Maze, a poet and activist who cultivated a community of Yiddish writers in Montreal. The film interweaves an interview with her son, Irving Massey, a literary scholar who has written about and translated his mother’s poetry, with archival audio recordings from an event held in honor of Maze at the Jewish Public Library of Montreal in 1956. Together, Irving’s poignant memories of his mother and the warm words of praise from Ida Maze’s colleagues offer a compelling perspective on her life, poetry, and legacy.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Coney Island with Itzik Manger

Lekoved (in honor of) the 114th birthday of Yiddish poet Itzik Manger, Norman Feinberg tells the story of a memorable childhood trip he took to Coney Island with Manger, a friend of his father’s.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Interpreting in Yiddish on the Help Lines

When Hershl Hartman, a secular Yiddish speaker, took a job translating for Hasidim on the phone, he quickly found out that dialects can be a source of confusion.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Peysekh (Passover) Seders at the Home of Yiddish Writer Solomon Simon

Miriam Forman and David Simon, children of Yiddish writer Solomon Simon, remember all the humorous particulars of their Peysekh (Passover) seder growing up.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Yiddish Audiences Want to Interact with You: Anthony Russell on Performing in Yiddish

What is different about performing in Yiddish than performing, say, opera? Anthony Russell, former opera singer and African-American convert to Judaism, reflects on what makes a Yiddish-music audience special.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Bente Kahan Sings the Yiddish Song that Reminds Her Most of Her Father

As families have gathered around the U.S. for Thanksgiving, hear Norwegian Jewish artist Bente Kahan sing the Yiddish song that reminds her most of her father.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: The Yiddish Burlesque Theater in Toronto

Marlene Hait, raised in a Yiddish home by survivors of the Holocaust, recounts her brief foray into Yiddish theater, when she performed with the Toronto Peretz shule in a burlesque production.

Weekly Bite of Yiddishkayt: Yiddish in Israel?

As you read this, I am on my way to Israel, where I will spend several weeks documenting Yiddish in Israel through interviews with Yiddish writers, actors, scholars, and activists. Hear Bella Bryks-Klein, Tel Aviv-based Yiddish activist, describe the history and current status of Yiddish in Israel.

 

-Christa Whitney