Daniel Kahn’s unique genius lies in self-proclaimed ‘tradaptations,’ or translations and adaptations of songs across languages. None is more evocative than this Yiddish version of Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece.
One day, Jessye Stein, a computer teacher on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, was trying to persuade a student to return to his Lakota language class when the young man suddenly posed an unexpected question. “He asked me where I come from, where my people come from and what my ancestral language is,” she recalled. Stein, 24, told the student she was Jewish and that her ancestors spoke Yiddish. But that just prompted the next, obvious question: “He asked me if I could speak Yiddish,” she recounted. And when she said no, he accused her of being a hypocrite.
Last year Yiddish Soul was the highlight of the Folksbiene’s Kulturfest, a festival that featured hundreds of performances over eight packed days and attracted tens of thousands of attendees. At the time, I wrote in the Yiddish Forward that this high-profile concert of Hasidic and cantorial music, presented as part of SummerStage in Central Park, was the festival’s most important program. I believed this to be the case not only because it was one of the festival’s strongest concerts but also because it attracted an unusually diverse audience of Hasidic, secular and Modern Orthodox Jews who came to enjoy an evening of Yiddish music. I argued that the concert could help the fortunes of Yiddish among Modern Orthodox Jews who generally see the language as old-fashioned and irrelevant at best.
Besides the fact that it is our moral imperative to express solidarity with Armenians, there is also a lot we can learn from them, Jordan Kutzik writes.
Despite what Dr. Eran Elhaik claims, four villages in ancient Turkey that once had names similar to ‘Ashkenaz’ are not the cradle of the Yiddish language, Jordan Kutzik argues.
Yisrael Kristal has been officially certified as the world’s oldest man. The Forward talked with one of Yisrael’s sons about the keys to reaching the age of 112.
“Some people remember Golda Meir’s leadership and wonder what is taking us so long in America?” Hillary Rodham Clinton recently said. With that in mind, we look back at a forgotten Forward interview with Prime Minister Meir that took was broadcast on WEVD in 1971.
The Forward catches up with Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, who created the online Yiddish language sitcom “Yidlife Crisis,” which is riding high with a Canadian Screen Award and a guest appearance by Mayim Bialik.
With the arrival of Hanukkah comes the reemergence of dreidels from closets, desk drawers and cupboards. These tops are a beloved part of the holiday — but where did they actually come from?