Ellen Cassedy


Singer and Poet Gets Capitol Honor

By Ellen Cassedy

The nation’s top honor for folk art went to a Yiddish singer, songwriter and poet from the Bronx last week. Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman was one of 12 honorees to receive a National Heritage Fellowship at a September 22 ceremony on Capitol Hill.“She is a master of Yiddish song and poetry,” said Dana Gioia, chairman of theRead More


Lithuanians Embrace a Long-lost Uncle

By Ellen Cassedy

Chatzkel Lemchen died in 2001, but the legendary Jewish lexicographer has been given a new lease on life in Lithuania’s schools. Starting this month, children across Lithuania will begin watching and discussing “Uncle Chatzkel,” a film about Lemchen’s life story that serves as the centerpiece of a new curriculum about the country’sRead More


A Controversy Exhumes Long-buried Memories

By Ellen Cassedy

Earlier this month, a curious “Park of Quiet” opened in the heart of Lithuania’s capital city. Despite its soothing name, the site is boiling with controversy.At issue is this Baltic country’s struggle to face an extraordinarily tumultuous past. Ten years ago, archaeologists exhumed some 700 bodies from beneath the green lawn of an oldRead More


Exhibiting Greatness in the Capital of the Yiddish World

By Ellen Cassedy

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Rachel Kostanian recalls hearing Lithuanian guides leading tourists through the streets of this city: “They would be speaking with such pride: Here is the palace, here is the castle, and here is the museum of this and that,” said Kostanian, a longtime Jewish resident of this Baltic capital. “And I would think, whatRead More



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