Yiddish


Sholom Aleichem Is Alive and Well

By Nathaniel Herz

Even though the Bronx neighborhood has changed, a Yiddish crowd still turns up to see works based on Sholom Aleichem at a cultural center named for the writer.Read More


Looking Back: January 13, 2012

A fire occurred at New York City’s Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, a Jewish orphanage on 151st Street and Broadway. More than 700 children live in the orphanage, and they were all on different floors when the fire, which started at a construction site next to the orphanage, broke out.Read More


Looking Back: December 16, 2011

Haym Soloveitchik, otherwise known as the Brisker Rov, is one of the best-known scholars among contemporary rabbis. Considered one of Jewish law’s top authorities, people turn to him from all over the world with their legal queries. For the young generation, Soloveitchik is regarded as a fanatic who is unwilling to recognize that we have entered a new, modern era.Read More


Looking Back: December 9, 2011

One of the most important witnesses in the trial of Triangle Waist Company bosses Max Blanck and Isaac Harris is rag dealer Louis Levin, who would buy cloth scraps from the factory regularly. Levin informed the court that the last time he visited the factory was about two months before the fire, when he collected more than 2,0000 pounds of rags from the cutters’ floor.Read More


Reporters' Roundtable: Israel's Anti-Boycott Law; Weiner's District; Yiddish Heavy Metal

Forward staffers discuss Israel’s new anti-boycott law, the contenders to fill Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat and the surprising world of Yiddish heavy metal.Read More


July 15, 2011

An Italian and a Jew stood before the magistrate. The Italian said: “This murderous Jew tried to kill me.” Apparently this was true, and so the Jew was arrested. But it wasn’t the whole story. The two are neighbors. The Italian has children who make a great deal of noise and cause pieces of the ceiling to fall into the Jew’s apartment below.Read More


June 24, 2011

Hundreds of furious women from Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side nearly started a riot when Elias Birnbaum attempted to open the vegetable store he owns with his wife. The angry women, who live on the block where the vegetable store is located, were upset with Birnbaum, who recently had his wife committed to an insane asylum. The women said that the greengrocer was a wife-beater who was only after his wife’s lucrative vegetable shop and had her committed under false pretenses. For his part, Birnbaum claimed that after his wife gave birth a few months ago, her mental health began to deteriorate, and as a result he had no choice but to have her committed.Read More


June 17, 2011

When Brooklyn resident Lina Schwartz, opened her door in the middle of the night to find Michael Sanducci asking where he could find her daughter, Tessie, she angrily told him what she had said many times before: “Leave my daughter alone.” But Sanducci refused to leave and Schwartz pushed the young man out the front door. Furious, Sanducci pulled out a pistol and started shooting. One of the bullets ricocheted off the sidewalk and hit Schwartz in the leg. A nearby policeman who heard the shots came running and caught Sanducci, who was trying to escape. Schwartz, who was not critically wounded, was taken to the hospital.Read More


The Chagalls, Joined in a Sketchbook

By Susan Tumarkin Goodman

Soon-to-be on the auction block, Bella and Marc Chagall’s sketchbook provides an intimate look into the couple’s personal realm.Read More


Cities of Jewish Success, Crushed

By Allan Nadler

A vast, heartbreaking and, to English readers, inaccessible Yiddish and Hebrew library — of some 1,000 volumes, studded with unique memoirs and rare photographs — known as yizker-bikher, or memorial books, is devoted to eternalizing the legacies of the myriad cities and towns of Jewish Eastern Europe destroyed by the Holocaust. These books were collaboratively produced, mostly in the late 1950s through the early ’70s, by the survivors of those Jewish communities. But with the exception of a half-dozen or so, they are not the product of critical historical scholarship, and only three have been fully translated into English.Read More





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