Yiddish


Blowing the Whistle on Illegal Internships

By Ross Perlin

Every year, hundreds of thousands of interns in the U.S. work without pay or for less than minimum wage. Many of these unpaid or underpaid internships are at for-profit companies and closely resemble regular work: thousands upon thousands of labor violations each year, hidden in plain sight. In certain for-profit industries — fashion, publishing, entertainment, journalism, to name a few — demanding unpaid internships dominate, with illegal situations possibly constituting a majority of all available opportunities.Read More


A Poet of Jewish Spiritual Life and World Literature

By Itzik Gottesman

Maybe it’s a sgule — a remedy prescription, for long life — to become a Yiddish writer. Itche Goldberg and Mordkhe Tsanin both died at the ripe old age of 102 a few years ago; poet Avrom Sutskever died in 2010 at 96. Now the New York Yiddish world has lost another wonderful poet, Jeremiah Hescheles, at the age of 100.Read More


Shtume Shprakh (Mute Language)

By Jeremiah Hescheles

I looked around — and saw that half of my years are fading on the dirt road; that over my life, there closes, from my burial shroud, the first pale fold. So I doubled up like a swallow, that no longer finds her nest under the roof. From youth I separated in mute language — as a cow that accompanies her calf to the slaughterer’s knife.Read More


Whitman In Yiddish, Soon Posted Online

By Shoshana Olidort

Perhaps the greatest American poet ever to have lived, Walt Whitman was not always regarded as such. Thanks, in part, to the emergence of modernist forms in poetry toward the end of the 19th century, Whitman’s work did not attract critical attention until after his death in 1892. But for Jewish immigrant poets living in New York City at the turn of the century, Whitman was an iconic figure — a poet and even a prophet.Read More


A Brash Poet Who Started a Movement

By Brian Diamond

Yankev Glatshteyn (Jacob Glatstein) was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1896 to a religious family. In 1914, he immigrated to the United States under the pretense of enrolling in law school but almost immediately dropped out and became involved with the burgeoning Yiddish poetry scene in New York City’s Lower East Side, where he would live the rest of his life.Read More


Forverts Cooking Show: Gefilte Fish

In this Passover episode of the Yiddish Forward’s online cooking show, “Eat in Good Health,” Rukhl “Ray” Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz prepare gefilte fish.Read More


Forverts Cooking Show: Purim Feast

In this Purim episode of the Yiddish Forward’s online cooking show, “Eat in Good Health,” Rukhl “Ray” Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz prepare a Purim feast.Read More


Forverts Cooking Show: Cabbage Strudel

In this episode of the Yiddish Forward’s online cooking show, “Eat in Good Health,” Rukhl “Ray” Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz’s prepare cabbage strudel.Read More


Chagall’s Political Art

By Jeri Zeder

Suspended in white space, a goat romps and a rooster struts across a modest book cover. Beneath them, running right to left, is the Yiddish word “mayselekh” — less a title than a simple description of what’s inside: two little stories for children. The book, which is more like a pamphlet, is small enough to slip into a greeting card envelope. Inside are 15 pages of rhyming Yiddish verse, plus eight black-and-white drawings. The book was printed in Petrograd, published in Vilnius (commonly known to Jews as Vilna) in 1917 and written by Der Nister, pen name of the avant-garde Yiddish writer Pinkhes Kahanovich (1884–1950). The illustrator is Marc Chagall.Read More


Ruth Wisse: Generous Mentor, Worthy Adversary

By Josh Lambert

In September 1976, Commentary printed the letters of three novelists who had taken umbrage at appraisals of their work, in a previous issue, by a relatively unknown Yiddish professor named Ruth Wisse. Cynthia Ozick, the most fervent of the respondents, judged Wisse guilty of a “fundamental (and, for a good reader, unforgivable) critical error”: confusing literature with sociology.Read More





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