Yiddish


My Yiddishe Mama

By Stanley Siegelman

“My Yiddishe Mama” is a classic song that drips with nostalgia and sentimentality in celebrating the proverbial self-sacrificing Jewish mother of yesteryear. But times have changed — and old songs need updating. Here is a more realistic portrait of motherhood in today’s American Jewish community.Read More


Songbook Recaptures Lost Melodies

By Alexander Gelfand

Heard any good Yiddish folksongs lately? Chances are good that the answer is “no.” Not because there aren’t any good Yiddish folksongs to be heard; for generations, the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe sang innumerable songs about love and loss, death and marriage. They sang to their children to soothe them to sleep, and they sang at work to relieve the drudgery of menial labor.Read More


Yiddishists: The Next Generation Takes the Reins

By Eli Rosenblatt

It’s been more than three quarters of a century since young intellectuals were voicing their Yiddish-inflected ideas in the parks, cafés and tenements of lower Manhattan. But the days of the Yiddish intelligentsia are still rolling for 24-year-old Menachem Yankl Ejdelman, who is the newly appointed leader of Yugntruf, a worldwide organization of young Yiddish speakers and learners. “We attract all types of people, from high-school students to young people with day jobs. Many of the people who come to our events love languages,” he said.Read More


The Water Carrier

Renowned scholar David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind chair in Yiddish literature and culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The following excerpt is from his forthcoming memoir, “Yiddishlands” (Wayne State University Press). In the work, Roskies discusses his life and the life of his mother, and explores the Yiddish experience and historical events of the last century.Read More


Yiddish Comes to the Non-Hasidic Orthodox Classroom

By Rukhl Schaechter

In a brightly lit classroom, decorated with colorful posters and Hebrew lettering, the 24 second grade schoolgirls, dressed in crisp blue uniforms, listened as the young, modestly attired teacher reviewed the Genesis chapter in which God commands Abraham to leave his homeland.Read More


Symposium Seeks To Save Yiddish Dance

By Alexander Gelfand

Most academic symposia don’t offer a steady supply of cold beer and hot pirogi. Fewer still offer the chance to see Michael Alpert, frontman for the progressive klezmer band Brave Old World, dancing on a chair. The first-ever Yiddish Dance Symposium had both.Read More


Theater Company Reimagines Yiddish Stage

By Eli Rosenblatt

In 1946, a fictional memoir of a resistance fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto appeared in a Yiddish newspaper in Argentina. Titled “Yosl Rakover Talks to God,” the piece described the destruction of Jewish Warsaw in such sensitive detail that it was translated into a multitude of languages, propelling its Lithuanian-born author, Zvi Kolitz, into the international spotlight.Read More


Revolution on Stage

By Caraid O’Brien

In 1992, the Guggenheim Museum collaborated with scholar Benjamin Harshav on an exhibit of Marc Chagall’s legendary set designs for the Moscow State Yiddish Art Theater, known as Goset. Harshav developed his research for that project into “The Moscow Yiddish Theater: Art on Stage in the Time of Revolution,” and indeed this book, like the best of museum exhibits, leaves the reader exhilarated, contemplative and with a new perspective on art. In addition to Harshav’s introductory essays, this work includes photographs of theatrical productions, full-color sketches of costumes and set designs, letters and writings by the artists and by contemporary critics of Goset, and scenes from plays by Sholom Aleichem, lovingly translated by Harshav and his wife and collaborator, Barbara Harshav. More than simply focusing on the history of the Moscow State Yiddish Art Theater, Harshav raises questions about the nature of art and about art’s power in revolutionary times.Read More


Curious Linguists

By Jeri Zeder

You don’t have to be Spanish to study Spanish. You don’t have to be Chinese to study Chinese. But, do you have to be Jewish to study Yiddish?Read More


Beatle Mania

By Josh Richman

Folk singer Gerry Tenney breaks into song midway through an interview: “Ze ikh a royte tir ikh vill es farbn schvartz….”Read More





Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.