Yiddish


Lost in Translation: From Mameloshn to Belarusian

By Michael Casper

Aleksander Astraukh, editor of a 50,000-word Belarusian-Yiddish lexicon currently on press in Minsk, Belarus, admits that his is “not a normal dictionary.” A bridge between two languages equidistant from the mainstream, the book includes in its entries illustrations, idioms, etymologies and citations from the literature of both tongues, which have historically shared large swaths of territory and vocabulary. “It is not for learning perfect Yiddish,” he said. “It is a book to read.”Read More


One Hundred Years Later, Still Talking

By Marissa Brostoff

One hundred years ago, the great classical Yiddish writer I.L. Peretz declared Yiddish the national Jewish language, a tongue and a culture that had transcended the boundaries of the nation-state.Read More


Writing the Book on Klezmer

By Alexander Gelfand

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I’m personally indebted to Yale Strom.Read More


Hasidic Authors Offer Readers a Thrill

By Gennady Estraikh

The Internet contains scores of Hasidic-dominated Yiddish sites, including chat rooms, blogs, bulletin boards and a separate version of Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia. Reading one of the Yiddish bulletin boards, I came across the following dismissive comments of an anonymous critic: “Give a look and you’ll see that nowadays all [ultra-Orthodox] Yiddish newspapers and journals, weeklies and monthlies have a ‘thrilling story in installments.’ Such stories, or mayses, have no hands and no legs, don’t make any sense and are, generally, absurd.”Read More


Mamaloshn: Why the Gay Connection?

By Gabriel Sanders

On a chilly Monday evening in January, Yugntruf, a New York-based not-for-profit designed to promote Yiddish, assembled a panel to address the question “What Attracts Us to Yiddish?”Read More


Postcard Collection Reveals Images of a Grandfather’s World

By Jeri Zeder

Back in 1906, when he was 15, Benny Swartzberg could not have foreseen that, a century later, his growing collection of postcards would provide the raw material for an online store managed by his grandson.Read More


Cabaret Act Revives Music of Warsaw

By Rivka Chaya Schiller

On a frigid January evening in New York City, Rebecca Joy Fletcher and Stephen Mo Hanan performed their two-person act, “Kleynkunst!: Warsaw’s Brave and Brilliant Yiddish Cabaret,” before a full house at Helen’s Restaurant, Cabaret & Piano Lounge in Chelsea, as part of a five-day-long European cabaret festival called Kabarett Fête.Read More


Publisher Opens Final Chapter

By Beth Schwartzapfel

Last month’s publication of “The Cross and Other Jewish Stories” by Ukrainian-born Yiddish author Lamed Shapiro marks both a new beginning and the beginning of the end for the New Yiddish Library Series.Read More


Thai Course Launched

By Ran Ezer

A new Yiddish course is debuting in an unexpected place: Bangkok.Read More





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  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
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  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
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  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
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