In 1979, when Henry Sapoznik founded the klezmer band Kapelye, he was among a cohort of passionate young musicians, musicologists and cultural workers who sought to reclaim Eastern European Jewish music and link themselves to still-living masters of that tradition. It was hard work. Relatively little had been done to preserve or transmit the culture of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in America.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that Yiddish is dead or dying. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yiddish lives and is thriving. The number of its speakers increases from year to year. Its speakers are proud of their language, and they identify strongly with it.