Rukhl Schaechter

Rukhl Schaechter

Rukhl Schaechter is the editor of the Yiddish Forward (Forverts) and is both the first woman to hold that position since its founding in 1897 and the first editor of the Forverts to be born in the United States.

Since taking the helm, Schaechter and her staff have increased the Yiddish Forward’s profile. Boosted by active Facebook and YouTube channels, international podcasts, regularly translated articles and subtitled videos have found broad audiences. One of the videos, a Yiddish rendition of Leonard Cohen’s song, “Hallelujah,” translated and performed by renowned klezmer musician Daniel Kahn, garnered 1/2 million views.

Schaechter produces and co-stars in the Forverts cooking videos — in Yiddish with English subtitles. Together with food scholar and gourmet chef Eve Jochnowitz, she demonstrates how to prepare traditional Ashkenazi delicacies like the now-trendy babkas or blintzes and kasha varnishkes, which are at risk of being forgotten by new generations of American Jews with no living link to the east European food traditions.

As editor, Schaechter has brought in a number of new writers, including women, both from secular and Hasidic backgrounds, to mirror the eclectic landscape of Yiddish writing today.

The Yiddish Forward has become a clearinghouse for the latest developments in the Yiddish world with almost daily news reports related to Yiddish language and culture.

Before Schaechter became a journalist, she was a prize-winning Yiddish short story writer as well as a songwriter. Four songs she composed, including “Vaserl” (Little Stream) which she co-wrote with Paula Teitelbaum, are performed on the record album of the same name. “Vaserl” now serves as the unofficial theme song for the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus.

Schaechter is a graduate of Barnard College and has a second bachelors in Jewish literature from the Jewish Teachers Seminary - Herzliah, as well as a masters in early childhood education from Bank Street College. She is the mother of three grown sons, all fluent in Yiddish, and an infant grandson (not fluent in Yiddish, yet).

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