Yale University Press

Our Town: YIVO’s Jewish Europe

New multimedia encyclopedia embraces a golden age.

06/22/2010
Associate Editor

Emanuel Ringelblum knew Jewish Eastern Europe the way the Stage Manager in “Our Town” knew Grover’s Corners. The Tevye era was modern for Ringelblum, whose doctorate was on the Jews of Warsaw — only up to 1527.

German postcard: A family in cultural flux, walking to shul; bearded grandfather in streimel; clean-shaven father in top hat.

On Schlemiels, Shlimazls, Shmendriks and Schmuks

One hopes that the New York Times story today on Jay Roach's upcoming film, "Dinner for Schmucks," starring Steve Carell, will inspire us all to brush up our Yiddish.  Critics have started to question the appropriateness of the title given to Roach's new film, a comedy of manners in which Carell plays a hapless idiot.  Given the premise, "schlemiel" or "shlimazl" -- Yiddish words that more closely translate into "idiot" -- should be in the title.&nbs

‘1948’ As Tunnel Vision

06/27/2008
Staff Writer
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,  by Benny Morris. (Yale University Press, 524 pages, $32.50.) Of Israel’s first 60 years, its most important ones were arguably 1948 and 1967. Those were the seminal years that established the country’s existential viability, its collective attitude, its national borders, its dangerous demography and the problems that would shape it in the 21st Century. 

Reclaiming Heschel

01/09/1998
Staff Writer
He was accused of being too political. Others said he was too spiritual. Certainly he melded the ancient wisdom of the prophets with a modern sensibility to become the symbol of Jewish social action in America during the turbulent 1960s. When Abraham Joshua Heschel barely escaped Nazi Europe in 1940, the 33-year-old scholar began teaching at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. There he found himself disregarded as a chasidic traditionalist out of step with the Reform movement’s modern, non-observant world.

‘1948’ As Tunnel Vision

06/25/2008
Staff Writer
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War,   by Benny Morris. (Yale University Press, 524 pages, $32.50.) Of Israel’s first 60 years, its most important ones were arguably 1948 and 1967. Those were the seminal years that established the country’s existential viability, its collective attitude, its national borders, its dangerous demography and the problems that would shape it in the 21st Century.  
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