Digitizing The Jewish Past

Staff Writer

In 1941 the Nazis destroyed the headquarters of the YIVO Yiddish research institute in Vilna, Lithuania, ransacking the library and archives. Some material was sent to Frankfurt, Germany, to serve as the basis for the Third Reich’s Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question, and some was hidden in Vilna.

Getty Images

Letters From Afar Close Up

The four side-by-side frames shimmer as if blown by a gentle breeze. Scenes begin to flicker before you, like a dreamscape, some in black and white, some in color. Rock-solid, ageless buildings appear, their stone facades immortalized by light and film.

Warsaw street scene; still from Polish home movie, c 1920s - 1930s. From the archives of YIVO

Ghosts In The Sukkah

Special To The Jewish Week

Welcoming guests is a time-honored Jewish custom; we keep our wedding canopies open on all sides, invite others to share our Sabbath and holiday meals, and even set out a cup of wine for Elijah at our seders. On Sukkot, we extend our hospitality even to the dead, making room for our patriarchs, matriarchs, ancient leaders and kings through the joyful ritual known as ushpizin.

Scene from Jennie Romaine and Shane Baker's "The Haunted Sukke." JH Borts

New YIVO Project Digitizes, Reunites Ransacked Pre-War Archive

Trove on Jewish life in Eastern Europe and Russia is going public.

Staff Writer

Imagine 1,000 years of Jewish history at your fingertips.

The Vilna Project, a seven-year international effort to digitize YIVO’s pre-war archives, launched last week. Getty Images

‘The Queen’ Of Yiddish Song

Remembering YIVO archivist Chana Mlotek, one of the major figures in the revival of klezmer.

Special To The Jewish Week

When she was interviewed by The Jewish Week in June 2012, the outstanding Yiddishist Chana Mlotek confided that at age 90 she had lost a bit of her ferocious productivity.

Chana Mlotek with her son, Zalmen, center, and husband Joseph in a 1985 photo. Milken Family Archives

New Man, New Tests At YIVO

Staff Writer

The position of executive director of the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research is not one Jonathan Brent sought out.

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