Yiddish

Meet 2012’s Great Schlep

Week-old website offers 1,300 “Yiddish Curses for Republican Jews"

08/31/2012
Staff Writer

Sure, the Great Schlep --  the 2008 video urging young Jews to visit their grandparents in Florida to convince them to vote for then-candidate Barack Obama -- had live action, and Sarah Silverman’s star power.

Rachel Shukert, a comedy writer, and Ben Abramowitz, are the husband-and-wife team behind YiddishCursesforRepublicanJews.com.

Gefilteria Gets Kosher Seal In Time For Rosh HaShanah

08/28/2012
Associate Editor

It could have been a Yiddish curse for religiously observant foodies: May your gefilte fish become upscale, artisanal and hip ... but not be certified kosher.

That’s what happened this spring, when much-buzzed-about gourmet versions of the classic Ashkenazi dish began appearing around New York.

Gefilte fish is going upscale without forgetting its kosher roots.

Farklempt At The White House

Yiddish was in the air last week in the nation’s capital as the Yiddish Book Center received the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service in a White House ceremony. “Nachas” and “kvelling” were the words that most immediately came to mind for Aaron Lansky, the founder and president of the Center, one of ten U.S. institutions to win the honor.

Peter Manseau, Aaron Lansky and Michelle Obama at the White House. Courtesy Institute of Museum and Library Services

'Little Stories' In Yiddish

One important feature in the historical works of “ma’asalech” (little stories), written in Yiddish for children, is a practice of “Juda-izing” popular stories. Instead of translating children’s stories into Yiddish, translators would often adapt stories to reflect Jewish society and values. For example, in 1913, a Yiddish version of a Hans Christian Anderson story was “translated” into Yiddish and titled “Big Fievel and Little Fievel.” In this remade version, the main characters were Jewish boys.

El Lissitzky. Illustration for "The Hen Who Wanted a Comb", 1919.  WiKiPaintings

The Yiddish Heart – Still Beating

The majestic Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library was nearly packed on November 6th for The Yiddish Heart, directed by Target Margin Theater’s David Herskovits, the first in a series of evenings aimed at bringing to life the collections of the Library’s Dorot Jewish Division. The crowd was interested and enthusiastic, but unless they read their programs carefully, they were at first a bit confused. This was because before the formal program, there was an informal one and this first program was, essentially, a three ring circus.

Shane Baker is a Yiddish maven. Andrew Ingall

‘The Queen’ Of Yiddish Song

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

11/05/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
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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.

“My legs don’t go as fast as they did,” she joked. “But I can still work three times a week at YIVO, I still write a column for the Forverts, and the work is always interesting.”

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

Keeping Adrienne’s Dream Alive

Concert marking singer and Yiddish revival leader’s first yahrtzeit brings together a community of musicians.

12/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Sometimes you just have to drop everything else and do what’s right.

Frank London always has a busy schedule. Between the Klezmatics and his numerous side projects (the most recent being a Latin jazz-Jewish fusion essay with Arturo O’Farrill), there is never a convenient time for London to be interrupted.

Michael Winograd has a new CD being released this month with launch gigs in Boston and Brooklyn. December 2012 is not a rest period for him.

Cooper will be remembered and celebrated with a blow-out concert. Lloyd Wolf

Beyond Kvetch, Kvell: A New Lexicon

Professor launches web-based dictionary, invites entries from everybody.

11/20/2012
Staff Writer

From alte kaker, or old man in Yiddish, to zatar, an Israeli spice, Americans’ Jewish identity has long flavored their English.

Now a professor has harnessed the Internet to collect those heimish (cozy and warm) expressions that have made their way into the vernacular from sources including, but not limited to, Aramaic, Ladino, Yiddish and Hebrew.

Sarah Benor is the professor behind the Jewish English Lexicon. Bill Aron

Honoring ‘The Queen’ Of Yiddish Preservation

06/05/2012
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
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Chana Mlotek admits that at 90 she’s a little less productive than she used to be.

“My legs don’t go as fast as they did,” she says, her eyes twinkling. “But I can still work three times a week at YIVO, I still write a column for the Forverts, and the work is always interesting.”

Chana Mlotek with sons Zalman, left, and Mark. Gillian Segal

Rock-a-bye, My Baby, With A Yiddish Melody

01/24/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Somewhere in the world a restless child is waiting for sleep to come. A doting mother leans over her offspring, murmuring a song to speed the little one to slumber. The odds are pretty good that the lullaby with which she soothes the child is in not in Yiddish.

Lorin Sklamberg and the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeiter Ring probably won’t shift that probability much, but they’re going to try this winter, with the Klezmatics founder and lead singer teaching a series of workshops on the Yiddish lullaby beginning on Feb. 7.

Sweet dreams: Yiddish lullabies, like Masha Benya’s, are experiencing a revival with the help of Workmen’s Circle.
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