Yiddish Book Center

Yiddish Book Center The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization working to recover, celebrate, and regenerate Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture.
Saving a million Yiddish books was just the beginning. Our priority now is to advance knowledge of the content and literary and cultural progeny of the books we’ve saved. We offer fellowships and courses for high school students, college students and adults. We translate Yiddish literature into English. We record oral histories and contemporary stories. After three decades, we’ve emerged as one of the world’s largest, liveliest and most original Jewish organizations.

The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity. The Yiddish Book Center is home to permanent and visiting exhibits; two performance halls with a year-round schedule of educational programs, concerts (including the annual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music), films, and events; an English-language bookstore; and a million Yiddish books. The Center is open Sunday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Public tours are offered Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Yiddish and Jewish Culture: An Online Lecture Series includes a range of topics - The Jewish Metropolis; The Family Sing...
05/15/2019

Yiddish and Jewish Culture: An Online Lecture Series includes a range of topics - The Jewish Metropolis; The Family Singer; Yiddish Con Salsa; Yiddish Women Writers Reclaimed - these lectures span a wide variety of topics in modern Jewish history and culture and are led by top scholars, authors, and cultural commentators. You'll find the full selection here:
https://yiddish-book-center-store.myshopify.com/collections/lecture-series

It’s the immi­grant expe­ri­ence that is the lifeblood of Jew­ish Amer­i­can writ­ing,” observed the Toron­t...
05/14/2019
Little Rooster: A Story from David Bezmozgis's New Collection

It’s the immi­grant expe­ri­ence that is the lifeblood of Jew­ish Amer­i­can writ­ing,” observed the Toron­to-based writer and film­mak­er David Bez­mozgis a few years ago. An alert, com­pas­sion­ate immi­grant son and grand­son — his fam­i­ly migrat­ed to Cana­da from Latvia in the late 1970s — Bez­mozgis con­tin­ues to refash­ion the core themes of immi­grant fic­tion in fresh and orig­i­nal ways.

Ten years after my grand­fa­ther died, I found myself sort­ing through a shal­low plas­tic bin that held the accu­mu­lat­ed doc­u­men­ta­tion of his life.

Yidstock 2019- with performances by Berlin’s Yiddish folk-rockers Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, Israeli vocalist V...
05/14/2019
YIDSTOCK Features Global Lineup | The Rogovoy Report

Yidstock 2019- with performances by Berlin’s Yiddish folk-rockers Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, Israeli vocalist Vira Lozinsky, and the Aviva Chernick Ensemble from Toronto, alongside stalwarts of the American scene including the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics, vocalist Eleanor Reissa, and pioneering klezmer revivalist Hankus Netsky.

The Klezmatics, Daniel Kahn, Eleanor Reissa & Vira Lozinsky headline the global lineup at YIDSTOCK 2019, July 11-14, at Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.

Our translation fellows are traveling the world sharing their work: here is current fellow, Maia Evrona, giving a readin...
05/07/2019

Our translation fellows are traveling the world sharing their work: here is current fellow, Maia Evrona, giving a reading of her translations of Yoysef Kerler and Avrom Sutzkever at the Kadimah Jewish Culture Centre in Melbourne, Australia this week.

Last night we hosted a talk by US poet and translator Maia Evrona, currently visiting the Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library from Boston, about her translation work and readings of her translations of the poems of Yosef Kerler and Avrum Sutzkever. Wine and poppy seed cake was enjoyed by all who attended.

At any given time at the Yiddish Book Center, there are boxes of books waiting to be opened, treasures waiting to be dis...
04/25/2019

At any given time at the Yiddish Book Center, there are boxes of books waiting to be opened, treasures waiting to be discovered. These treasures are not purely literary; the boxes of books we receive often contain other surprises as well. Only last week, I opened a book about zoology and natural science—Shmuel Blum’s poetically titled Der boym fun lebn (The Tree of Life)—to find, appropriately, a pressed flower.
https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/language-literature-culture/vault/lives-yiddish-readers

Well Said: Beser gefilte fish eyder gefilte tsores (Better Stuffed Fish than Stuffed Troubles) " In the late 1950s, WEVD...
04/19/2019

Well Said: Beser gefilte fish eyder gefilte tsores (Better Stuffed Fish than Stuffed Troubles) " In the late 1950s, WEVD, the radio station owned by the Jewish Daily Forward, ran an ad for gefilte fish in advance of the upcoming holiday of Passover. In English, the announcer proclaimed, “This holiday, buy gefilte fish in gleaming glass jars, made in the finest tradition of Passover, under strict rabbinical supervision. Delicately light, always right. Gefilte fish in jars.” read the full story:
https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/language-literature-culture/pakn-treger/well-said-0

From the Vault: Sometimes a single book revivifies a well-known story by illuminating an obscure one. - Every so often y...
04/16/2019
The Hotel That Doesn't Exist | Yiddish Book Center

From the Vault:
Sometimes a single book revivifies a well-known story by illuminating an obscure one. - Every so often you find a book like "The Hotel that Doesn't Exist," and stories you know mostly as facts come to life. Read the story behind this book:

The wandering of a book from Mexico tells a larger story of Jewish wandering.

This newly released collection of Mendel Mann’s stories follow his life in reverse, from Israel in the 1950s to his ex...
04/11/2019
Seeds in the Desert By Mendel Mann, Translated by Heather Valencia. A Yiddish Book Center Translation

This newly released collection of Mendel Mann’s stories follow his life in reverse, from Israel in the 1950s to his experiences in the post-War Soviet Union and his childhood in Poland. With psychological insight and a focus on the tension between remembrance and reinvention, Mann provides indelible portraits of survivors as they confront the past and struggle to create a meaningful existence in the fledgling state of Israel.
https://shop.yiddishbookcenter.org/collections/yiddish-in-translation/products/seeds-in-the-desert-by-mendel-mann

Listen to our podcast with translator Heather Valencia here. Available for the first time in translation, Mendel Mann’s stories follow his life in reverse, from Israel in the 1950s to his experiences in the post-War Soviet Union and his childhood in Poland. With psychological insight and a focus o...

What was the first Yiddish novel by a woman to appear in book form? Unlike some other questions that Yiddishists love to...
04/09/2019

What was the first Yiddish novel by a woman to appear in book form? Unlike some other questions that Yiddishists love to debate—The greatest work of Yiddish modernism? The best-dressed Yiddish writer? I. J. Singer versus Isaac Bashevis Singer?—this one should be fairly easy to answer. After all, we’re hardly spoiled for choice. You'll find the answer in this piece from the recent issue of Pakn Treger: https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/novel-story

The Times of Israel relates the story of Jewish Storyteller Press founder Scott Hilton Davis' fascination with influenti...
04/08/2019
A forgotten hit 1877 Yiddish romance novel has just been translated to English

The Times of Israel relates the story of Jewish Storyteller Press founder Scott Hilton Davis' fascination with influential Yiddish writer Yankev Dinezon. Jewish Storyteller Press has now published the first English-language translation of Dinezon's "The Dark Young Man," translated by Tina Lunson.

Yankev Dinezon’s 'The Dark Young Man' sold 200,000 copies, catapulted him to fame, and made him a mentor to the top writers of his day. Then he fell into obscurity -- until now

04/04/2019
"A Book Is Not an Object, It's a Living Thing": Chaim Grade's Relationship to His Library

Yiddish poet and novelist, Chaim Grade was born on this day in 1910. In his oral history interview, David Fishman, a scholar and writer of Eastern European Jewish history and friend of Grade’s, recalls Grade’s "fantastic" library - from the scope of the collection to Grade's habit of moving one or two shelves of books from one place or another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvyt-evuSI&feature=youtu.be

David (Dovid) Fishman, scholar of Eastern European Jewish history, describes Yiddish writer and personal friend Chaim Grade's special relationship to his boo...

04/02/2019

On a visit to Big Wheel Press this morning, Bill Muller shared a bit about their collection of Yiddish type.

On this week's episode of The Shmooze, Lisa Newman speaks with Smith College senior Abigail Weaver, whose play about the...
03/27/2019
"Grains of Wheat": Abigail Weaver on the Paper Brigade | Yiddish Book Center

On this week's episode of The Shmooze, Lisa Newman speaks with Smith College senior Abigail Weaver, whose play about the Paper Brigade–"Grains of Wheat"–will have a staged reading at Smith College's Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts tomorrow, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Lisa Newman talks to Smith College senior Abigail Weaver about "Grains of Wheat," her play about the Jewish intellectuals, known as the Paper Brigade, who worked to hide stores of cultural materials from Nazi forces in the Vilna ghetto.

We're excited to screen four movies as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival this year, beginning with a showi...
03/26/2019
Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival returns

We're excited to screen four movies as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival this year, beginning with a showing of "Promise at Dawn," the biopic of French-Jewish writer Romain Gary. For more information, visit our Calendar of Events at https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/visit/calendar-events

Dramas, documentaries, comedies, cultural studies, stories from history and the Holocaust: They’re all on tap over the next few weeks during the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.Beginning next Thursday, March 28, and running through April 8, PVJFF...

Today marks the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 100 g...
03/25/2019
Liana Finck’s "A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York" | The Yiddish Book Center’s Great Jewish Books Teacher Resources

Today marks the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 100 garment workers, many of them young Jewish and Italian immigrants. Our Teach Great Jewish Books resource guide for Liana Finck's "A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York" contains a number of materials about the fire, including an oral history with survivor Dora Maisler.

Liana Finck’s "A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York"Resource Kit by Tahneer Oksman Module ContentIntroduction Introduction Cartoonist Liana Finck’s A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York (2014) is a graphic novel about a young woman who finds an old notebook filled with cli...

Theater J's Yiddish Theater Lab has begun the run of their first fully staged production. The staging of Jacob Gordin's ...
03/24/2019
Long live the ‘Queen:’ Theater J brings a landmark Yiddish play back to the stage

Theater J's Yiddish Theater Lab has begun the run of their first fully staged production. The staging of Jacob Gordin's 1898 play "The Jewish Queen Lear" will appear at Georgetown University's Davis Performing Arts Center through April 7.

Thanks to Theater J's Yiddish Theater Lab, English-speaking audiences can see the universal themes of "The Jewish Queen Lear."

Between Fantasy and Reality: The Writings of Der NisterA weekend program at the Yiddish Book Center, May 3–5, 2019:Der...
03/22/2019

Between Fantasy and Reality: The Writings of Der Nister
A weekend program at the Yiddish Book Center, May 3–5, 2019:
Der Nister (“The Recluse,” the literary pseudonym adopted by Pinkhes Kahanovich, 1884-1950) was the most enigmatic figure in modern Yiddish literature. Over the course of a dynamic career, full of unexpected twists and turns, he went from writing mystical, Symbolist stories to historical realism, and transformed himself from an obscure, mysterious artist into a communal activist. Learn more and register - space is limited: https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/educational-programs/adult-learners/weekend-programs/between-fantasy-and-reality-writings-der-nister

The Paris Review - ..."The phenomenon of Singer’s posthumous productivity is like something out of a Singer story..."
03/22/2019
Isaac Bashevis Singer from Beyond the Grave

The Paris Review - ..."The phenomenon of Singer’s posthumous productivity is like something out of a Singer story..."

Every few months, it seems, there is a Singer dispatch from beyond the grave, another label-less bottle floating in on the tide. Reading his bibliography, one would never guess he has been dead nearly three decades.

Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night (1960) is arguably one of the most important contributions to Holocaust memorialization. Th...
03/21/2019

Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night (1960) is arguably one of the most important contributions to Holocaust memorialization. This moving account tells the story of Wiesel and his father’s experiences in two concentration camps: Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Learn more about Night on our newly posted teacher resource kit http://teachgreatjewishbooks.org/resource-kits/elie-wiesels-night

On this day in 1896, Yiddish writer Moyshe Kulbak was born in Smorgon, a city in modern-day Belarus. After beginning to...
03/20/2019
A Train | Yiddish Book Center

On this day in 1896, Yiddish writer Moyshe Kulbak was born in Smorgon, a city in modern-day Belarus. After beginning to write poetry in Hebrew during World War I, Kulbak went on to publish poetry, plays, and novels in Yiddish. Here, Daniel Kennedy translates Kulbak's poem, "A Train":

A young intellectual embarks on a journey

In William O'Connor's piece in the Daily Beast he"...sifted through the treasure trove of documents and testimonials on ...
03/18/2019
The ‘Versailles of Belarus’: Inside the Unimaginable Tale of a Ruined Palace, Meddlesome Aristocrats, and a Jewish Industrial Dynasty

In William O'Connor's piece in the Daily Beast he"...sifted through the treasure trove of documents and testimonials on JewishGen, and read the heartbreaking Yizkor (memorial) book put together about the Jews of Ruzhany by the survivors."

It is one of Europe’s great ruins, a poetic reminder of an empire that once shook the continent. A stark sentinel, it would later bear witness to unimaginable crimes.

As part of Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America Festival, the Yiddish Book Center will co-present with th...
03/15/2019
Carnegie Hall Festival to Celebrate Migration and America

As part of Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America Festival, the Yiddish Book Center will co-present with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan a performance of Diaspora Songs: Yiddish Meets Ladino by Sarah Aroeste and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm. The event will take place at the JCC Manhattan, located at 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street. A private reception with the artists will follow the performance.

Ladino vocalist Sarah Aroeste and Yiddish vocalist Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell join forces to explore common themes and approaches in Ladino and Yiddish music. Accompanied by pianist/accordionist Dmitri Gaskin and guitarist Rob Sanzone, Sarah and Anthony musically reconcile these long-lost cousins of Jewish music.

Diaspora Songs: Yiddish Meets Ladino was commissioned especially for Yidstock 2018.

A limited number of tickets are still available. Reservations are required. Ticket and reception is $50. Please RSVP to Sarah Mae Browne [email protected] or 413-256-4900 ext. 122

Irish folk, Yiddish sounds and the blues will be featured. And more than 100 events by other organizations are being held in conjunction with the festival.

We're here at The London Book Fair -- huge, informative, and all else. We’re so glad we’re here and word of Yiddish ...
03/13/2019

We're here at The London Book Fair -- huge, informative, and all else. We’re so glad we’re here and word of Yiddish in translation is getting buzz!

Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes about the experience of seeing the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of "Fid...
03/12/2019
A ‘Tradition’ Omission: I Had Never Seen ‘Fiddler’ Until Now.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes about the experience of seeing the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's production of "Fiddler on the Roof," her first time ever seeing the play.

"We grow old, our children are no longer babies, there is always someone menacing breathing down our necks — and each time it is beautiful and each time it is horrible and each time it is a surprise and each time we’ve been warned. Tradition."

Growing up in a traditional Jewish household made the legendary musical a piece to resent, not embrace. So much has changed since.

"It was the late 1970s, the beginning of the ’80s, and South Beach was a Jewish retirement village, a tropical shtetl,...
03/11/2019
The Palmy Days of a South Beach Shtetl

"It was the late 1970s, the beginning of the ’80s, and South Beach was a Jewish retirement village, a tropical shtetl, some people called it, a shtetl with palm trees. 'It was so Jewish, I thought everybody in the world was Jewish,' said Mr. Kaplan."

A fascinating review in the New York Times of the photography book "Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet's South Beach 1977-1980" and documentary "The Last Resort," both of which focus on South Beach Jewish life in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Andy Sweet’s photographs and a new film tell the story of a vanished Jewish community on the tip of Miami Beach that gave way to a glittering American Riviera.

Address

1021 West St
Amherst, MA
01002

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority: http://www.PVTA.com Amtrak Peter Pan Bus Lines Megabus

General information

We are closed during shabbos (Saturdays) and Jewish and legal holidays. View our calendar for closings and events: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/calendar

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(413) 256-4900

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