Best Dressed Male Yiddish Cultural Figures

Saul Noam Zaritt

To be a kultur-tuer, a kind of Yiddish cultural activist, you need a certain look. And this look is something that takes cultivation and hard work. We’ve assembled here some of the most exquisitely dressed men of Yiddish letters. A consideration of the women, often snubbed in such lists, is forthcoming!

1. Moyshe Nadir

The critic and satirist (right) goes for a stroll in the Laurentian Mountains with publisher and bookstore owner Harry Hershman, in 1936. Tweed never goes out of style.

And in his youth Nadir would add a jaunty scarf to the ensemble.

2. Sholem Aleichem

The ascot is preferred by the “Jewish Mark Twain.”

Especially as a way to ward off the dreaded TB.

But when in doubt, Sholem Aleichem, the stylish utilitarian, will don his furs.

3. S. Y. Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim)

The zeyde of Yiddish Literature also loves the ascot.

And he knows a good hat when he finds one.

4. David Bergelson

The young Bergelson, keeping it casual.

The novelist being a good father in style.

5. Peretz Herschbein

Extra points to the playwright Herschbein (left) for his artistic hair, upstaging his friend Zalman Shneur. What a dandy!

6. Moyshe Broderzon

There is something about Yiddish writers and ascots I suppose. It seems to make this poet and playwright smirk. And look at that tie pin!

7. Abraham Sutzkever

The famed poet nails what some have called the “rumpled aesthetic.” See this image of Gary Oldman for reference:

And finally, one exception, for our favorite undressed Yiddish writer:

8. Sholem Asch

Zaritt, Saul Noam. “Best Dressed Male Yiddish Cultural Figures.” In geveb, August 2015:
Zaritt, Saul Noam. “Best Dressed Male Yiddish Cultural Figures.” In geveb (August 2015): Accessed Mar 02, 2024.


Saul Noam Zaritt

Saul Noam Zaritt is an associate professor of Yiddish Literature at Harvard University. He is currently a peer review editor at In geveb and one of the site's founding editors.