Reader Favorites 2021-2022

The Editors


It’s time: the edi­tors of In geveb are step­ping back for our annu­al sum­mer break. But don’t wor­ry, there’s plen­ty to read while you’re wait­ing for us to come back. As is our tra­di­tion, we’re clos­ing out with a roundup of the most pop­u­lar pieces In geveb pub­lished this year. Here you’ll find inter­views, book reviews, ped­a­gog­i­cal mate­ri­als, aca­d­e­m­ic arti­cles, and blog essays cov­er­ing a wide range of lit­er­ary, con­tem­po­rary, and his­tor­i­cal con­cerns. This is only a small sam­pling of the wide range of mate­ri­als we’ve pub­lished this year, and we hope you’ll keep explor­ing while we khapn a shlof. In reverse order, here are your favorite pieces that we pub­lished in the past year:

10. Not Entirely Off the Derekh: A Review of Ayala Fader’s Hidden Heretics by Zackary Sholem Berger

In this bilingual review, Berger describes Fader’s anthropological work on Hasidim “who have doubts, or are on the way out, or are debating with themselves whether they should leave.” Berger recommends the book to:

יעדער ייִד װאָס האָט אַן אינטערעס צו ייִדן בכלל, און יעדער יחיד װאָס װיל פֿאַרשטײן פֿאַר װאָס, און װי אַזױ, מע ראַנגלט זיך מיט אינערלעכע ספֿקות װעגן די סאַמע תּוכיקע פּרינציפּן און טועכצן פֿון לעבן

“Every Jew interested in other Jews, every individual who wants to understand why and how one can struggle with innermost doubts about the basic principles and doings of life”

9. Be Yourself! (with a little help): Creating the First Yiddish LGBTQ Youth Guide by Jonathan Branfman and Lili Rosen

The Yiddish edition of Jonathan Branfman’s LGBTQ youth guide, Zikh Aleyn Zay Getray, translated into contemporary Hasidic Yiddish by Lili Rosen and published in 2022 by Ben Yehuda Press, carefully navigates topics from LGBTQ identities to celebrating LGBTQ families in ways that are inclusive to Hasidic life. As translator Rosen explains, the guide helps readers to see that “there are many ways to do love and marriage and that they are all equally valid and can co-exist side by side.” In this conversation, author and translator discuss the lin­guis­tic, cul­tur­al, and per­son­al dimen­sions of this trans­la­tion project.

8. Invitation to Participate: Learning Yiddish on Duolingo by Sarah Biskowitz

We’re not surprised that the popularity of Duolingo’s new Yiddish course translated into excitement about participating in this poll! Biskowitz is busy compiling and analyzing data, and you can expect a full report this fall.

7. Undzer Mishpokhe: A Queer Yiddish Curriculum Supplement by Alona Bach, Rebecca Araten, Ethan Nosanow Levin and Carolyn Beard

This unit, which introduces vocabulary from Sasha Berenstein’s “List of Yiddish Transgender/Nonbinary Terms,” features a lively cast of characters, starting with the anarchist Vladek and branching out to introduce the rest of the mishpokhe: Netzach, the rabbinical student; Goldie, the artist who supports faerself by working as a temp in an office; and Eliezer, the grandparent who lives in Crown Heights, among others.

6. The Latest Yiddish Translations, 2021 by Dalia Wolfson

This annual feature showcases publications of Yiddish works in translation (books, periodicals, anthologies and online publications) into English, French, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, German, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, and Tamil.

5.Chaim Grade: Facts of a Life by Susanne Klingenstein and Yehudah DovBer Zirkind

This essay offers the first fruits of laborious research in Grade’s papers, which were jointly acquired in 2013 by the National Library of Israel and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York.

4. A Different Type of Seminary: Priests, Cyclists, and Other Tourists Visit the Lublin Yeshiva by Wojciech Tworek

The preserved pages of the guest book of Lublin’s renowned yeshiva tell us about the remarkable range of cyclists, Esperantists, local rabbinical students, Catholic seminary students, Hasidic rabbis, and Revisionist Zionists who all came to visit in the 1930s.

3. Whither Queer Yiddishkayt? by Alicia Svigals

Svigals first wrote about queer yiddishkayt almost a quarter century ago in her 1998 essay and manifesto Why we do this anyway: klezmer as Jewish youth subculture. Svigals explains, “At the time the newly-named movement was mostly aspirational… But when I looked into what is going on now in Queer Yiddishland, I was surprised, amazed, and delighted by what I found.” Here, she takes stock of the past, present, and future of queer yiddishkayt.

2. Walking with Vogel: New Perspectives on Debora Vogel edited by Anna Elena Torres, Kathryn Hellerstein and Anastasiya Lyubas

This special issue brings together new perspectives on avant-garde writer Debora Vogel through poetry, visual art, translation, and scholarship, all in an attempt to follow the many lines of creative and critical inquiry that emerge from Vogel’s work.

1. Naming Other Jews: Looking at Yiddish Speakers Through Ladino by Nesi Altaras

How did Ladino speakers refer to newly arrived Ashkenazim in Ottoman cities? Nesi Altaras uses Ladino’s lexicon as an archive to excavate the power dynamics between Jews speaking different languages, particularly the disdain felt by the already established towards the newly arrived.

Editors, The. “Reader Favorites 2021-2022.” In geveb, July 2022:
Editors, The. “Reader Favorites 2021-2022.” In geveb (July 2022): Accessed May 18, 2024.


The Editors