Sep 06, 2018
You might not realize that since our launch in 2015, In geveb has welcomed 93,374 individual readers to our site. Our readers login from around the globe, with the largest numbers coming from (in order): The United States, Israel, Canada, The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Australia, and Brazil. We’ve published hundreds of individual posts across our site. Last spring, as we were closing out our publication year, we brought you a list of the top ten most popular pieces we published in the past year. As we’re getting on in years (this December will mark five years since our founding Editorial Board meeting!) we now can also pay tribute to our greatest hits of all time. Here are some quirky, eye-catching, and important gems that have caught your attention, and that you (and we) keep clicking on again and again. If you haven’t had a chance yet, maybe it’s time to join the crowd and give them a kvetch.
5. (and 6. And 7.) Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundups
We’re delighted that you consistently find this listing of Yiddish summer programs useful and informative, and we hope it means more and more of you are exploring options for summer language study. Each year we update and expand our list of Yiddish summer programs. The popularity of this piece has inspired us to put together other collections of information that our readers will find useful, such as last year’s guide to Yiddish at the Association for Jewish Studies conference and our annual bibliography of the latest publications in Yiddish Studies. If you have ideas for other programs we should include, or other resources you want us to create, please send them along!
4. Shtisel’s Ghosts: The Politics of Yiddish in Israeli Popular Culture, by Shayna Weiss
In this blog post, Shayna Weiss analyzes the use of Yiddish in the Israeli television series Shtisel, which exhibited the most Yiddish ever seen in a television series in Israel or abroad. She discusses Yiddish in the series as indicative of a greater interest in Israeli popular culture for representing both linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as demonstrative of post-vernacular Yiddish outside of American contexts. Weiss juxtaposes the Yiddish in this series with the presence of Arabic in Israeli culture, arguing that the show forces its viewers to think about the politics of multiligualism amidst Hebrew dominance in contemporary Israel. We at In geveb love this piece because it showcases the expansiveness of our field (Television! Contemporary Israeli culture!) while addressing some of the questions often at the heart of the articles published by In geveb - Who speaks Yiddish and why, and what are the surplus, connotative meanings that Yiddish bears in the contexts in which it is spoken and used?
3. Beyond the Color Line: Jews, Blacks, and the American Racial Imagination, by Jennifer Young
In this article, Jennifer Young traces the role of African Americans in American Jewish (and especially Yiddish) press, literature, philanthropy and political action, as American Jews championed black political causes in their struggle to understand their own place in a racialized society. We imagine that some of our readers find this historical overview informative for their own political engagement in America and beyond, while others look to this resource to demystify the “black-Jewish alliance” nostalgia they encounter in contemporary American Jewish culture.
2. Searching for Ashkenaz, by Ross Perlin
In this blog post, Ross Perlin explicates the Jewish ethnogeographical term “Ashkenaz” which he describes as “just north of nowhere and a little west of wherever we want it to be.” He charts the linguistic origins of the term and its linkage to the Yiddish language, which bound the a geographically, religiously and culturally diverse population into the imagined community of Ashkenaz. He notes that Ashkenazi-ness, like whiteness, lacked self-awareness as it became the hegemonic Jewish identity, and bemoans how, in the absence of Yiddish, Ashkenazi identity has become a matter of genetics for some. This blog post defines a key term in our field in its linguistic, anthropological, and mythical dimensions.
1. Vilna? Vilne? Wilno? Vilnius?: Place Names in Yiddish by Ben Sadock, Samuel Spinner, and Sarah Ellen Zarrow
In our most popular piece of all time, Sadock, Spinner, and Zarrow discuss the perennial problem of representing the places and spaces of Yiddish literature in a way that is accurate, true to the original, and readable to contemporary audiences. It’s a wide ranging discussion about the political implications of the interpretive decisions editors and scholars? make when choosing how to represent place names of areas that have existed under multiple political regimes and whose names bear cultural identities that may or may not be legible to the readers of a translated text. Aside from the fascinating question of place names in particular, the discussion offers insights into the kinds of difficult editorial decisions that go into all writing about Yiddish histories, literatures, and identities outside of their original historical, geographical, and cultural contexts. We don’t know for sure the reasons why you have read this piece over 3,500 times, but it certainly continues to remind us, the In geveb edutors, about the broader significance of the small details that go into publishing new scholarship in Yiddish Studies.