Your Guide to Yiddish and In geveb at the 2020 AJS Conference

The Editors

Although it is an unusual year, we’re grateful that there’s still the opportunity for scholars and students of Jewish Studies from around the United States and the world to gather at the Association for Jewish Studies conference to learn from one another, discuss shared projects, and (we hope) chit chat (virtually) about all the exciting material they’ve been reading on In geveb. The Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) will be held over Zoom this year on December 13-17.

In geveb was launched at the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) conference in 2013, and we’ve been an enthusiastic presence at the conference ever since. The conference holds a special place in our hearts, and we hope to see you there.

For the past four years we have organized a roundtable each year approaching the question of “the state of Yiddish Studies” from different angles. These round tables have resulted in several series of essays, including on the state of Yiddish translation and teaching Yiddish in the digital age. We are continuing the tradition this year with a roundtable on “Teaching and Learning the Languages of Jewish Studies.”

In past years, In geveb has hosted an informal kave-sho at the conference. This year, our meetup has to be virtual, but that means we’re able to provide the link as a Yiddish gathering space that will be open throughout the conference and to welcome all, regardless of whether you’ve registered for this year’s conference. Our social space will be held over, which is a spatial video-chat platform. We hope you’ll join us virtually for a kave-sho the evening of Sunday, December 13th or drop in to say hello at any point. Please RSVP here for access information. Registration is free, though for a $5 (or more!) contribution you will be entered into a drawing for In geveb swag.

We encourage you to use this gathering space and the events In geveb has organized and is participating in as an opportunity to meet us. In geveb aims to be a resource for Yiddish Studies in the broadest sense, which means that if you work with Yiddish and we don’t know you yet, we want to, and we encourage you to introduce yourself to our editorial staff and board at the In geveb roundtable, kave-sho, gathering space, or wherever else you encounter us around the conference!

We also want to highlight a memorial event honoring David Shneer z’’l hosted by Yiddishkayt and the Yiddish Book Center on Sunday evening (just prior to In geveb’s meetup.) The event will live stream on Facebook and Youtube on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 7 PM EST – 8 PM EST.

Without further ado, we’re pleased to offer, for the third year in a row, our guide to Yiddish at the conference (if you notice something we’re missing, please email us!) We hope that you will discover, as we have, that our field is varied and fresh, full of new ideas, and enriched by scholars working in a variety of positions and disciplinary backgrounds. If you are one of the presenters included here, we hope you will consider submitting your work to In geveb for publication!


Teaching and Learning the Languages of Jewish Studies: (Sunday 3:45-5:00pm): This roundtable panel brings together scholars playing a variety of roles in Jewish Studies, from language instructors to program directors to graduate students, working in a variety of languages within Jewish Studies, to discuss the role of language instruction in Jewish Studies programs and curricula. The round table seeks to consider and interrogate how language instruction is conceived within Jewish studies, from language requirements to what is considered a language of Jewish studies to how language instructors are integrated into the professional field. Given the growing crisis of language instruction in American universities, we will ask how Jewish Studies can better support the language instruction that is crucial to our field.

Annual In geveb Kave-sho: (Sunday 8-10pm and throughout the conference) Join your favorite Yiddish studies journal at our favorite location—in geveb (on the web)! In lieu of our usual AJS kave-sho, we’ll be gathering virtually during the online conference. We’ll be hosting a virtual meetup the evening of Sunday, December 13. Registering for this event through Eventbrite will give you access to the link to an online space to gather, schmooze, and talk Yiddish at any time during the conference. The In geveb virtual kave-sho is free and open to all, whether or not you’ve registered for the AJS conference!


All of the following panels, roundtables, seminars, and lightning sessions promise to have at least one speaker whose presentation engages with Yiddish in a substantive way. We’ve included the names of these presenters and their papers. In the case of roundtables and seminars, we have included the names of all participants. Follow the links to the conference schedule for more detail.

Sunday, December 13th


Embracing Ambiguity: How History Matters A Conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch, III (Smithsonian Institution) and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (POLIN Museum) Moderated by Alice Greenwald (National September 11 Memorial & Museum)


Feuilletons between Politics and Culture

  • Shachar M. Pinsker, Chair
  • Eli Rosenblatt
  • Jan Schwartz
  • Yitskhok Varshavsk

12:30 to 1:45pm

Jews in Communist Poland, 1947-1968

  • Karen Auerbach, Chair
  • Rachelle Grossman, “A Project of the People: Yiddish Publishing in Communist Poland, 1947-1968”

2:15 to 3:30pm

Between Home and Homeland: New Forms of Jewish Domestic Space in Poland and Palestine

  • Ofer Ashkenazi, Chair
  • Ela Bauer, ‘“Home Improvement” in Warsaw as Jewish – Polish National Projects’
  • Cecile E. Kuznitz, “Jewish Dormitories in Interwar Poland”
  • Anna Nikolaevna Kushkova, Respondent

Rethinking Jewish Refugees in Latin America

  • Estelle Tarica, Chair
  • Pablo Palomino, “Jewish musical migrations and “Latin American culture” in the 1930s and 1940s”

An Unthinkable Past

  • Robert Moses Shapiro, Chair
  • Jeffrey Shandler, “From Ruins to Museums: Exposure and Closure of Europe’s Destroyed Jewish Past”
  • Sean Sidky, ‘“KEYN VORT / KEYN GERIS”: Letters from The Ghetto in American Yiddish Holocaust Poetry’
  • Nicole Freeman, ““Picture of the New Poland”: Reflections from Visiting Jewish Youth during Summer 1949”

Visioning New Worlds and Recalling the Old World in Queer Yiddish Drag and Burlesque

  • Julia Havard, Chair
  • Yael Horowitz, “Longing and Yearning for a New Jewish Future through Yiddish Burlesque”
  • Chloe Li Piazza, “Zisl Khaloymes Presents: Performing the Queer Yiddish Archive”
  • Anna Elena Torres, Respondent


Jewish Music: From Preservation to Transformation

  • Marsha Dubrow, Chair
  • Samantha Madison Cooper, “Falling off the Roof and into the Opera House: Jews, Opera, and Anxiety in Twentieth Century America”
  • Eleonore Biezunski, “The archive as a living space: klezmer “revival” in the YIVO Sound Archive”

Containing Multitudes: Perspectives on the meaning of “DOS YIDISHE FOLK”

  • Kalman Weiser, Chair & Respondent
  • Diana Clarke, “Conquer or Die: Guerilla Fascism, Yiddish Poetry, and Uri-Zvi Greenberg’s Vision for Jewish Survival”
  • Ezekiel Levine, “We Sing for Peace!: Sam Liptzin and the Voices of the Folk”
  • Miriam Borden, ‘“You Should Know More About Your Folk”: INVITATION TO YIDDISH (1962) and Postwar Language Pedagogy’

Teaching and Learning the Languages of Jewish Studies

  • Session Sponsored by In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies
  • Devin Naar, Moderator
  • Elias Sacks
  • LeiAnna Hamel
  • Zvi Gilboa
  • Jessica Anne Kirzane

7-8pm EST

Yiddishkayt and the Yiddish Book Center Memorial for David Shneer z’’l

A memorial event honoring the brilliant memory of David Shneer — cherished friend, trailblazing scholar, and, above all, mentsh. Join Yiddishkayt and the Yiddish Book Center along with David’s many musical and scholarly collaborators, as well as some of David’s teachers, friends, and students to witness his passion endure through music, song, and memory. The event will livestream on Facebook and YouTube on Sunday, December 13.

Monday, December 14th


Present Pasts: New Approaches to Memory in Modern Jewish Literature and Art

  • Simone Stirner, Chair
  • Danny Luzon, “Grace Paley’s Accent”
  • Rafael Balling, “The Body That Is. Embodiment, Perception, and Persistence in Bashevis Singer’s “Yentl der yeshive bokher“ (1963)”
  • Meyer Weinshel, “Selective Memory: Postwar Yiddish Anthologies from ‘Another Germany’”

The Jewish Encounter with Spiritualism in the Interwar Periodo

  • Jody Myers, Chair & Respondent
  • Matthew Harris Brittingham, “The Soul Longs to Talk to Me”: American Yiddish Writers on Spiritualism

    The Past and Future of Jewish Studies

    • Lila Corwin Berman, Moderator
    • Matthias B. Lehmann
    • James Loeffler
    • Anna Shternshis
    • Saul Olyan
    • Gabriella Safran

    Attitudes Toward Public Health in the Haredi World

    • Leslie Ginsparg Klein, Moderator
    • Zackary Berger
    • Heather L. Munro
    • Eszter Kriszta Szendroi

    Histories of Jewish Prostitution

    • Barry Trachtenberg, Moderator
    • A Hajkova
    • Mir Yarfitz
    • Keely Stauter-Halsted
    • Tova Markenson


    From Habsburg Legacy to Polish Reality: Cultural and Political Transitions of Galician Jews

    • Joshua Shanes, Chair
    • Rachel Manekin, “Female Teachers’ Seminary or Gymnasium? The Dilemma of Interwar Polish Orthodoxy”


      Digital & Oral Pedagogies

      • Michelle Chesner, Chair
      • Itzik Gottesman, “Ten Years of the Blog YIDDISH SONG OF THE WEEK”

        Feuilletons between Politics and Culture

        • Shachar M. Pinsker, Chair
        • Eli Rosenblatt
        • Jan Schwartz
        • Yitskhok Varshavsk

        Prayer and Crime: an Introduction to the Cantorial “Golden Age”

        • Judah M. Cohen, Chair
        • Jeremiah Daniel Lockwood, “What is the Cantorial Golden Age? HEFKER KHAZONES (wanton cantorial music) or the “key to the Jewish soul”?”
        • Yoel M. Kohn, “What is the Cantorial Golden Age?”
        • Gabriella Safran, Respondent


        Transforming Jewish Studies: Changes, Challenges, Paths for the Future. The Center for Jewish History at 20.

        • Beth S. Wenger, Moderator
        • Elissa Bemporad
        • Adam Teller
        • Joshua M. Karlip
        • Anita Norich

        Crafting a Jewish Anthology

        • Kathryn A. Hellerstein, Moderator
        • Noam Sienna
        • David G. Roskies
        • Deborah Dash Moore
        • Julia Phillips Cohen
        • Miriam Udel

        Politics in Jewish Media

        • Kate Rosenblatt, Chair
        • Ayala Fader & Zackary Berger, “Chasidim and Science through the Window of WhatsApp”
        • Joshua Meyers, “Righting History: Bundists, Communism, and the Troublesome, Unavoidable Past”
        • Sara Feldman, “Soviet Stooges or Anti-Fascist Heroes? Robeson, Mikhoels, and Feffer in Jewish Arts and Media”

        Tuesday December 15th


        Present Pasts: New Approaches to Memory in Modern Jewish Literature and Art

        • Simone Stirner, Chair
        • Danny Luzon, “Grace Paley’s Accent”
        • Rafael Balling, “The Body That Is. Embodiment, Perception, and Persistence in Bashevis Singer’s “Yentl der yeshive bokher“ (1963)”
        • Meyer Weinshel, “Selective Memory: Postwar Yiddish Anthologies from ‘Another Germany’”


        Jewish Subjectivity within and beyond Borders: Post-Holocaust Jewish Agency in the Soviet Sphere of Influence and its Transnational Entanglements

        • Atina Grossman, Chair
        • Miriam Schulz, “Not Antigone’s eyniklekh. Soviet Yiddish Self-Will and Vernacular Holocaust Memory”
        • Gabriel Natan Finder, Respondent

        Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Jewish Languages

        • Renee Perelmutter, Moderator
        • Sarah Bunin Benor
        • Benjamin H. Harry
        • Lily Okalani Kahn
        • David M. Bunis
        • Ofra Tirosh-Becker

        Wednesday, December 16th


        Max Weinreich and His Intellectual Circles

        • Jess Olson, Moderator
        • Naomi Sheindel Seidman
        • Nancy Sinkoff
        • Kalman Weiser

        Seeing Yiddish: On Language and the Visual

        • Madeleine Atkins Cohen, Chair
        • Samuel Spinner, “Jankel Adler’s Secret: Writing in Paintings”
        • Yevgeniy Fiks, “Refugee Modernism”
        • Sunny S. Yudkoff, “THE JOYS OF YIDDISH on Display, or Reading the Yiddish Art of Mel Bochner”
        • Karolina Szymaniak, Respondent

        Innovations in the Hasidic Yiddish pronominal system

        • Lily Okalani Kahn, Chair
        • Chaya R. Nove, “Leveling in the Hasidic Yiddish Pronominal Paradigm”
        • Sonya Yampolskaya, “‘MENTALITI FUN DE SHPRAKH’ T/V Distinction in Contemporary Hasidic Yiddish”
        • Zoe Belk, “Overview of Hasidic Yiddish Pronouns Based on Elicited Spoken Data”


        Yiddish Linguistic Identity across Communities and Generations

        • Chaya R. Nove, Chair
        • Sandra Fox, “Yiddish and Identity from Yugntruf to Yiddish Farm”
        • Isaac L. Bleaman, “Attitudes toward Change in a Maintained Language: Yiddish in New York”
        • Eszter Kriszta Szendroi, “Hasidic Attitudes towards Yiddish and Identity”

        Crossing Boundaries in Hebrew and Yiddish Literature

        • David I. Shyovitz, Chair
        • Oren Cohen Roman, “A Bilingual Look on Ashkenazi Retellings of the ‘Akedah”
        • Emilie E. Amar-Zifkin, “Revenge, Righteousness, and the Moral(s) of the Story: R. Judah the Pious in Medieval Hebrew and Yiddish Folklore”
        • Justin Jaron Lewis, Respondent


        Yiddish Texts and/within the Digital Commons

        • Jessica Anne Kirzane, Chair
        • Lyudmila Sholokhova, “Digitization of musical sounds in Yiddish: legacy recordings on phono cylinders from An-sky’s and Beregovsky’s expeditions in Ukraine in 1912-1947 and their importance today”
        • Eitan Kensky, “TSILI: Or Field Notes from the Archive of Post-Vernacular Yiddish Filmmaking”
        • Amber Kanner Clooney, “Challenges and Opportunities of Yiddish OCR”
        • Heidi G. Lerner, “Linked Open Data: A Yiddish Trial”
        • David Morrill Schlitt, “Difficult Texts: Yiddish DP Publications and the Digital Future”

        Social Connections and Brokerage among Haredi Communities

        • Naomi Sheindel Seidman, Chair
        • Nathaniel Deutsch, “From Public Housing to Anti-Poverty Programs: The Rise of Hasidic Activists in Williamsburg, Brooklyn”
        • Sam Shuman, “In the Rough: The Vanishing Livelihood of the Hasidic Diamond Broker & the Provisional Life of Parnusseh”
        • Dikla Yogev, “Haredi Askanim and the Israeli Authorities in Time of Crisis”


        Drawing, Crossing, and Blurring Boundaries: Qualitative Approaches to Understanding Jewish Identity

        • Ari Y. Kelman, Chair
        • Moshe Krakowski, “Hasidic Education, Culture, and Identity”
        • Jon A. Levisohn, Respondent

        New Approaches to Americanization and the Yiddish Press

        • Daniel Soyer, Chair
        • Eric L. Goldstein, “Reassessing Kasriel H. Sarasohn, Architect of the Modern Jewish Press”
        • Ayelet Brinn, ‘“Tailors, Old Jews, and Women”: Gender and the Americanization of the Yiddish Press’
        • Ellen Kellman, “The FORVERTS on Jewish Criminality and Acculturation ca. 1908”

        Thursday December 17th


        New Studies in Scandinavian Jewish Identities

        • Maja Gildin Zuckermann, Chair & Respondent
        • Jan Schwartz, “The Revitalization of Yiddish Language and Culture in Sweden after 1945”

          Literary & Media Maps

          • Jonathan Gribetz, Chair & Respondent
          • Goldie Gross, “DER HAMER: Aesthetic and Political Influences on Art and Culture in the Communist Yiddish Press”


            Graduate Student Lightning Session: Literature & Film

            • Ilana Szobel, Chair
            • Phillip Schwartz, “The Role of Humor in Khayim Yitskhok Bunin’s Neo-Hasidic Writing”
            • Julia Fermentto-Tzaisler, “Like This They Now Die Everywhere: The Poetics of Animal Slaughtering in the Yiddish poetry of Berish Weinstein”
            • Harriet A. Feinberg, Respondent
            • Sunny Y. Yudkoff, Respondent

            Yiddish Women Transmitting Jewish Culture in Post-Holocaust Europe

            • Anna Shternshis, Chair
            • Karolina Szymaniak, “Reels from Memory: Rachel Auerbach and Visual Culture in the Postwar Era”
            • Nick Underwood, “Women Writers and the Remaking of Yiddish Paris”
            • Michelle Katz, Respondent

            Representations of Jewish sexuality in texts across chronological boundaries

            • Natalia Aleksiun, Chair
            • LeiAnna Hamel, “Viewing Sholem Asch’s MERI: The Erotic Poetics of Vision”
            • Zohar Eeda Weiman-Kelman, Respondent

            Paul Celan in Translation: New Correspondences

            • Abigail Esther Gillman, Chair

            • Matthew Johnson, “Freed Weininger’s “Fuge fun toyt”
            • Na’ama Rokem, Respondent

            Memory and Trauma

            • Mark Lee Smith, Chair

            • Amy Kerner, ‘“Something existential”: Jewish Argentines and Yiddish since the dictatorship’

            Cultural Translation

            • Claire Sufrin, Chair
            • Elazar Elhanan, “Fishke as the National Failure”


            Travel and Tourism

            • Janet Krasner Aronson, Chair

            • Nikki Halpern, Vanishing Point: Joseph Tunkel’s Search for the Holy Land

            Social and Spatial History

            • Daniel B. Schwartz, Chair
            • William Marshall Pimlott, London’s New Jewish Politics: Finding and Defining Space in the Transnational Immigrant Sphere at the turn of the 20th Century

            The Dybbuk Century: Reflections on the Jewish Play that Possessed the World

            • Rachel Merrill Moss, Moderator
            • Michael C. Steinlauf
            • Agi Legutko
            • Debra Caplan
            MLA STYLE
            Editors, The. “Your Guide to Yiddish and In geveb at the 2020 AJS Conference.” In geveb, December 2020:
            CHICAGO STYLE
            Editors, The. “Your Guide to Yiddish and In geveb at the 2020 AJS Conference.” In geveb (December 2020): Accessed Apr 15, 2021.

            ABOUT THE AUTHOR

            The Editors