Essays, interviews, listicles, podcasts, and much more, covering all aspects of Yiddish culture.


Briv funem Arkhiv: Di Korbones fun "Vaysn Sam"

Sam Glauber-Zimra

This 1939 article and photograph in a Warsaw Yiddish weekly — depicting “a typical female cocaine addict [kokainistke] with a crazed expression in the eyes,” according to the caption — point to the spread of recreational drug use within the Jewish community and its emergence as a subject of interest in the Yiddish press.


Briv funem Arkhiv: Letter from Itzik Manger to Sholem Asch

David Mazower

Is there a more extraordinary and self-lacerating letter in all of Yiddish literature than this airmail from its most beloved poet to its most celebrated novelist?


Briv funem Arkhiv: Letter from Sylvia Schneiderman to Itche Goldberg

Josie Naron

Josie Naron gives us a glimpse into the pressures felt by the children of Jewish leftists targeted by McCarthyism and the role of Yiddish summer camps at the height of the Red Scare.


Briv funem Arkhiv: Vella Grade, Fruit and Vegetable Seller

Saulė Valiūnaitė

Saulė Valiūnaitė finds Chaim Grade’s mother Vella listed as a fruit and vegetable seller in interwar Vilna, just as Grade movingly depicts her in his memoir.


Briv funem Arkhiv: A Book Receipt Issued to Martin Buber, 1915

Sam Berrin Shonkoff

Sam Shonkoff shares a receipt issued to Martin Buber for his purchase of thirty-three Hasidic volumes to be shipped from Przemyśl, Galicia, to his current home in Berlin, in October 1915 — in the midst of World War I and a turbulent year for Przemyśl’s Jews.


Briv funem Arkhiv: A Masquerade Ball in Warsaw, 1925

Alyssa Quint

For our first briv funem arkhiv, Alyssa Quint shares a Halloween-themed find: a pamphlet for a 1925 masquerade ball in Warsaw.