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

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Briv funem arkhiv: Bundist Liebmann Hersch Visits Palestine

From the col­lec­tions of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Capetown, recent­ly dam­aged by fire, an impor­tant doc­u­ment of Bundist his­to­ry and a reminder of the glob­al breadth — and pre­car­i­ty — of Yid­dish archives.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Peek Inside Our Inbox

While we usu­al­ly con­ceive of the archive as a place to learn about the past, today we’re look­ing at a repos­i­to­ry that can tell us about the place of Yid­dish in today’s world full of rapid dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion… and spam.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Uriel Weinreich’s Valentine’s Card to his Future Wife, Bina Silverman

In time for Valen­tine’s Day 2021, James Nadel intro­duces us to Uriel Wein­re­ich’s 1948 bilin­gual, mul­ti-page, anti-Valen­tine’s-Day valen­tine to his future wife, Bina Silverman.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Family Treasure, Protected at YIVO

A briv for khanike: a hand­made meno­rah — com­plete with a row of tiny chairs — and hand­made pedestal, a fam­i­ly heir­loom donat­ed to YIVO for safekeeping.

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Briv funem arkhiv: A Memoir in Four Acts: Moyshe Klaynman and Survival at Treblinka

Moyshe Klayn­man’s remark­able 1943 man­u­script relates his ten-month impris­on­ment at the Tre­blin­ka II exter­mi­na­tion camp, his escape dur­ing the August 2, 1943 pris­on­er revolt, and much more. There is only one oth­er known sur­vivor source writ­ten so ear­ly, and there are no oth­er known Tre­blin­ka sur­vivor mem­oirs avail­able only in the orig­i­nal Yiddish.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: Yehoash Signs the Hotel Klibitsky’s Guestbook

Yid­dish poet and trans­la­tor Yehoash lived at the famous Hotel Kli­bit­sky in Rehovot for almost four months in 1914; the hotel fea­tured fre­quent­ly in his pub­lished trav­el­ogue. This note in the hotel’s guest­book, now in the city archive, marks his stay.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Haphazard Yiddish Invoice from the Musterverk Series

Rachelle Gross­man digs up a reveal­ing cler­i­cal mix-up in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Shmuel Rol­lan­sky’s 100-vol­ume Muster­verk series — a moment both fun­ny and trag­ic at the end of the series’ long run.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: A Grave in the Baker Street Jewish Cemeteries

Michael Shapiro takes us to the Work­er’s Cir­cle sec­tion of Boston’s Bak­er Street Jew­ish Ceme­ter­ies, where he encoun­tered a mov­ing Yid­dish poem.

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Briv funem Arkhiv: The Eiffel Tower Heads to the Suburbs

On this 1933 fly­er for a Kul­tur-lige pariz event, a walk­ing, talk­ing Eif­fel Tow­er exclaims, All of Paris is going to the Kultur-lige’s excur­sion to Garch­es, and you want me to stay here?

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Briv funem Arkhiv: An Appeal From Buczacz, 1935

In 1935, New York’s Bucza­cz-Amer­i­can Benev­o­lent Sick and Aid Soci­ety received this appeal — in Yid­dish and Pol­ish— from the Jew­ish Relief Com­mit­tee in Bucza­cz, Poland. One of the sig­na­to­ries was my grand­fa­ther, Moses Wolfthal.

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