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

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Briv funem arkhiv: Far hashem, yivo un yeyl

A lit­tle piece of bureau­crat­ic uni­ver­si­ty paper­work reminds us of the inter­na­tion­al scope and depth of the work of great Jew­ish schol­ars like Max Weinreich. 

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Briv funem arkhiv: Wulf Winokur, Hebrew Seminarian and Yiddish Humorist in Vilna

Winokur’s let­ters offer a col­or­ful snap­shot of stu­dent life in Vil­na between the world wars.

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Briv funem arkhiv: A Long-Lost Letter from the Author’s Great-Grandfather to Moishe Nadir

A let­ter from a devot­ed read­er to Moyshe Nadir, detail­ing the per­son­al strug­gles and ide­o­log­i­cal mis­giv­ings of a dis­il­lu­sioned Communist.

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Briv funem arkhiv: Nearly pulped, a photo hints at wartime history

A reflec­tion on the weighty lega­cy” of retell­ng the cat­a­stro­phes and upheavals that befell the Jews of Tulchyn.

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Briv funem arkhiv: An American Package for Soviet Jews

A melo­dra­mat­ic stu­dio pho­to­graph illus­trates the widen­ing gap between the Amer­i­can and Sovi­et branch­es of the author’s family.

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Briv Funem Arkhiv: Letters of Sholem Aleichem to Vladimir Waisblat

For our briv funem arkhiv series, Artur Rudz­it­sky dis­cuss­es let­ters between Vladimir Nau­movich Wais­blat and Sholem Ale­ichem con­cern­ing Yid­dish the­ater in Kiev.

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Three Giants of Modern Jewish Literature at YIVO: Excerpts from the Diary of Ezekiel Lifschutz

Ezekiel Lif­schutz’s diary from his time as YIVO chief archivist in the 1960s offers strik­ing evi­dence of the institute’s impor­tance in the wider Jew­ish world. In these pas­sages, we see the per­son­al­i­ties of three giants of mod­ern Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture — Yid­dish poet Abra­ham Sutzkev­er, Eng­lish nov­el­ist Saul Bel­low, and Hebrew writer Shai Agnon — and their rela­tion­ships to the Yid­dish language.

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A Different Type of Seminary: Priests, Cyclists, and Other Tourists Visit the Lublin Yeshiva

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.

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Briv funem arkhiv: “Arabs Make Peace… With the Khalutsim of Liepaja”

Idishe bilder writer Moyshele Vul­fart describes the vis­it of two Arab men from Pales­tine to a kib­butz hakhshara, a prepa­ra­tion kib­butz, in Liepa­ja, Latvia, in 1938. While it was not uncom­mon for such reports to be con­veyed by Jew­ish com­rades on return vis­its from Pales­tine, in this instance the mes­sage-bear­ers were Pales­tin­ian men pre­sum­ably on the oth­er side of the conflict.

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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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