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


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.


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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 1987 Poster Announcing Pilgrimages to Lezajsk (Lizhensk)

Shifra Epstein

Posters like this one for special events, graduations, sales of Hasidic garments, computers, new books, videos and more are still popular in the Hasidic neighborhoods of Brooklyn. However, in recent years the internet has changed the business.


Briv funem Arkhiv: An Appeal From Buczacz, 1935

Maurice Wolfthal

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.


Briv funem Arkhiv: The Eiffel Tower Heads to the Suburbs

Nick Underwood

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?


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

Michael Shapiro

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