Resources in Yiddish Studies: Yiddish Literature and Culture

Zachary M. Baker


This is the fourth install­ment in an online bib­li­o­graph­i­cal series devot­ed to research resources in Yid­dish Stud­ies. The search guide is divid­ed into the fol­low­ing units, which are being pub­lished in installments: 

  1. Meta”-resources: bib­li­ogra­phies, web gate­ways, online schol­ar­ship, index­es, library and archival resources, encyclopedias
  2. Dig­i­tal col­lec­tions in Yid­dish Studies
  3. Yid­dish lin­guis­tic schol­ar­ship, includ­ing dictionaries
  4. Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture and culture
  5. Bib­li­ogra­phies of imprints (by coun­try or region)
  6. Anti-Semi­tism and the Holo­caust (Yid­dish focus)

Since we have begun pub­lish­ing this Research Guide we have received sug­ges­tions for the inclu­sion of addi­tion­al sources, which are always wel­come. Read­ers are invit­ed to con­tribute sug­ges­tions to be incor­po­rat­ed into the guides. 

For a PDF ver­sion of this guide click here.


Lit­er­a­ture: bio­graph­i­cal and bib­li­o­graph­i­cal works; sur­veys
Lit­er­a­ture: Pseu­do­nyms; Bio-bib­li­o­graph­i­cal lex­i­cons
Music, The­ater, Cin­e­ma, Media
Pub­lish­ers, Pub­lish­ing, Libraries

For many of us, literature is the key port of entry to Yiddishland. This section of the Research Guide focuses on print reference sources for Yiddish literature. In addition, resources (including, where available, websites) on Yiddish Music, Theater, Cinema, and Media are included here. Though most of these items originally appeared in print, a significant number have been digitized and are accessible online via the Yiddish Book Center and the Internet Archive. 1 1 A couple of years ago I was invited to contribute a bibliographical survey to a publication that is now on hiatus. One of the subsections of that survey is on Yiddish publishing; rather than let it go to waste I have included it in this section of the Research Guide. An important bibliography on Jewish (including Yiddish) education is included here as well.

Reminder: online audio recordings of Yiddish literature are noted in Part 2 of the Research Guide, Digital Collections in Yiddish Studies.

Literature: biographical and bibliographical works; surveys

Faith Jones observes that Yiddish Studies is especially rich in biographical encyclopedias of authors and theater personalities (from the prominent to the obscure). She writes, “As the sheer number of biographical dictionaries in Yiddish attests, the form took root in secular Yiddish culture as a central genre.” 2 2 Faith Anne Jones. “The Autobiography of Esther Shechter: Yiddish Print Culture in Winnipeg in Transnational Context.” M.A. Thesis (The University of British Columbia, 2014), 11. Entries for the essential leksikonen are included in this subsection. In addition, many Yiddish (and also Hebrew) authors wrote under pen names, and that in turn yielded at least two extensive thesauri of pseudonyms, which are also cited below.

Zachary M. Baker, “Yiddish Studies Pathfinder,” Judaica Librarianship, vol. 3, no. 1-2 (1986-1987), pp. 125-129.

Pathfinders—a genre now superseded by online research guides such as this one—typically provided bibliographical, library-centric overviews of reference tools and major works in specific subject areas. The “Yiddish Studies Pathfinder” listed Library of Congress subject headings, introductory articles, study aids (textbooks), dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, journals, and libraries, plus sections covering core titles in Yiddish language, literature, folklore, theater and film, songs and folk music, and press.

Khayim Beyder and Gennady Estraikh. Leksikon fun Yidishe shrayber in Ratn-farband = Biographical Dictionary of Yiddish Writers in the Soviet Union. New York: Aroysg. fun Alveltlekhn Yidishn kultur-kongres, 2011.

Beyder (1920-2003), a Soviet Yiddish author and editor who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s, collaborated with Estraikh, Clinical Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Rauch Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies at New York University, to produce this bio-bibliographical guide to Soviet Yiddish authors.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 333: Writers in Yiddish. Joseph Sherman, editor. Detroit: Cengage-Gale, 2007.

Includes extensive bio-bibliographical entries (in English) for forty major Yiddish authors. The late Joseph Sherman was the Fellow in Yiddish Studies at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Contributors to the volume include Yiddish literary scholars from North America and Europe. Entries are also accessible online (paid subscription resource) through the Gale Group.

Chaim Leib Fox [Fuks], 100 yor yidishe un hebreishe literatur in Kanade (100 years of Yiddish and Hebrew literature in Canada). Monṭreal: Kh. L. Fuks bukh fond komitet, 1980.

Bio-bibliographical lexicon of Canadian Yiddish authors. The book unfortunately includes a large number of typographical errors.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

French translation: Cent ans de littérature yiddish et hébraïque au Canada = Hundert yor Yidishe oun Hebreyshe literatur in Kanade: Montréal, 1980. [Traducteur: Pierre Anctil.] Sillery, Québec: Septentrion, 2005.

Pierre Anctil, an anthropologist from Quebec, has published numerous translations and studies in French, relating to Yiddish literature in Canada—especially Montreal.

Louis Fridhandler, Indexes to the Works Sholem-Aleykhem.

Fridhandler, who was a frequent contributor to the Mendele e-mail discussion list, compiled this invaluable PDF set of indexes to stories and other writings by Sholem Aleichem in that author’s collected works and selected other sources. It also includes listings of translations into English at the time of its compilation. The indexes, which were compiled circa 2000-2005, are in transliteration.

Ephim H. Jeshurin, 100 yor moderne Yidishe literatur: bibliografisher tsushtayer (One Hundred Years Modern Yiddish Literature: Bibliography). New York: Farlag fun Bildung-komitet fun Arbeter-ring, 1965.

Compilation of previously published bibliographies of books and articles about (not by) individual Yiddish authors.

Berl Kagan, Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers: mit hesofes un tikunim tsum leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur, un 5,800 psevdonimen (Lexicon of Yiddish-Writers). New York: R. Ilman-Kohen, 1986.

Successor to the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur (next entry). Because the “Nayer leksikon” was issued over a period of twenty-five years, Kagan’s Leksikon updates its articles and fills in gaps in its coverage. (For example it includes an entry for Isaac Bashevis Singer, who is absent from the “Nayer leksikon.”) It also includes a list of Yiddish authors’ pseudonyms.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur (Biographical Dictionary of Modern Yiddish Literature). New York: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-Kongres, 1956-1981. 8 vols.

The “Nayer leksikon” was a successor to the titles by Rejzen [Reyzen], below. Biographies of authors included in Reyzen’s 1926-1929 Leksikon were updated and biographies of younger authors were introduced. A number of Yiddish authors—among them Isaac Bashevis Singer and Kadya Molodowsky—refused to have their biographies included in the “Nayer leksikon” because its publication was subsidized by West German reparations funds (through the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany).

English translation (ongoing project): “Yiddish Leksikon” blog. Joshua Fogel, a professor of Chinese history at York University (Toronto), has translated into English—and in some cases, updated—over 3,000 articles from the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur. [editorial note: In geveb interviewed Fogel about his project.]

Leonard Prager, with the help of A. A. Greenbaum, Yiddish Literary and Linguistic Periodicals and Miscellanies: A Selective Annotated Bibliography. Darby, Pa.: Published for the Association for the Study of Jewish Languages by Norwood Editions, 1982.

Annotated bibliography of 386 Yiddish literary magazines and zamlbikher (miscellanies). Includes indexes of titles, editors, contributors, places of publication, years of publication (of the zamlbikher), The computer program that was used to generate the bibliography yielded entries that are entirely in uppercase letters; annotations are in English; Yiddish titles are transliterated.

Melech Ravitch, Mayn leksikon. Montreal: 1945-1982. 4 vols. in 5 (vol. 4, in 2 parts, published in Tel-Aviv, 1980-1982).

A personal view of Yiddish writers, artistic and cultural figures, and public personages, by a noted Yiddish poet and cultural figure.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1 (1945); vol. 2 (1947); vol. 3 (1958); vol. 4, part 1 (1980); vol. 4, part 2 (1982).

Zalman Rejzen [Zalmen Reyzen], Leksikon fun der yidisher literatur, prese un filologye. Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1928-1930. 4 vols.

Reyzen was a leading Yiddish cultural figure in interwar Vilna: editor of the Vilner tog newspaper and a leader of the YIVO Institute. Reyzen’s Leksikon provides the most comprehensive coverage for Yiddish authors who were active through the 1920s. As such, it is not entirely superseded by the “Nayer leksikon” (see above). Its bibliographies are extensive and invaluable, and many entries are accompanied by photographs of their subjects. (However, there is no entry for “Reyzen, Zalmen” [!].) Vols. 1-2 were originally published in 1926-1927, and updated versions were issued in 1928 and 1930. A fifth volume was in preparation when World War II broke out. This edition is the successor to the next title.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1 (1928); vol. 2 (1927); vol. 3 (1929); vol. 4 (1929).

Zalman Rejzen [Zalmen Reyzen], Leksikon fun der yudisher literatur un prese. Warsaw: Tsentral, 1914.

The earliest of numerous bio-bibliographical dictionaries of Yiddish literary personages. Reyzen’s 1914 Leksikon has the following features that distinguish it from later leksikonen: (1) entries for Old Yiddish authors (e.g., Eliyahu ben Asher ha-Levi Ashkenazi, aka Elye Bokher); (2) a bibliography of Yiddish periodicals (1686-1913), and (3) an index of names.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

Elias Schulman and Simon Weber, Leksikon fun Forverts shrayber: zint 1897 (Lexicon of Forward Writers and Contributors since 1897). New York: Forward Association, 1987.

The Forverts, founded in 1897, is the oldest continuously published Yiddish newspaper. This Leksikon includes detailed entries for over 200 of its contributors, journalists and literary authors alike.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

Yivo-bibliografye: a reshime fun di bikher, zhurnaln... vos der Yidisher visnshaftlekher institut hot publikirt in di yorn […]. Nyu-York: Yidisher visnshaftlekher institut, 1943-1955. 2 vols.

Classified bibliography of the YIVO Institute’s scholarly publications from Vilna and New York, from the 1920s until the first half of the 1950s.

Israel Zinberg, Di geshikhte fun der literatur bay yidn. Vilne: Tomor, 1929-1937. 8 vols. in 10.

Chemist by day and literary historian in his spare time, Zinberg (Tsinberg) produced this multivolume history of Jewish literary productivity. Remarkably, he did so in the quickly changing political circumstances of Leningrad during the 1920s and 1930s. (Zinberg was arrested in April 1938 and died either later that year or in early 1939.) Coverage extends from the Middle Ages through the second third of the nineteenth century. Yiddish literature is treated in several volumes, in the context of the Haskalah [Eastern European Jewish Enlightenment], and there is a separate volume devoted to Old Yiddish literature.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1 (1929), vol. 2 (1930), vol. 3 (1931), vol. 4 (1933), vol. 5 (1935), vol. 6 (1935), vol. 7 book 1 (1936), vol. 8 book 2 (1937). Lacking (online): vol. 7 book 2, vol. 8 book 1.

Subsequent editions: (a) New York: M.S. Shklarski, 1943. 9 vols. in 11. Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, vol. 7 book 1, vol. 7 book 2, vol. 8 book 1, vol. 8 book 2. Lacking (online): vol. 9 (Di bli-tkufe fun der haskole).

(b) Buenos Aires: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-Kongres, 1964. 10 vols. Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, vol. 7, vol. 8, vol. 9, vol. 10.

Also available in the following translations:

(a) A History of Jewish Literature. Translated and edited by Bernard Martin. Cleveland, Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1972-78. 12 vols. (b) Toldot sifrut Yisra’el. Mahadurah ‘Ivrit bi-yede Shelomoh Zalman Ari’el u-Varukh Karu. Tel-Aviv: Y. Shreberk, 1955-1971. 7 vols.

Literature: Pseudonyms; Bio-bibliographical lexicons

Saul Chajes, Otsar beduye ha-shem: hu maftea ha-shemot ha-beduyim, shel ha-meabrim be-sifrut Yisra’el be-‘Ivrit uve-‘idit--kinuyehem, simanehem ve-notarikonehem ‘im pitronotehem – mi-tekufat ha-geonim ‘ad ha-et ha-adashah (Thesaurus pseudonymorum quae in litteratura hebraica et judaeo-germanica inveniuntur = Pseudonymen-Lexikon der hebräischen und jiddischen Literatur). Wien: Dr. Heinrich Glanz, 1933.

Reprint editions: Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1967; [Brooklyn, NY]: B. Ogorek, 1992.

Hebrew and Yiddish authors have employed a legion of pen names. Chajes’s Otsar beduye ha-shem is the most comprehensive index of authors’ pseudonyms, up to the time of its publication in 1933.

Reviewed by Zalman Rejzen [Zalmen Reyzen], with addenda, “Psevdonimen in der yidisher literatur” (Pseudonyms in Yiddish literature), in Yivo-bleter, vol. 13 (1938), pp. 585-618.

Yivo-bleter is accessible online via

Berl Kagan, Leksikon fun Yidish-shraybers. New York: R. Ilman-Kohen, 1986.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

List of Yiddish authors’ pseudonyms: cols. 562-812; based on entries in the “Nayer leksikon” and in this volume. Kagan’s list supplements Saul Chajes’s Otsar beduye ha-shem and Zalmen Reyzen’s addenda to the Chajes volume.

Music, Theater, Cinema, Media

Several audio resources for Yiddish music that are listed here were also included in Part 2: Digital Collections. This list also includes some audio resources that were not noted in that section.

Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive: “The Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive was established in 2002 as a repository of sound recordings for researchers and students. Please note, it is not a free music download site. If you are not on campus at Dartmouth College, you will need to have a user account. To register you will need to demonstrate a legitimate scholarly or research purpose” (from its website). The Archive includes over 80,000 entries in all languages, with Yiddish very well represented.

Digital Yiddish Theatre Project
“A research consortium dedicated to the application of digital humanities tools and methods to the study of Yiddish theatre and drama.” The DYTP maintains an active blog of the history of Yiddish performance.

Robert and Molly Freedman Jewish Sound Archive, Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image (SCETI), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA).

Sample recordings are streamed online.

Irene Heskes and Lawrence Marwick. Yiddish American Popular Songs, 1895 to 1950: A Catalog Based on the Lawrence Marwick Roster of Copyright Entries. Washington: Library of Congress, 1992.

This catalog lists Yiddish songs that were registered for copyright in Washington, DC. The roster bears the name of the late head of the Hebraic Section at the Library of Congress, who initiated the bibliographical project that eventually resulted in this publication.

Accessible online via the Hathi Trust.

J. Hoberman, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film between Two Worlds. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

This well documented history of Yiddish cinema was written by a noted film critic.

Reissued in 2010 by the Dartmouth College Press: University Press of New England, and published in association with the National Center for Jewish Film, 2010. The reissue includes the sixty-minute documentary The Yiddish Cinema (on DVD), narrated by David Mamet.

Library of Congress, National Jukebox: Yiddish recordings.

Over 70 Yiddish musical recordings are accessible via this Library of Congress website.

Milken Archive of Jewish Music, Santa Monica, CA.

Founded in 1990 by Lowell Milken, the archive now comprises “over 600 pieces of music by roughly 200 composers.”

Eleanor G. (Chana) Mlotek, Mir trogn a gezang! Favorite Yiddish Songs of Our Generation. 4th ed. New York: Workmen’s Circle Education Dept, 1987.

Originally published in 1972.

Chana Mlotek, the compiler / co-compiler of these anthologies of Yiddish songs, was the long-time music archivist at the YIVO Institute (New York City. “With Yiddish texts and music, parallel transliterations, historical background, synopses, guitar chords” (from the title page of Mir trogn a gezang).

Eleanor G. (Chana) Mlotek, Joseph Mlotek, Pearls of Yiddish Song: Favorite Folk, Art and Theatre Songs. New York: Education Department of the Workmen’s Circle, 1989.

Eleanor G. (Chana) Mlotek, Joseph Mlotek, Barnett Zumoff, Zalmen Mlotek, and Tsirl Waletzky. Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song. New York, NY: Workmen’s Circle, 1990.

Combined Index of Yosl & Chana Mlotek’s 3 Yiddish Songbooks: A-K, L-Z.

National Sound Archive (National Library of Israel).

“The National Sound Archive of Israel provides access to thousands of hours of digitized music recordings.” Access is primarily available only on premises at the NLI in Jerusalem.

The Harry Orvomaa Collection of Jewish Records (via DISMARC).

“Harry Orvomaa (originally Orscholik, 1927-1990) was a Finnish record producer and record collector, and in the 1980s he donated a collection of historical Jewish 78 rpm records to Suomen äänitearkisto, the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound. The collection includes about 280 recordings from many European countries, Palestine and the United States, and spans the decades from the 1910s to the 1950s. The Orvomaa collection has now been digitized with the support of the Kone Foundation, and the catalogue is accessible on the Dismarc (Discover Music Archives) website. There are also label scans, and about half of the recordings are available for streaming. To study the collection, go to and choose ‘advanced search,’ and write HOC in the field ‘archive.’” (From the ARSC Newsletter, no. 142 (2016), p. 12.

Recorded Sound Archives (formerly: Judaica Sound Archives), Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

The RSA’s Judaic Collection “boasts one of the largest and most extensive collections of Judaic music in the world,” with recordings of Yiddish music very well represented in its holdings. Many of the audio tracks of these recordings are fully accessible online via the RSA.

Nahma Sandrow, Vagabond Stars: A World History of Yiddish Theater. New York: Harper & Row, c1977.

The most extensive English-language history of the Yiddish theater, well-illustrated.

Subsequently reissued; most recently by Syracuse University Press, 1996.

Aharon Vinkovetzky, Abba Kovner, Sinai Leichter, [compilers]. Anthology of Yiddish Folksongs (Antologyah le-shire-ʻam be-yidish = Antologye fun yidishe folkslider). Jerusalem: Mount Scopus Publications by the Magnes Press, 1983-2004. 7 vols.

Thematically organized anthology of Yiddish folksongs, with musical notation. Vols. 1-4 (1983-1987) were compiled by Vinkovetzky, Kovner, and Leichter, subdivided into fourteen genres (e.g., Love songs, Weddings and festivals, Hassidic songs, Religious and national songs). Vols. 5-7 (2000-2004) were compiled by Leichter, as follows: 5. The Mordechai Gebirtig Volume; 6. The Mark Warshavsky Volume; 7. The Itzik Manger Volume. Song lyrics are in Yiddish (Hebrew alphabet and transliteration), with English and Hebrew translations. The introduction is in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish.

Yiddish-Language Playscripts (Library of Congress, American Memory).

“The 77 unpublished manuscripts presented here include light comedies and dramas, and have been selected from the more than 1,290 copyright-deposit plays known as the Marwick Collection and housed in the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division.”

Related web publication: The Lawrence Marwick Collection of Copyrighted Yiddish Plays at the Library of Congress: An Annotated Bibliography, by Zachary M. Baker, assisted by Bonnie Sohn. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2004.

Bibliography of over 1,200 Yiddish play scripts registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Scripts copyrighted after June 30, 1909 were deposited at the Library of Congress.

Yiddish Radio Project. A co-production of Sound Portraits Productions and Living Traditions, 2002.

Website for the National Public Radio series about the history of Yiddish radio. Audio examples are in RealPlayer format.

Yiddish Theater Research: A Quick Online Guide, by Amanda Seigel (New York Public Library, Dorot Jewish Division).

“NYPL’s comprehensive Yiddish theater collection includes hundreds of play manuscripts, published plays, sheet music, music manuscripts, memoirs, oral histories, posters, playbills, and photographs, as well as secondary sources.”

Zalmen Zylbercweig, Leksikon fun Yidishn teater. New York: Farlag “Elisheva,” 1931-1969. 6 vols.

Bio-bibliographical encyclopedia of personalities and troupes associated with the Yiddish theater worldwide. Digitization of page proofs for the unpublished seventh volume is in the works.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center: vol. 1 (1931); vol. 2 (1934); vol. 3 (1959); vol. 4 (1963); vol. 5 – Kdoyshim band (1967); vol. 6 (1969).

Index to Zalman Zylbercweig’s Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater, via the New York Public Library. Compiled by Faith Jones in 2001. The links open two PDF documents: About the Leksikon and Zalman Zylbercweig and Alphabetical index to Yiddish Theatre names (pdf).

Concerning Zylbercweig’s Leksikon, see: Faith Jones, “The Fate of Yiddish Dictionaries: Zalmen Zylbercweig’s ‘Leksikon fun Yidishn teater,” in Journal of Modern Jewish Studies vol. 5, no.,3 (2006), pp. 323-342.

English translations of some entries are found online in the Museum of Family History (Steven Lasky, Founder and Director): The Remarkable Zalmen Zylbercweig and His Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre.


Ignatz Bernstein, B. W. Segel. Jüdische Sprichwörter und Redensarten [Yudishe shprikhverter un redensarten]. 2., verm. und verb. Aufl., mit gegenüberstehender Transkription, Index und Glossar. Warschau: In Kommission bei J. Kauffmann in Frankfurt a.M., 1908.

Extensive and “canonical” collection of Yiddish proverbs and sayings. Proverbs are in Yiddish (Hebrew alphabet and transcription), with German translations. Introduction and glossary are in German; includes a Yiddish index. The first edition (only forty-eight pages) was published in Warsaw, 1888.

Accessible online via the Yiddish Book Center and Google Books.

Other editions and related publications:

Yidishe shprikhverter un rednsarten. New York: Brider Kaminski, 1948.

Partial reprint of the 1908 Warsaw edition.

Jüdische Sprichwörter und Redensarten. Im Anhang: Erotica und Rustica. Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1969.

Reprint of the 1908 Warsaw edition, plus its supplement of erotic and “rustic” proverbs (published separately in 1908).

Yiddish Sayings Mama Never Taught You. Gershon Weltman and Marvin S. Zuckerman, [translators]. [Van Nuys, Calif.]: Perivale Press, 1975.

Translation of Erotica und Rustica. English and Yiddish with transcription in Roman characters.

Yidishe shprikhverter. New York: Alveltekher Yidisher kultur-kongres, 1983.

Partial reprint of the 1908 Warsaw edition.

Itzik Nakhmen Gottesman, Defining the Yiddish Nation: The Jewish Folklorists of Poland. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003.

Monograph about Jewish folklore scholarship in Poland to 1939; based on the author’s doctoral dissertation.

I. (Yosef) Guri. Klug vi Shloymeh ha-Meylekh: 500 yidishe folksfarglaykhn fartaytsht oyf hebreish, english un rusish [500 dimuyim be-yidish = 500 ustoĭchivykh sravneniĭ idisha = 500 Yiddish Similes]. Yerushalayim: Hebreisher Universitet in Yerushalayim, Opteyl far Rusishe limudim, 1999.

Collection of Yiddish similes, with equivalents in Hebrew, English, and Russian. The compiler, who is affiliated with the Section for German, Russian, and East European Studies at the Hebrew University (Jerusalem), has published several other quadrilingual collections:

Vos darft ir mer?: 2000 yidishe bilderishe oysdrukn fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English un Rusish [2000 Idiomatic Expressions in Yiddish]. Yerushalayim: Hebreisher Universitet in Yerushalayim, Opteyl far Rusishe limudim, 2002.

Lomir hern gute bsures: yidishe brokhes un kloles [Let’s Hear Only Good News]. Yerushalayim: Hebreisher Universitet in Yerushalayim, Opteyl far Rusishe limudim, 2002.

Collection of Yiddish blessings and curses.

Oyfn shpits tsung: 500 yidishe shprikhverter [500 Yiddish Proverbs]. Yerushalayim: Hebreisher Universitet in Yerushalayim, Opteyl far Rusishe limudim, 2004.

Matai Yehudi tsoḥek: me-otsar ha-humor be-Yidish = Ven lakht a Yid: yidisher humor = When a Jew Laughs: Yiddish Humour = Kogda evrei smeiu︡︠ts︡︠ia: evreïskiï iumor. Yerushalayim: ha-Universitah ha-‘Ivrit bi-Yerushalayim, ha-ug le-Limudim Germaniyim, Rusiyim u-Mizra Eropeiyim; Y. L. Magnes, 2016.

Shirley Kumove, Words Like Arrows: A Collection of Yiddish Folk Sayings. New York: Schocken Books, 1985.

One of many bilingual (Yiddish-English) and multilingual collections of Yiddish proverbs that have been published. In 1999 the compiler produced a companion volume: More Words, More Arrows: A Further Collection of Yiddish Folk Sayings (Detroit: Wayne State University Press). That “collection of more than 2,000 Yiddish sayings from Eastern Europe and North America includes ditties, rhymes and word plays ranging from the comic to the serious, and presents the sayings in bilingual format - both Yiddish and English” (source: Nielsen Book Data).

Beatrice Weinreich and Leonard Wolf, Yiddish Folktales. New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

Anthology of Yiddish folktales, from the collections of the YIVO Institute’s Archives.

Paperback edition: Schocken Books, in cooperation with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1997.

Contents: Naked truths and resplendent parables: allegorical tales. A rooster and a hen, let the story begin: children’s tales. Magic rings, feathers of gold, mountains of glass: wonder tales. Justice, faith, and everyday morals: pious tales. Nitwits, wits, and pranksters: humorous tales. Sages, tzaddikim, and villains: legends. Elves and dybbuks, ghosts and golems: supernatural tales.


Drachler, Norman. A Bibliography of Jewish Education in the United States. Detroit: Wayne State University Press in association with American Jewish Archives, 1996.

This 700-plus-page classified bibliography includes sections on Yiddish secular schools. Citations in Yiddish are scattered throughout many of the other topics covered by this reference work. The compiler worked as a Jewish educator in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Publishers, Publishing, Libraries

The books and articles cited in this section were originally intended for a chapter in an anthology whose publication has been postponed indefinitely.

Esfir Bramson-Alperniene. “Der Vilner yidisher farlag un zayn grinder Boris Kletskin,” Jiddistik Mitteilungen 27 (2002) 8-13.

Beginning in the late 1980s and continuing until her death, Fira Bramson (1924-2016) spearheaded efforts to recover and catalog the Judaica holdings of the National Library of Lithuania. This article is about the great Yiddish literary publishing house founded by Boris Kletskin and headquartered in Vilna.

Esfir Bramson-Alperniene. “Die YIVO-Bibliothek in Wilna: ein Sammelpunkt der jiddischen Kultur,” Jüdische Kultur(en) im Neuen Europa (2004) 5-10.

Article about the Vilna YIVO’s library.

Chagit Cohen. “The USA-Eastern Europe Yiddish Book Trade and the Formation of an American Yiddish Cultural Centre, 1890s-1930s,” Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe 2 [57] (2006) 52-84.

Hebrew version: “Sahar ha-trans-atlanti u-tsemihato shel merkaz tarbut ha-yidish be-Artsot ha-Berit,” ‘Iyunim bi-tekumat Yisra’el 20 (2010) 437-466.

Alejandro Dujovne. “The Book as a Combat Weapon: Intellectuals, Patronage, and Institutions in the Establishment of the Argentine Jewish Publishing Field,” in Perush 2 (2010).

Alejandro Dujovne. “Print Culture and Urban Geography: Jewish Bookstores, Libraries and Printers in Buenos Aires, 1910-1960,” in The New Jewish Argentina (2013) 81-108.

Alejandro Dujovne. Una historia del libro judío: la cultura judia argentina a través de sus editores, libreros, traductores, imprentas y bibliotecas. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, [2014].

Dujovne has published a number of studies on the Jewish book trade, including Yiddish publishing, in Argentina.

Brad Sabin Hill. “Early Hebrew Printing in Canada,” Studia Rosenthaliana 38-39 (2006) 306-347.

Both Hebrew and Yiddish printing and publishing in Canada are covered in this study.

Faith Jones. “A Chimney on the Canadian Prairies: Yiddish-Language Libraries in Western Canada, 1900 to the Present,” Judaica Librarianship 12 (2006) 49-68.

Berl Kagan, Sefer ha-prenumeranṭn: ṿegṿayzer tsu prenumerirṭe hebreishe sforim un zeyere hoșmim fun 8,767 ḳehileș in Eyrope un Tsofn-Afriḳe (Hebrew Subscription Lists). New York: Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; KTAV, 1975.

Printing costs for rabbinical books were commonly underwritten by subscription; lists of subscribers—generally under the names of localities where they resided—were included in the books. From the standpoint of Yiddish Studies, the key feature of this book is that it is arranged alphabetically by the Yiddish names of these cities and towns. As such, it is the most comprehensive gazetteer of Yiddish place names that has been published to date.

Available online via the Yiddish Book Center.

Ellen D. Kellman. “‘Dos yidishe bukh alarmirt!’ Towards the History of Yiddish Reading in Inter-war Poland,” Polin 16 (2003) 213-241.

Yiddish books, libraries, and their readers in Poland.

Herman Kruk. “Library and Reading Room in the Vilna Ghetto, Strashun Street 6,” in The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation, edited by Jonathan Rose (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001).

Kruk was director of the Bronisław Grosser Library (affiliated with the Jewish Labor Bund) in Warsaw before World War II. He fled to Vilna after the outbreak of World War II. For two years, during the Nazi occupation of Vilna (1941-1943) he ran the Vilna Ghetto Library, which was located in the building (and housed the books) of the prewar Mefitse-haskalah library. The diary that he wrote there was found and published after the war. Kruk perished in the Klooga concentration camp, in Estonia.

Maria Kühn-Ludewig. “Blick auf den jiddischen Buchmarkt 1929,” Jiddistik Mitteilungen 14 (1995) 1-18.

The Yiddish book trade in 1929. Maria Kühn-Ludewig has published a number of articles on Yiddish book publishing and libraries.

Maria Kühn-Ludewig. “Den Buchmarkt um die beste Werke bereichern”: auf den Spuren des jiddischen TOMOR-Verlags, Wilna 1927-1939. Hannover: Laurentius, 1996.

Monograph about the Tomor publishing house of Vilna.

Maria Kühn-Ludewig. “Verlage jiddischer Bücher nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg in Berlin,” Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 63 (2008) 93-107.

Yiddish book publishers in Berlin after World War I.

Rebecca E. Margolis. Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil: Yiddish Culture in Montreal, 1905-1945. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011.

Yiddish literary figures, the Yiddish press and schools, and other Yiddish cultural institutions in Montreal are discussed in this book.

Rebecca E. Margolis. “The Yiddish Press in Montreal, 1900-1945,” Canadian Jewish Studies/Etudes Juives Canadiennes 16-17 (2008-2009) 3-26.

After the New York Forverts, the Keneder odler was the North American Yiddish newspaper with the greatest longevity (1907-1988).

Kenneth B. Moss. “Printing and Publishing after 1800,” YIVO Encyclopedia (online).

Overview of Jewish—and Yiddish—publishing in Eastern Europe.

Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov. “The Last Yiddish Books Printed in Poland: Outline of the Activities of Yidish Bukh Publishing House,” in Under the Red Banner (2008) 111-134.

Yidish-bukh was the official publishing house for Yiddish books in post-1945 Poland.

Gilles Rozier. “The Bibliothèque Medem: Eighty Years Serving Yiddish Culture,” Judaica Librarianship 15 (2009) 25-34.

The Medem-bibliotek, in Paris, is the leading Yiddish library and cultural center in Western Europe.

Khone Shmeruk. Sifrut yidish be-Polin: mekarim ṿe-ʻiyunim hisṭoriyim (Yiddish literature in Poland). Yerushalayim: Hotsaʼat sefarim ʻa. sh. Y.L. Magnes, 1981.

Studies on Yiddish literature in Poland, by the leading Israeli scholar on this subject.

Baker, Zachary M. “Resources in Yiddish Studies: Yiddish Literature and Culture.” In geveb, May 2017:
Baker, Zachary M. “Resources in Yiddish Studies: Yiddish Literature and Culture.” In geveb (May 2017): Accessed May 24, 2024.


Zachary M. Baker

Zachary M. Baker is the Reinhard Family Curator Emeritus of Judaica and Hebraica Collections in the Stanford University Libraries and is a member of the core team of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project.