CONTRIBUTOR

Zackary Sholem Berger

Zackary Sholem Berger writes and translates in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. He was a Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow in 2013 and has published five collections of original poetry—Not in the Same Breath (Yiddish House, 2011), One Nation Taken Out of Another (Apprentice House, 2014), All the Holes Line Up (Ben Yehuda Press, 2019), Vi Lebt Zikh Dortn (self-published, 2019), and Covid: Poems, Impressions, and Testimonies from a Pandemic (Yiddish Branzhe, 2023). His translation of Avrom Sutzkever's prose poetry, Essential Prose, was published in 2020 by White Goat Press, and his illustrated bilingual edition of Sutzkever's Ode to the Dove was published in 2023 by Ben Yehuda Press. His best known Yiddish literary work is likely his translation of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat (Di Kats der Payats, 2003).

Berger’s work has been translated into a number of languages, and he has taught about Yiddish poetry in a variety of settings. By day a primary care physician and bioethicist, he lives with his Yiddish-speaking family in Baltimore.

RELATED ARTICLES

Texts & Translation

New Yiddish Poetry from the Israel-Gaza War

Zackary Sholem Berger, Tal Hever-Chybowski, Eli Sharfstein, Miriam Trinh, Refaat Alareer and Ber Kotlerman

Translation by Zackary Sholem Berger, A. Z. Foreman, David Forman, Jessica Kirzane and A. C. Weaver

A collection of recent Yiddish poetry published and performed in the wake of the war. 

Blog

Yiddish Studies - Present and Future: A Conference Marking the 15th Yortsayt of Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter (z’’l)

Zackary Sholem Berger

Yiddish Studies - Present and Future: A conference marking the 15th yortsayt of Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter (z’’l) included discussion and debate.

Texts & Translation

Erasing the Written, Rewriting the Erased: A Fragmented and Imperfect Tribute to Vogel

Zackary Sholem Berger

Zackary Sholem Berger renders two poems by Vogel anew via the poetic method of translation-erasure, revealing through distortion the contours that lead from language to language across the decades. 

Review

Not Entirely Off the Derech: A Review of Ayala Fader’s Hidden Heretics

Zackary Sholem Berger

Ayala Fader’s new book analyzes the double lives of hidden heretics — and how they are forced into such a bifurcated existence. It’s hard for a Yiddishist to maintain a neutral distance from Hidden Heretics, which is devoted to Hasidim who have almost gone completely off the religious path, but still stay inside their communities, leading double or multiple lives. 

Blog

Voices from Black Lives Matter Protests: קולות פֿון בלעק לײַװס מעטער פּראָטעסטן

Zackary Sholem Berger, Sara Feldman and Anthony Russell

Bilingual reflections compiled by Zackary Sholem Berger and authored by Berger, Sara Feldman, and Anthony Russell, Jewish activists who took part in recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Texts & Translation

דרײַ לידער

Three Poems

Leyb Kvitko

Translation by Harriet Murav and Zackary Sholem Berger

Three poems by Leyb Kvitko from his 1919 collection, Trit.

Blog

An Idiosyncratic Round-Up of Yiddish Poetry in 2018

Zackary Sholem Berger

A list of all Yiddish books of poetry published in 2018, sorted alphabetically by the author’s last name, together with my individual idiosyncratic impressions about what this book tells us about Yiddish poetry today.

Blog

The Lonely Hero Needs Reanimating: Poems by Yisroel Nekrasov | רעאַנימאַטאָרן קענען אַלץ: לידער פֿון ישׂראל נעקראַסאָוו

Zackary Sholem Berger

A new book of contemporary Yiddish poetry from the Russian writer Yisroel Nekrasov considers murder, reanimation, the geography of time, and the long work of mourning. 

Blog

Translation from Yiddish: Whys and Wherefores

Zackary Sholem Berger

Zackary Sholem Berger reflects upon the roundtable discussion at AJS last December that inspired this series, and on his own motivations as a translator from Yiddish and a writer in English and Yiddish. 

Blog

The Virtuoso of Loneliness: A Brief Invitation to Leyeles

Zackary Sholem Berger

Hear the voice of Yiddish poet Aaron Glantz-Leyeles as he meditates on the loneliness of the Yiddish writer while still embracing the magic of the American landscape.

Texts & Translation

אַ לוויה אין רעגן

A Funeral in the Rain

Abraham Sutzkever

Translation by Zackary Sholem Berger

A prose poem from Abraham Sutzkever’s 1975 volume Green Aquarium. “A man with a heavy bag on his back approaches a dark city in a rainstorm...” 

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