“Briv funem arkhiv”


Briv funem arkhiv: Bundist Liebmann Hersch Visits Palestine

Elena Hoffenberg

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.


Briv funem Arkhiv: A Peek Inside Our Inbox

The Editors

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.


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

James Nadel

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.


Briv funem Arkhiv: A Family Treasure, Protected at YIVO

Daniel Z. Stein

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.


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

Chad Gibbs and Matthew Greene

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.


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

Shifra Epstein

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.


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

Rachelle Grossman

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.


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.


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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.