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Yiddish Literature

Blume Lempel

Blume Lempel was a master of stream-of-consciousness, flashback, free association and eroticism—all rare in Yiddish literature. Her modern short-story style was appropriate to her themes, which were often daring: incest—Oedipus in Brooklyn (1981), rape—Aleyn in Eynem (Alone Together, 1989) and the ambivalent attraction of one woman to another (Correspondents, 1992).

Malka Lee

A writer of lyrical and sometimes sentimental poetry, Malka Lee was one of the most beloved female poets writing in Yiddish in America during her lifetime. Her poems had great folk appeal to Yiddish readers as reflections of their own experiences in the Old World and the New. Her work was favorably received by literary critics of the time, such as Shmuel Niger and Melech Ravitch. In 1965, she was awarded the Hayim Greenberg Award of Pioneer Women of America.

Esther Kreitman

As the only female writer in what many consider the most singular family in the history of Yiddish literature, Esther Kreitman and her small literary output have been overshadowed by the voluminous works of her brothers I.J. and I.B. Singer.

Rokhl Häring Korn

Rokhl Häring Korn is a major figure in modern Yiddish literature. Her early work established her reputation as a brilliant narrative writer in verse and prose and a passionate lyric poet. In her later work she developed into a poet of complex, sustained meditation, with a remarkable ability to turn her life into symbol. In the course of her writing career she published eight volumes of poetry and two collections of fiction.

Lyalya Kaufman

Although her earliest writings for the Forverts were translated from Russian to Yiddish by Dina Blond-Mikhelovitch, Lyalya Kaufman wrote most of her over two thousand sketches and short stories in Yiddish herself. Up until her death in 1964, Kaufman, the eldest daughter of Sholem Aleichem, was the only one of his six children who pursued a literary career.

Miriam Karpilove

Miriam Karpilove was one of the most prolific and widely published women writers of Yiddish prose. Her short stories and novels explore issues important in the lives of Jewish women of her generation. Frequent themes are the upbringing of girls and women in Eastern Europe, the barriers they encounter when they seek secular education, and the conflicts they experience upon immigration to North America.

Ita Kalish

Ita Kalish, Zionist activist, Jewish Agency employee and Israeli civil servant, journalist and memoir writer, was born April 5, 1903 in Maciejowice, Poland. Her father, Rabbi Mendel of the Warka Hasidic dynasty, at that time rabbi of the town, later succeeded his father Rabbi Simha Bunem of Warka as Rebbe of Otwock.

Judaic Studies in the United States

When the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) was established in 1969 as the professional organization of scholars in the interdisciplinary field of Judaic studies, there were no women among its founders. In 2005–06 women comprised 41% of the AJS membership. Within the past generation a field that was traditionally dominated by men has gradually witnessed the emergence of a significant number of women scholars.

Jean Jaffe

From the 1920s until her death, Jean Jaffe distinguished herself as one of the leading journalists in the Yiddish press. Jaffe roamed the globe as a reporter—the very best in her field according to some colleagues. A lifelong Labor Zionist, Jaffe spent several lengthy periods in Palestine and Israel.

Holocaust Literature

Studies of women and the Holocaust, or gender and the Holocaust, are part of a dynamic, evolving field. As part of literary studies, their approaches draw upon the many other fields and methodological approaches, such as history of the Holocaust, gender history, psychology, trauma theory, literary theory, life writing, women’s studies, religious studies and gender theory.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish Literature." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/yiddish-literature>.

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