Women of Valor


New Audiences

Molly Picon, 1898 - 1992

In the early 1930s, Picon continued to reach new audiences at home and abroad. She and Kalich traveled extensively, performing throughout Europe (to "touch base with [their] Yiddish roots"), South America, and South Africa. In 1932, the couple visited the renowned author and poet, Chaim Nachman Bialik, in Palestine. Publicly challenging the community's "Hebrew only" policies, Picon performed exclusively in Yiddish. "At that time, Palestinians were adamant about speaking only Hebrew. Yiddish was outlawed, and very often-bloody fights occurred between those who spoke only Hebrew and those who spoke only Yiddish." Between her international travels, Picon continued to delight audiences at home. In 1934, she began broadcasting her first radio show. Taped both in Yiddish and English, the show, first sponsored by Jell-O and then later by Maxwell House, exposed her to an ever wider American audience.

  1. "At that time, Palestinians ..." Picon, Molly & Bergantini Grillo, Jean, Molly! (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980) 58.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Molly Picon - New Audiences." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/picon/new-audiences>.