Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman bridged the old world and the new as an award-winning modern writer of Yiddish poetry. Schaechter-Gottesman grew up in a family of Yiddish linguists and writers, but soon after marrying Dr. Jonah Gottesman in 1941, she and her family were detained in a ghetto. They eventually returned to Vienna, where Jonah served as a doctor in the Displaced Persons camps and Beyle worked with the Freeland League (later called the League for Yiddish) beginning in 1947. She immigrated to America in 1950 but continued her involvement with the group throughout her life. In America, she mentored young poets, edited Yedies fun YIVO and Afn Shvel, and was secretary of the Yiddish PEN club. She began writing in 1956, starting with Khayml un taybele, a children’s book, and balanced books and music for children with poetry for adults, including her experimental Perpl shlenglt zikh der veg in 2002, which combined poetry with visual art. She was honored with numerous awards, from the Usher Tshutshinsky Prize of the World Congress for Jewish Culture in 1994 to the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Award in 2005.


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Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman learned folk songs from her mother and a love for Yiddish from her father. After a lifetime of writing poetry, stories, folklore, songs and children's literature in the language of her childhood, she remains a force on the Yiddish educational scene.

Courtesy of Linda Lipsky

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman." (Viewed on March 8, 2021) <>.


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