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Episode 77: Word of the Week: Yenta

How did a popular Yiddish woman's name come to mean gossip and busybody? In the first of our new Word of the Week mini-series, we trace the evolution of the word yenta. Producer Jen Richler talks with Fiddler on the Roof scholar Jan Lisa Huttner, comedian Judy Gold, author Lizzie Skurnick, and TikTok star and Torah commentator Miriam Anzovin. And in a special cameo...Yente the Matchmaker herself!

This episode includes music by Alicia Jo Rabins (www.aliciajo.com).

Released May 24, 2022
  • Bea Arthur as Yente (center) in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1964. 

  • Molly Picon (right) as Yente the Matchmaker in the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof (via Digital Yiddish Theatre Project).

  • Critic, journalist, activist, and independent scholar Jan Lisa Huttner. Credit: Rob Copeland.

  • Talmudic TikTok sensation Miriam Anzovin. Photo courtesy of Miriam Anzovin. 

  • Comedian Judy Gold. Photo courtesy of Judy Gold. 

  • Board Member Lizzie Skurnick, Headshot

  • Bea Arthur as Yente in Fiddler on the Roof - center of a row of people singing in musical
  • Two women are talking, their faces close together
  • Jan Lisa Huttner Headshot
  • Miriam Anzovin posing with ring light.
  • Judy Gold Headshot
  • Lizzie Skurnick Headshot


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Episode 77: Word of the Week: Yenta." (Viewed on March 5, 2024) <http://jwa.org/podcasts/canwetalk/episode-77-work-week-yenta>.