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Yiddish

Miriam Karpilove

Miriam Karpilove’s wildly popular Yiddish stories explored the tensions and frustrations Jewish women faced at the turn of the century—the desire for secular education, the hunger to participate in a wider culture, and the hardships of immigration.

Jean Jaffe

Jean Jaffe’s career was doubly remarkable: she was a field reporter at a time when women were usually relegated to the society pages and a Yiddish-language journalist at a time when most American reporters wrote in English.

Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn

Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn’s popular Yiddish tales not only painted a vivid portrait of the lost shtetl of her youth, but also added a dimension male authors of the time had missed: a nuanced and complex picture of the lives of Jewish women.

Know Your Yiddish!

I have often marveled at words like culaccino, which in Italian means "The mark on a table left by a cold glass." Words like this simply can’t be replaced by the sum of their parts. The English language has a wealth of words to choose from—over a million by some estimates—to complete the perfect turn of phrase. But, alas, sometimes one million words are not enough to lovingly tell your boyfriend that he has cream cheese in the corner of his mouth.

Celia Dropkin

Celia Dropkin defied both social and artistic conventions with her sensual, free-verse, Yiddish poetry.

Shoshana Damari

Shoshana Damari’s lush voice and her fusion of Eastern and Western musical aesthetics made her the voice of a generation in Israeli music.

Chaske Blacker

In her short life, Chaske Blacker wrote two novellas and a dozen short stories while acting as the main breadwinner for her two children and her poet husband.

Evelyn Torton Beck

Evelyn Torton Beck made contributions to women’s studies and the Jewish community through her scholarship and her efforts to ensure lesbian inclusion in Jewish life.

Belle Barth

A bawdy comedian who inspired Bette Midler, Belle Barthe narrowly avoided trouble with the law by delivering some of her most wicked punch lines in Yiddish.

Ruth R. Wisse

Ruth R. Wisse made major contributions to Yiddish literature as both a scholar and an editor.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish." (Viewed on December 11, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/yiddish>.

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