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Yiddish

Sophie Okonedo wins a Tony Award for “Raisin in the Sun”

June 8, 2014
"I feel as proud to be Jewish as I feel to be black." Tony Award winner Sophie Okonedo

Glückel of Hameln

Glückel bas Judah of Hameln’s remarkable life as a businesswoman and world traveler was preserved in her own words, thanks to the autobiography she wrote over the course of several years.

Aliza Greenblatt

Aliza Greenblatt’s career led her on two very different Jewish journeys, as a philanthropist who organized massive support for the State of Israel, and as a popular Yiddish poet.

Ruth Emmerman Peizer

Ruth Peizer’s love affair with Yiddish began when her parents, Riva and Abraham Immerman, sent their only child to Chicago’s Arbeiter Ring [Workmen’s Circle] school at age nine, and then to the Sholem Aleichem Institute where she graduated valedictorian at age 18. Since moving to (West) Seattle in 1949, Ruth has become Seattle’s preeminent Yiddish instructor, teaching at the University of Washington in the 1980s and through the Jewish Federation today. Ruth’s knowledge of Yiddish has impacted her entire life through Yiddish culture including her adoration of Yiddish theatre, literature and music. Yiddish has also opened many doors all over the world for Ruth and her husband, Dr. Samuel Peizer, from her sponsorship of Russian refusniks seeking asylum in Seattle to her sending humanitarian aid to the Baltics since 1992.

Ruth Emmerman Peizer, 1923 - 2013

Ruth Emmerman Peizer passed away peacefully on October 23, 2013. Ms. Peizer left an indelible mark on the Jewish community as a Yiddish authority in Seattle. She shared her passion and expertise in literary Yiddish by teaching classes at the University of Washington, Jewish Education Council, Hebrew High School, and Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

Pearl Lang

I, too, was a Midwesterner transposed to New York, trying to find my own way in the rich and heady dance scene. I knew Pearl Lang had come from Chicago, where she was raised in a cultured but poor Yiddish-speaking family. Her breathtaking career as a Graham dancer meant she had toured the world. And she often performed with her own company, the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, at the famed 92nd Street Y’s theater, where I went for performances by modern dance legends and for Fred Berk’s Wednesday night Israeli folk dancing. But now I was going to Hunter to see Lang’s “Shirah,” which she created in 1960.

Meet “Bulletproof Stockings” and “Yiddish Princess”

Today we feature female American Jewish musicians who aren’t softly crooning classic Hebrew folk songs, traditional prayers, or even hava nagila. They are not belting out Broadway tunes or love songs à la Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler. These women are rocking out to their own beat.

My Surrogate Jewish Grandmas

You know those heartwarming chick flicks where women with seemingly little in common are forced together by circumstance, bond over something like quilting, beekeeping, small-town politics or a Jan

Who would Cynthia Ozick’s Edelshtein envy now?

Reading Adam Kirsch’s excellent piece in Tablet on Isaac Bashevis Singer reminded me of my all-time favorite short story, Cynthia Ozick’s “Envy, or Yiddish in America,” wherein the hilariously bitter Edelshtein is obsessed with Yankel Ostrover (a Singer-like figure), consumed by the fact that Ostrover has obtained mainstream adulation through having his Yiddish writing translated into English.  

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yiddish." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/yiddish>.

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