21 June 2008

Summer Yiddish: Arts, memories

There's always something going on at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Center will soon be putting the full content of its Yiddish books online. This will make all of Yiddish literature "virtually" available, and free to everyone with an Internet connection; readers can see each book page-by-page.

The Center is asking readers to help out by adopting a digital book in honor or memory of a loved one. Names and personal commemorations will appear forever on the title page of the book.

To earn more about the program or adopt a Yiddish book in your family’s name, click here. View the Adopt-a-book Honor Roll with donors' names and commemorations here.

The fourth annual Paper Bridge Summer Arts Festival will run July 6-17. Explore the range of modern Jewish culture, first-rate musical performances, unique documentary films, author talks, morning and afternoon screenings and workshops.

Attendees can come for just one show, enjoy a full day, or stay for the week. For more information, click here.

This year's presenters include filmmakers Jon and Andrew Cooke screening their documentary about Will Eisner; Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys with their blend of Appalachian fiddle tunes and klezmer melodies; Michael Wex, author of the bestseller Born to Kvetch; Tony Award nominee Eleanor Reissa presents a celebration of Yiddish music and humor, Klezmer-fusion musician SoCalled's eclectic mix of jazz, hip-hop and klezmer; Michael Alpert and Hankus Netsky's klezmer dance party.

The festival also features the Paper Bridge Workshops. This year's theme is Translate and Preserve Your Memories

Bookbinder and rare-book specialist Barbara Blumenthal will offer suggestions on the best ways to archive family letters, postcards, recipes and photographs so they’ll be protected for future generations.

Receive help in understanding Yiddish writing in family documents at the Translate Your Memories workshops. These will be conducted by teachers from the Summer Internship program: Yuri Vedenyapin grew up in Moscow and is a preceptor in Yiddish at Harvard; Ellen Kellman is assistant professor in Yiddish Language and Literature at Brandeis; and Naomi Seidman grew in a Yiddish-speaking home in Brooklyn and is currently the Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and the director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

Click here for details.

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