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February 28: Molly Picon

Yiddish actress and lyricist Molly Picon (Malka Opiekun) was born on this day in 1898. She first appeared onstage at age six, and was the sensation of the Yiddish theater world of Second Avenue by the early 1920s, following an acclaimed European tour with her husband, actor Jacob Kalich. (“The Yiddish I spoke was completely […]

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February 10: Stella Adler

Stella Adler was born on this day in 1902 in New York to Jacob and Sara Adler, who were luminaries of the Yiddish stage. She was a child actor by four and a star in her own right by the 1920s, before studying Stanislavsky’s “Method” at the American Laboratory Theater (Adler was the only American […]

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The Return of the Repressed: Yiddish in Israel

by Benjamin Weiner Hebrew’s defeat of Yiddish in the language war of early Zionism is well known, but recent scholarship has added to our understanding of the conflict. The works of Dovid Katz and Yael Chaver, in particular, attest to the outright hostility, even physical violence, of the Hebraist camp, and the extent to which […]

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Benkshaft (Longing)

by Rokhl Kafrissen I love to complain about my time as an undergraduate at Brandeis, and the recent barrage of 10th-year reunion mail isn’t exactly letting the sleeping dogs of bitterness lie. Yet I did have some consolations during my college career. One was a CD I picked up the summer before my senior year, […]

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