Section Jewish Communities: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Creating Identity: Yiddish Across a Spectrum of Jewish Communities Today


Monday, October 14, 2013 | 7pm
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

The Annual Naomi Prawer Kadar Memorial Lecture

Isabelle Barrière, Brooklyn College
Sarah Bunin Benor, Hebrew Union College
Ross Perlin, Endangered Language Alliance
Paul Glasser (Moderator)

Today, there are approximately half a million Yiddish speakers in the United States. But what role does it play in speakers’ lives? How is Yiddish used by Jewish communities today? Isabelle Barrière, Sarah Bunin Benor and Ross Perlin discussed the ways Hasidic, Modern Orthodox and alternative Yiddish communities use Yiddish both to create a common identity and to establish difference between themselves, non-Jewish society and other Jewish communities.

The Annual Naomi Prawer Kadar Memorial Lecture at YIVO Institute provides an opportunity for the public to explore topics of Yiddish language and linguistics, the history of Yiddish, Yiddish children’s literature, and education. The lecture is supported by the Naomi Prawer Kadar Foundation, Inc. The Naomi Foundation® is dedicated to reimagining education. As an extension of Naomi Prawer Kadar’s life’s work, the foundation’s goal is to empower educators and promote leadership in education in order to inspire and nurture the next generation. Through entrepreneurial and established channels and together with their partners and grantees, the Naomi Foundation drives innovation to create meaningful and lasting impact. The Naomi Foundation champions Yiddish, Naomi’s lifelong passion, as a vibrant, rich, and contemporary language. The Naomi Foundation advances the teaching and learning of Yiddish, particularly in academic and scholarly settings.

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The Passage (2013, 53′) – Trailer


“The Passage” (53 min) is an ethnographic documentary about being and becoming Jewish in contemporary Poland, seen through the prism of the experiences of three young adults. The film explores the lived realities of the Jewish Community in Wrocław shaped by the haunting legacy of the past and the globalized transformation of the present.

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