1) Findjan (Oron Joffe)
2) Findjan (Hannah Kadmon)
3) Froyim (Ephraim) Kaganowski (Bracha Weingrod)
4) Yiddish Book Center Fellowship/Steiner Summer Program (National Yiddish Book Center)
5) Zusman Segalowicz (Leslie Rubinson)
6) Tfise-lid (Norbert Hirschhorn)
7) Yiddish translators wanted (Gwen Glazer)
8) khores/kheyrus (Rick Turkel)
9) A Yiddish Song project (Yale Strom)
Paid Fellowship Opportunity:
The Yiddish Book Center is accepting applications (applications are due by January 4th,
2013) for its prestigious one-year Fellowship. Fellows, who work as paid staff at the
Center, spearhead new initiatives and programs. Fellows have worked on the launch of
the Center’s Wexler Oral History Project; overseeing the remastering and digitization of
more than 1,500 rare audio recordings of lectures by renowned Yiddish writers; support
of on-site and online Yiddish courses; helping with the development of a tablet-based
multimedia Yiddish textbook; the launch of a translation website; production of a weekly
podcast series; publication; and more. The Fellowship provides candidates with a unique
opportunity to develop professional skills and experience. The Fellowship Program
begins in September 2013 and runs through August 2014. Learn more:
The Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Apply Now!
The Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program offers college students a
seven-week, six credit, tuition-free, exploration of Yiddish language and culture. The
program includes beginning and intermediate Yiddish language instruction and Yiddish
culture classes. The program runs from June 9-July 26, 2013. Six undergraduate college
credits will be available through the University of Massachusetts. Limited housing
subsidies are available, based on need. The 2013 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program is
open to all full-time college students under the age of 26. To learn more and to apply
(applications are due by February 10, 2013)
Does anyone have any family information on the poet/writer Zusman Segalowicz from
Bialystok? My cousin, whose great-grandfather was a Segalowicz from Bialystok, is
interested to learn if there is a family connection.
My name is Gwen Glazer, and I work at Cornell University Library. We recently
announced a new project involving Yiddish-speakers helping to translate journals and
newspapers, and we thought you and your readers might be interested to know about it.
Details about the project can be found in our press release
and we would be happy to discuss any questions you may have.
In reply to Ruth Murphy’s question (Mendele 22.008) about the term khores/kheyrus:
There are two Hebrew words, one being “chorus” (ch for ches, not kh, which usually
represents a khof), meaning “carved” or “engraved,” and the other “cheyrus,” meaning
“freedom” or “liberty.” I’m not a literature person but from the context the latter seems to
make more sense.
Samuel Vladimirovich Polonski was born in 1902 in Ukraine; from 17-20 years old he
served in the Red Army, and by his early 20s was already leading musical ensembles and
choruses. He died at the age of 52 in 1955, two years after Stalin died. In 1931, there
were Yiddish schools, theatres, choruses, the autonomous republic of Birobidzhan had
just been founded, and the Songbook, comprising 19 separate numbers, was presumably
prepared for use in the Yiddish school system and by Yiddish choruses. The lyrics, many
of them, are by the most respected names in the Soviet Yiddish pantheon: Itsik Fefer,
Perets Markish, Izi Kharik, and others. Subject matter includes pastoral scenes and
village life, collective farming, a woman who becomes a tractor driver, the death of
Lenin, the Red Army, the machine rhythms of a shoe factory, and seamstresses.
Yiddish culture enjoyed a spotty and often tragic career in the USSR, but we can
understand these songs by Shmuel Polonski as a record of a fleeting, uplifting moment in
time, and as a legacy to the future for us to discover and cherish. The CD will render the
whole set of 19 songs faithfully, creatively, and professionally, with name vocal talent
and fresh instrumental arrangements. Klezmer musician, composer and ethnographer
Yale Strom and Eric Gordon, Director Emeritus of SoCal Arbeter Ring, are the
producers. If you are interested in being one of the singers for the Polonski project,
please submit one example of you singing a Yiddish folk or art song. Send your just one
MP3 to Yale Strom. firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to begin recording sometime in the fall 2013 and release the CD in 2014.
As a volunteer translator for the Yiddish Center in Amherst, I am seeking information of
a more personal nature about this fine Yiddish author. I have translated several of his
short stories from FIGURN. (Warsaw 1937) and feel that I am actually beginning to
But it occurred to me that there may be others out there who REALLY knew him, of him,
about him??? Perhaps family or friends??
There is a comprehensive description of him in the YIVO encyclopedia website…..but I
would greatly appreciate more personal memories, mayselekh and recollections.
A sheynem dank,
Helen Katz asks about the source of the “Findjan Song” in Yiddish. I’m afraid I haven’t
come across it before, so can’t answer her question directly, but the Hebrew version was
written by Hayim Hefer (Feiner) in 1947 and according to him
he wrote the words (rather than translate them). It is sung to the tune of an Armenian folk
song which was already known in the Palmach at that time. In other words, it seems
likely that the Hebrew version preceded the Yiddish one.
In Mendele Vol. 22.008, Helene B. Katz raised a question about the song
Here is my response to the question. The Yiddish version has almost nothing to do with
Hebrew contents of the song written by Khayim Khefer who was then in the Palmach, in
1947, to the melody of an Armenian shepherd folksong.
Yaakov Shonberg, in Berlin, collected Hebrew songs sung by those who came to Berlin
from the Land of Israel in 1935 and printed the notes to the songs.
The melody in his notes is the exact melody sung by Israelis whereas the
Armenian melody is slightly different.
The assumption is that a young man in the Palmach heard the song in his parents’ house
in Germany and introduced the melody to his friends.
This person who is also searching features your song (Prison Song)– although it looks
like a ‘lost’ melody.