Jewish Life

Yiddish Book Center wins National Endowment CARES grant

AMHERST, Massachusetts – The Yiddish Book Center has been named a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES grant. The grants are intended support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Over the past few months we have witnessed tremendous financial distress at cultural organizations across the country, which have been compelled to furlough staff, cancel programs, and reduce operations to make up for revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “NEH is pleased to provide $40 million to preserve thousands of jobs at museums, archives, historic sites, and colleges and universities that are vital to our nation’s cultural life and economy.”

“We are grateful and honored that the Yiddish Book Center was selected to receive an NEH CARES grant for public programs,” said Susan Bronson, the Yiddish Book Center’s executive director. “This grant will help us to retain staff, advance our mission, and reach new audiences during these challenging times.”

The CARES grant will support the creation of new content and programming tied to the Yiddish Book Center’s Decade of Discovery initiative and its 2020 theme, Yiddish in America: Cultural Encounters. This includes free virtual weekly public programs on Yiddish literature and culture, online library discussion groups for the Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries program, and the cataloging and sharing of newly created and curated digital content, such as the Bronx Bohemians blog, launch of the Weekly Reader – an e-newsletter of curated content and articles culled from the Center’s collections, posting of new works in translation, and the addition of a digitized collection of audio lectures, talks, and readings.

For the NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded.

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