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YIVO Yiddish Club celebrates Yiddish language & culture

(NEW YORK, NY) – The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has announced this fall’s YIVO Yiddish Club sessions. An event for Yiddish enthusiasts the world over, the YIVO Yiddish club is an informal monthly gathering to celebrate Mame-loshn. Hosted by Shane Baker, sessions take place in English, and are liberally peppered with Yiddish. Each month Baker is joined by a guest who discusses their work and a related Yiddish cultural theme. 

In the spirit of a club, sessions are held as interactive Zoom meetings in which participants can see and hear one another. Each session includes ample time for audience questions, group discussion, and, time permitting, knock-down, drag-out arguments. Attendees need not know any Yiddish to attend, though some familiarity with the language is highly recommended. 

Yiddish Club, which began in February 2021, has covered topics such as theater, film, food, comedy, music, and more. This season will look at Yiddish in Israel and Rio, as well as Yiddish songwriting and will feature Mendy Cahan, Adah Hetko, and Sonia Kramer. 


All sessions are offered free of charge and are held on Zoom.

Contemporary Yiddish Creativity in Israel with Mendy Cahan 

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2 p.m. 


Mendy Cahan is a Yiddish singer, actor, badkhn, teacher, and founder of the YUNG YiDiSH Library and Cultural center in Tel Aviv which hosts a variety of activities to  strengthen Yiddish culture in Israel. Cahan performs on Yiddish stages worldwide and at the Gesher Theatre in Tel Aviv. He has appeared in award-winning films including Murer: Anatomie eines Prozesses and the Oscar-awarded Son of Saul, for which he was also the Yiddish coach. Cahan will soon be seen in the upcoming Netflix series Diamonds. He currently lectures about Yiddish Literature at Alma College and is active as a volunteer for YUNG YiDiSH.

Info: yivo.org/YiddishClub13 

Yiddish Songwriting Today with Adah Hetko 

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m.


Adah Hetko is a Yiddish singer, songwriter, and educator living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Hetko graduated with a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Indiana University in 2018 and worked as a Graduate Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center from 2018-2019. She has been a fellow and staff member for Yiddish New York and has coordinated multidisciplinary programs for KlezKanada’s 2020 and 2021 retreats. Hetko is lead vocalist and dance leader for klezmer band Burikes and performs with the Yiddish song trio Levyosn. In addition to performing traditional songs, she composes new Yiddish songs and poetry settings, and English-language adaptations and translations.

Info: yivo.org/YiddishClub14 

Yiddish in Rio with Sonia Kramer 

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m.


Sonia Kramer is a Professor of Pontific Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro/PUC-Rio, and coordinator of the “Núcleo Viver com Yiddish [Lebn far Yiddish Center]: research, courses and cultural projects.” Kramer has worked for many years as a teacher and researcher of language, literature, and pedagogy, publishing extensively on these subjects. Since 2015, her work has focused on Yiddish including developing a musical group, workshops on Yiddish music and literature for children in Jewish schools, Yiddish courses, and doing research on women that wrote in Yiddish. 

Info: Info: yivo.org/YiddishClub15

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of East European Jewry worldwide. For nearly a century, YIVO has pioneered new forms of Jewish scholarship, research, education, and cultural expression. Our public programs and exhibitions, as well as online and on-site courses, extend our outreach to a global community. The YIVO Archives contains 24 million unique items and YIVO’s Library has over 400,000 volumes—the single largest resource for the study of East European Jewish life in the world.

For more information, visit yivo.org 

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