Yiddish Book Center

Yiddish Book Center

1021 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
The Yiddish Book Center was founded in 1980 by Aaron Lansky, then a twenty-four-year-old graduate student of Yiddish literature (and now the Center's president). In the course of his studies, Lansky realized that untold numbers of irreplaceable Yiddish books—the primary, tangible legacy of 1,000 years of Jewish life in Eastern Europe—were being discarded by American-born Jews unable to read the language of their Yiddish-speaking parents and grandparents. He organized a nationwide network of zamlers (volunteer book collectors) and launched a concerted campaign to save the world’s remaining Yiddish books before it was too late.

Today, the Yiddish Book Center, an organization that began by rescuing dusty books, is attracting unprecedented numbers of young people, including students, interns, and fellows. It’s now a truism that if you want to hire Yiddish-speaking staff, you look for people under the age of thirty. That’s an astonishing transformation in just three decades. It furthers the Center’s commitment to bringing the “flip side” of Jewish life—the too-often overlooked constellation of modern Jewish literature and culture—to new generations. Now in our fourth decade, our optimism and determination have never been greater.

For More Information

Contact person: Lisa Newman
Phone: 413-256-4900
[email protected]
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    In cooperation with LOCAL PARTNERS

    Jewish Federation of Western MA  - Jewish Federation of the Berkshires