Yiddish: Biography of a Language
Jeffrey Shandler in Conversation with Eitan Kensky
Sunday, April 25 | 11am – 12:45pm Pacific Time
In collaboration with KlezCalifornia
By donation – RSVP to get the Zoom link
Jeffrey Shandler’s new book, Yiddish: Biography of a Language presents the story of Yiddish in the unusual form of a biographical profile. In conversation with Eitan Kensky, Shandler will discuss how telling the story of Yiddish in this way offers revealing insights into the language’s dynamic relationship with its speakers and their culture. Together Shandler and Kensky will explore the wide range of symbolic values that Yiddish speakers and others have made in the language.
Read Howard Freedman’s book review in J. The Jewish News of Northern California.
Jeffrey Shandler is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His publications include Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (2005) and Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History (2014). Among other titles, he is editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust (2002) and translator of Emil and Karl, a Holocaust novel for young readers by Yankev Glatshteyn (2006).
Eitan Kensky is the Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica at Stanford University Libraries. He holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from Harvard University, and co-founded In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. At Stanford, Eitan is also the programmer for REWIND: The Shenson Retrospective Film Series. In 2020-2021, the series highlights the works of Jewish women filmmakers, from Girlfriends to Hester Street.