The Yiddish Book Center's podcast includes conversations with Jewish culture makers, plus news and stories related to Yiddish literature, language, and culture.
Episode 0342: The Inaugural New York Jewish Book Festival
Joshua Mack and Gabriel Sanders sat down with "The Shmooze" to share a preview of what’s on for the 2022 New York Jewish Book Festival. On Sunday, December 11, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City will present its first-ever New York Jewish Book Festival, featuring talks, panels, and author signings. Joshua and Gabriel tease out some of what’s planned for the daylong event.
November 30, 2022
Episode 0341: The Remarkable Backstory of Chana Blankshteyn’s Fear and Other Stories
Anita Norich visits with "The Shmooze" to talk about her translation of Chana Blankshteyn’s "Fear and Other Stories." Yiddish writer Chana Blankshteyn (~1860–1939) was a woman who may be almost entirely forgotten now but was widely admired during her long and productive life. The mere existence of these stories is itself a remarkable feat as the collection was published in July 1939, just before the Nazis invaded Poland and two weeks before Blankshteyn’s death.
November 16, 2022
Episode 0340: Women in Yiddish
Editor Mindl Cohen sits down with "The Shmooze" to talk about the soon-to-be-released "2022 Pakn Treger Digital Translation Issue." This year’s anthology includes fourteen newly translated stories, poems, and memoirs about women’s experiences. In conversation we learn about some of the Yiddish writers whose work appears in this collection and about the translators who are bringing these works to English readers.
November 15, 2022
Episode 0339: A Trilingual (Yiddish, Ukrainian, English) Volume of Two Works of Children’s Poetry
Jordan Finkin and Jessica Kirzane visit with "The Shmooze" to talk about their latest project, a trilingual (Yiddish, Ukrainian, English) volume of two works of children’s poetry. The poems in the volume were originally composed in Ukrainian by Yuriy Budiak, and shortly thereafter translated by Yoysef Ravin (who was later killed in Stalin’s purges) and republished in Yiddish.
November 13, 2022
Episode 0338: Debra Olin’s Mixed Media Considers An-sky’s Questionnaire
Debra Olin's "Every Protection: Folk Culture and Motherhood in the Jewish Pale of Settlement" is currently on exhibit at the Yiddish Book Center’s Brechner Gallery. Debra sat-down with "The Shmooze" to talk about her intricate mixed-media collages created around An-sky’s probing, evocative questions on superstitions and religious rituals.
November 2, 2022
Episode 0337: Josh Lambert on Jews and Publishing
In conversation with "The Shmooze," author Josh Lambert talks about his latest book, "The Literary Mafia." The book examines the relationships between Jewish editors and Jewish writers; how Jewish women exposed the misogyny they faced from publishers; and how children of literary parents have struggled with and benefited from their inheritances.
October 24, 2022
This show has a wide variety of guests and the conversation is always interesting. The host is very engaged and interested in each person she interviews. I frequently look for more information on a topic after hearing about it on the show.
Perfect for Jews and the Jew-Curious
This podcast has given me SO MUCH LEARNING and food for thought. The Shmooze is the podcast of the Yiddish Book Center, which is an organization founded by MacArthur "Genius Award" fellow Aaron Lansky. This podcast covers the whole world of Yiddish literature and by extension Jewish life, from mah jongg to Jerry Stiller's portrayal of Frank Constanza on Seinfeld, to difficulties of finding and translating women authors who wrote in Yiddish, to how to teach about Meyer Wolfsheim, the one Jewish character in the Great Gatsby. I recommend it very highly.
Smart and wide-ranging--and in a nice, bite-sized length, with a great variety of guests talking about everything from the perfect pickle to Bob Dylan's influence on the Beatles. Good stuff!