296 episodes

The Yiddish Book Center's podcast includes conversations with Jewish culture makers, plus news and stories related to Yiddish literature, language, and culture.

The Shmooze, The Yiddish Book Center's Podcast Yiddish Book Center

    • Arts
    • 4.2 • 20 Ratings

The Yiddish Book Center's podcast includes conversations with Jewish culture makers, plus news and stories related to Yiddish literature, language, and culture.

    Episode 0296: Yiddish Women Playwrights Festival

    Episode 0296: Yiddish Women Playwrights Festival

    Motl Didner, associate art director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), and NYTF literary manager Sabina Brukner talk with The Shmooze about their upcoming Yiddish Women Playwrights Festival, which gives women playwrights center stage at the NYTF. The festival kicks off with Chava Rosenfarb’s The Bird of the Ghetto, which chronicles the attempted Vilna Ghetto uprising and the tragic story of Jewish resistance leader Itsik Vitenberg, commander of the United Partisan Organization. The virtual reading is produced by Didner, who notes, "As we commemorate the 78th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising [on April 19, 1943], the true story behind The Bird of the Ghetto is a moving testament to the bravery and resilience of the Jewish resistance during the Holocaust."

    Episode 0296
    April 15, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 23 min
    Episode 0295: Judy Batalion and the Untold Story of Jewish Women Resistance Fighters

    Episode 0295: Judy Batalion and the Untold Story of Jewish Women Resistance Fighters

    Judy Batalion is the author of the recently released The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos, which illuminates the extraordinary history and accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters—a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full until now. She joins The Shmooze to talk about the amazing story behind the book, which began with the discovery of a Yiddish memoir.

    Episode 0295
    April 8, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 31 min
    Episode 0294: Eleanor Reissa in Conversation

    Episode 0294: Eleanor Reissa in Conversation

    The Shmooze visits with the multitalented Eleanor Reissa, a Tony-nominated director, Broadway actress, prize-winning playwright, soon-to-be published author, artistic director of the world’s oldest Yiddish theater company, and a singer who has performed in nearly every major venue around the world. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Eleanor is a captivating storyteller in both English and Yiddish. She chats with us about her work and latest projects.

    Episode 0294
    April 1, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 31 min
    Episode 0293: A Wide-Ranging Conversation with Amanda (Miryem-Khaye) Seigel

    Episode 0293: A Wide-Ranging Conversation with Amanda (Miryem-Khaye) Seigel

    On the phone with "The Shmooze" this week, Amanda (Miryem-Khaye) Seigel talks with us about her work as a Yiddish singer, songwriter, actor, recording artist, and research librarian specializing in Yiddish language and culture at the New York Public Library. Among other things, Amanda tells us about how she came to Yiddish and about "Yidforsh," the Yiddish research Facebook group she launched to help promote research and scholarship on Yiddish topics and connect Yiddish researchers to resources and opportunities.

    Episode 0293
    March 19, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 23 min
    Episode 0292: The Third Seder Goes Virtual

    Episode 0292: The Third Seder Goes Virtual

    Rabbi Avram Mlotek joins "The Shmooze" to talk about the history of the Third Seder, a long-standing Yiddish cultural tradition. Avram lets us in on what's on the bill for this year's virtual Third Seder--from Yiddish day school students from Melbourne, Australia, who will sing the Four Questions to performances by Michael Alpert, Sarah Gordon, Daniel Kahn, Steve Skybell, and many more. The event, "The Third Seder: A Yiddish Celebration," co-sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center, will stream live on Facebook on March 21 at 2pm (EDT).

    Episode 0292
    March 13, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 18 min
    Episode 0291: African American Jewish Cantor Thomas LaRue Jones

    Episode 0291: African American Jewish Cantor Thomas LaRue Jones

    This week's guest, Henry Sapoznik, is an award-winning producer, musicologist and performer, and writer in the fields of traditional and popular Yiddish and American music and culture. His latest project is the ongoing research about the so-called "shvartze khazonim," the African American cantors of the 1920s and '30s. We speak with Henry about Black Jewish cantor Thomas LaRue Jones, a much-beloved singer of traditional Yiddish songs and cantorial liturgy on the stage and radio and on record, and the recent effort to raise funds for a headstone for LaRue's unmarked grave.

    Episode 0291
    March 6, 2021
    Yiddish Book Center
    Amherst, Massachusetts

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Lilly21661 ,

Always interesting!

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.

iolantherosa ,

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.

CWesternMA ,

Good shmooze!

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!

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