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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Mission: The National Yiddish Book Center is a vibrant, non-profit organization working to rescue Yiddish and other modern Jewish books and celebrate the culture they contain.

Programs: Visitor programs - welcomed approximately 10,000 visitors and offered permanent and traveling exhibitions and interpretive tours. The book center presented approximately 30 public programs including films, lectures, concerts, readings and a summer yidstock: festival of new yiddish music. The book center has created special tours for students and other special interest groups.

education - the book center offered several major educational programs for undergraduates and recent college graduates. The 7 week steiner summer program included 18 students who studied yiddish language and modern jewish history and culture. The fellowship program for collegegraduates offered a 12 month program to 5 recent graduates whoparticipated in a variety of experiential learning projects includingbook digitization, oral history, exhibit development, on-site andonline course development, and the center's magazine, the pakn treger. The great jewish books program was offered to 36 high schoolstudents who spent one week engaged in an intense exploration of jewishliterature. A new pilot great jewish books workshop for teachers was offered to 20 high school teachers. The tent: encounters with jewish culture program on creative writing served young adults aged 21-30. Two weekend on-site courses were offered for more than 100 adults and both were developed into an online course. A yiddish school program took place with 40 people registered.

cultural rescue and preservation - the book center has placed the fullcontent of more than 13,000 titles online through the non-profitinternet archive, making yiddish literature the single most accessibleliterature in history. The books have been downloaded for free morethan 1. 5 million times. The center is now collaborating with the nationallibrary of israel to digitize the rest of yiddish literature along withjournals and periodicals. The center also collected oral historiesthrough its wexler oral history project. These interviews are madeavailable online for scholars, teachers and others. The book centercontinues to rescue yiddish books and distributes these books tolibraries, scholars and students. The center has recently partneredwith the montreal jewish public library to make available more than 200 yiddish audio books and 1,500 reel-to-reel tapes of interviews andpresentations by yiddish writers and intellectuals. These materialsare being digitized and made available free of charge online. Thecenter continues to rescue yiddish books and distributes books tolibraries and other institutions around the world.

translation and publications - the book center publishes anddistributes a magazine, pakn treger, which enhances its educationaloutreach. The magazine is sent to more than 20,000 members and friends. The center also publishes a digital translation issue of pakn treger. In addition, the book center continues to collaborate on translationsof yiddish literature for publication and continues to enhance itswebsite as a platform for educational materials, blogs, podcasts, and social networks. A translation fellowship program continued foraspiring yiddish translators. Eleven fellows were selected andparticipated in two workshops in amherst. A new website for translatorswas created

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I took a wonderful on-line Yiddish class. Looking forward to more on-line experiences. Very well done. Also, suggested the reading of "Outwitting History" by Aaron Lansky to my book group. It was very well received

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

As a child I spoke and could understand, Yiddish. My association with the NYBC helps me to refresh my memories as well as my Yiddish. Preservation of Yiddish books will help preserve this wonderful language for generations to come.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I wrote donor but if I were able I would really donate a lot more. My daughter graduated from UMASS and one of the saddest things for me is that now I am not able to get to the Yiddish Book Center twice a year.
I love the exhibits, the fantastic book shop with knowledgeable personnel, and the lovely greeters at the door who always made me feel I am back home again. I also miss sitting in the fantastic orchard and reading and writing.

Review from Guidestar

Michael K.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a long time member of the Book Center and have always been impressed at their ability to mobilize people & resources to save Yiddish books. I am very excited the the center is now beginning to work at preserving the culture as well as the written record of Yiddish. This is a powerful and important step for the NYBC and for Yiddish culture.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

What a pleasure to be able to say something to honor the National Yiddish Book Center. I am fortunate to live nearby and to see the many ways the NYBC reaches out across the nation and the world while it provides beautiful resources for its neighbors. It reaches out to all ages and cultures through Elder Hostels and college internships and through other classes, performances, and articles and playful language instruction in the Pakn Treger. I always run to the museum store to find Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Hanukkah presents (usually garnished with a pair of Mazel Toes socks). In summer its gardens are the perfect place to bring visitors or to sit and space out or read. Of course at its center is the huge collection of Yiddish literature and the innovative ways the NYBC has devised to make texts available to scholars all over the world.

I too (as at least one other reviewer mentioned) come from the generation whose children were told that we shouldn’t speak Yiddish any more because we are Americans. It was a gift to see my mother and an elderly cousin live long enough to visit and be in awe of the Center and the fact that the Yiddish language was something to treasure and not to hide.

Donor

Rating: 4

I discovered the National Yiddish Book Center as a young professional taking Yiddish lessons. I attended their 1 week "camp" for adults about 1990 and had a tremendous experience learning about Yiddish and my cultural heritage. So when I was planning my wedding in 1991, I requested donations to the Book Center in lieu of wedding presents and thereby many family and friends got"plugged in" to this remarkable organization .
THe NYBC has done an enormous job of helping to rescue a language considered headed for extinction , exploring and celebrating its cultural heritage past and present, as well as doing ground-breaking work in preserving and digitalizing the Yiddish lworld literature. What they have achieved with Yiddish is unique and sets a standard for other languages and cultures to learn from.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The National Yiddish Book Center is a vital site for scholars interested in Yiddish literature and Yiddish-language culture. A brilliant idea excellently presented. Its importance for an understanding a central part of European and North American culture can scarcely be exaggerated.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I was born into a Yiddish speaking household 67 years ago and grew up understanding most Yiddish. At 5 years of age my grandmother died and I was told that we don't speak Yiddish anymore. I even had to take elocution classes to correct my syntax and V's and W's. As I got older my other grandmother taught me to read the Yiddish newspaper. I forgot that too.

At 62 years of age I decided I wanted to learn Yiddish. My classes at the local shul lasted about a year and because of financing they were canceled. I have since been studying on the net with books from the National Yiddish Book Center and their magazine. I just wish the Book Center were closer to Tucson, AZ

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The National Yiddish Book Center has given me the sources to learn about my grandparents' life in prewar Europe and also the resources to tell the story to my grandchildren.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a second Generation Holocaust survivor. We always spoke Yiddish in my house. Now that both my parents have passed away, The National Yiddish Book Center is my source of everything Yiddish and is available for my children and grandchildren and hopefully many future generations. The National Yiddish Book Center is a miracle by its very existence and will keep alive an amazing culture that was almost extinguished. It serves as a wonderful resource for all who are interested in researching Jewish history. Digitizing these treasures and in so doing making them available nationally and internationally is awesome. Through the Yiddish Book Center I was able to collect many Yiddish films which provided hours & hours of pleasure to my parents when they were no longer mobile. They would watch them over and over and it would remind them of their shtetl and it would serve as a point of further discussion about their past. This would not have been possible without the Book Center.

Review from Guidestar

Barbara B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The National Yiddish Book Center does valuable work preserving the literature of diverse Jewish cultures and keeping the Yiddish and Ladino languages alive for future generations. They publish an informative magazine and present programs that showcase Yiddish art and culture.

Review from Guidestar