NATIONAL YIDDISH BOOK CENTER

Rating: 4.96 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 1021 West St Amherst MA 01002 USA

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.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-2708878
413-256-4900
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The story of how Aaron Lansky began the effort that became the National Yiddish Book Center is fascinating and inspiring in itself, but its real legacy is in the ongoing work that the center has engaged in since it's inception, not only to preserve a language/culture, but to breathe life back into it for new generations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have brought various friends and family, spanning 4 generations, to the Center over the years and each has relished its offerings, from my uncle who grew up speaking Yiddish on the Lower East Side perusing the Yiddish titles in the stacks, to my young son who thrilled at hearing a yiddish folk tale read aloud at a Center Chanukah party. My young cousin participated in the first NYBC student intership program & is now part of a new generation for whom Yiddish is very much alive.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Bring back the bookstore that was recently closed.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

To me, the story of the founding of the Nationall Yiddish Book Center is an absolute miracle--Aaron Lansky saw Yiddish books being thrown away and had the thought that he should do something about it. From that very kernel of a thought, this massive collection of intellectual property was gathered, conserved, and as a result, a significant cultural and educational institution grew from nothing--from a guy looking at "garbage".

I've been "with" the organization since the beginning and hope to continue our relationship forever. First of all, when Aaron asked us for money, he really needed it. Every letter actually explained the reason he was asking for money and what specifically he was going to do with it. He has always kept his word and our dreams for our culture, our literature and our heritage alive. The planning for growth has been thoughtful, strategic and forward thinking. I cannot believe how far the organization has come from one man and a van picking up old books. I am filled with pride and gratitude that this critical part of a culture decimated by WWII has been preserved for the future.

The National Yiddish Book Center is simply my favorite charity, bar none. I share its mission in my heart.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting the beautiful complex, seeing the memorial plaques that I bought and having the satisfaction of actually seeing and experiencing what my money paid for. The experience was beyond description.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

open an annex in NYC

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Being a member of the "Yiddish deprived" generation

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I donate whenever they ask, if I can

What would you tell others about this organization?

It's awesome, it's just a dream come true to see the complex built and thriving--I only wish I lived closer to actually go to some of the wonderful programs that they sponsor

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

This is an amazing organization that has preserved and help spread Yiddish books and now Jewish culture. Although I have supported this organization for at least fifteen years, I moved one town away seven years ago and collaborate with them as a Jewish communal professional.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

taking students and family to visit the Center, attend events, and read their materials.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

consider opening a branch in NYC and/or Israel.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its mission, enthusiasm, the Center's design.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

great

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

implement the programs it envisioned when it expanded the Center (fully paid for but new educational wing is underused due to budget). Also, it could build a small branch in NYC and/or Israel.

Ways to make it better...

they had more multi-generational events.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

location, new mission now that books have been saved

One thing I'd also say is that...

Truly remarkable organization that saved a literature from destruction.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I think that Nat'l Yiddish Book Center did something unique in history: the organization saved what would have become a lost literature, then made it accessible to the world, and it became the first literature to be digitalized. It has been one of the tragedies that so much world literature has been lost, from the Provencal language literature, to that of the Mayan and Incan peoples. This would have been the fate of Yiddish, esp. after WWII, when such a huge percentage of Yiddish speakers were murdered. But now this vibrant literature is available to the world.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I have very much enjoyed the Pakn Trager, the literary magazine that is sent out to members of the Center. It has enjoyable, thought-provoking articles.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Incredibly valuable service in preserving Yiddish and Jewish culture. A wonderful resource and reaches out to the public in an informative way including Pak n Trager.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its outreach and continue to preserve a Jewish heritage

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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