Yivo Institute for Jewish Research Maps Many Expanded Activities

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which has just entered its 41st year, announced at a press conference today a program of expanded activity in the field of scholarship, publications and community service. J. Borenstein, chairman of YIVO’s executive committee, emphasized that YIVO is the only secular Jewish research institute in the world outside of Israel. He said it is unique in being totally unaffiliated with any religious, political or organizational grouping.

At the press conference, authors and editors of a number of forthcoming YIVO publications reported directly on their projects. Prof. Uriel Weinreich. Atran professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at Columbia University, discussed the Standard Yiddish-English, English-Yiddish Dictionary which will be published in the spring of 1967. Dan Miron, young Israeli literary critic and scholar, who is doing graduate work at Columbia University through its department of English and Comparative Literature in conjunction with the Atran Chair of Yiddish Studies, described the photographic edition of an early work written in Hebrew by Mendele Mokher Sforim, one of the pioneers of modern Yiddish literature. The long awaited “History of the Yiddish Language,” by Dr. Max Weinreich, leader in the field of Yiddish linguistics, will also be published in 1967.

Shmuel Lapin, newly appointed general secretary of YIVO reported on some of the other major YIVO projects for the current year. Special emphasis, he said, is bring placed on an expanded community service program. As examples of this phase of YIVO activity, Mr. Lapin cited the YIVO sponsored in-service courses for teachers in the New York City public schools. Negotiations are now being conducted for a cross-country showing of the current YIVO exhibit on Jewish mass settlement in the United States in the past hundred years.

During 1967, YIVO is also preparing the publication of two bibliographies of interest to the general public as well as to the academic community. They are a bibliography of translations of Yiddish works from Yiddish to English during the years 1945-1965, prepared by Miss Dina Abramowicz, the librarian of YIVO, and a bibliography of autobiographies by American Jews prepared by the YIVO archivist, Ezekiel Lifschutz.

In general, Mr. Lapin pointed out, YIVO is devoting increasing attention to American Jewish studies, A substantial grant has been obtained from a well-known American foundation for the purpose of cataloguing and arranging all the material in the YIVO archives pertaining to American Jewish history over the past one hundred years. This is an important preparatory step for the eventual preparation of a definitive history of American Jewry.

An up-to-date study of the American Jewish labor movement is also under way. As part of this project, which is being financed by a number of American labor unions, reminiscences and experiences of leaders and rank-and-filers in the American labor movement are being gathered through the means of tape-recorded interviews.

In order to insure the full implementation of these and other current projects, and to make possible the still further expansion of the YIVO program, particularly in the area of community service, YIVO announced it is seeking an additional sum of $100,000 over and above its regular budget.

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