Yeshiva Professor Says Yiddish is Far from Dying, Cites Growth of Culture

A teacher of Yiddish claimed today that the old language of Eastern European Jewry “is currently experiencing a dramatic resurgence due to the American Jews’ new longing for Jewish identity.” Dr. Mordekhe Schaechter, visiting assistant professor of Yiddish at Yeshiva University, said, “All this talk about a dying language is cruel and misinformed. A language with eight dailies published on three continents is not dying.”

In support of his thesis, Dr. Schaechter cited among other things the publication last summer of the late Dr. Uriel Weinreich’s “Modern English-Yiddish, Yiddish-English” dictionary and the founding of the Benyumin Shekhter Foundation for the Advancement of Standard Yiddish in which he was instrumental and which he now heads. He also credited the Broadway play, “Fiddler on the Roof” and the literary works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Abraham Sutzkever and Chaim Grade for having stimulated the growth of Yiddish culture among Jews “who were previously interested only in their Biblical past but who have now turned to their immediate past.”

NEXT STORY