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Strong Appeal to Save Yiddish

A strong appeal to prevent Yiddish from becoming an obsolete language, of interest largely to research scholars, by a major effort to revive and develop Yiddish to make it again a cement between various Jewish groups and a dam against assimilation emerged from the first meeting of the World Council for Yiddish and Jewish Culture. The Council is the executive body of the World Bureau for Yiddish and Jewish Culture established in 1977 at a world convention of Yiddish writers in Jerusalem. Evidence of a yearning for Yiddish was made manifest by the size of the audience which gathered for the festive opening at the large Ohel Shem Hall of Tel Aviv which was filled to capacity.

Itzhak Korn, chairman of the World Bureau, discussed various plans to promote Yiddish and reported that Habimah, the Israel National Theater, had been asked to create a Yiddish theater of high standards to perform six months in Israel and six months abroad. Korn said that, in preliminary talks, Habimah officials seemed ready to assist in such a project.

The Council also approved a decision to publish at least 10 books a year within the framework of the Good Yiddish Book Club. Other resolutions dealt with the need for helping the present Jewish press, which encounters economic problems. Some 45 delegates from 14 countries participated.

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