Habimah to Stage Yiddish Plays

The Habimah Theater, in response to a request from the World Council for Yiddish, will present at least three Yiddish plays in the near future. This announcement was made last night by Yitzhak Koren, chairman of the World Council, at the opening of its annual meeting at the Sholem Aleichem House here.

Koren, who said that Israel is becoming a citadel for Yiddish, stressed that the revival of Yiddish here requires cooperation with the Hebrew world. He noted that Avraham Kagan, principal of the high school in Kiryat Chaim, near Haifa, is the first Israeli principal to introduce Yiddish into his school’s curriculum.

Mark Turkow, chairman of the Argentine Committee for Yiddish, said Yiddish is dwindling in Latin America. No one uses it, it is not taught in schools and even in the yeshivot the Talmud is translated into Spanish, he said.

Dr. Max Warschawski, Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg, said there is a revival of Yiddish in France, with several thousand students studying the language.

Simon Weber, editor of the Jewish Daily Forward in New York, spoke at a dinner of the Presidium of the World Federation of Jewish Journalists at Beth Sokolow at which the Forward received the 1980 Prime Minister’s Award for Yiddish. He said that although the number of Yiddish courses at American universities and colleges are increasing, the number of Yiddish newspaper readers is not growing.

He spoke of the difficulties of putting out a Yiddish newspaper when the readers are no longer concentrated in one neighborhood but are spread out throughout the country. He also mentioned the lack of Yiddish journalists and writers. Weber said that despite these hardships the Forward tries to maintain the size of its newspaper, especially on Fridays and the eves of holidays.

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