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Grade’s letters donated to YIVO

A Toronto widow has donated a cache
of about 50 personal letters from Yiddish writer Chaim Grade to the
Manhattan-based YIVO Institute.

Sally Eisner, who with her late husband Leon Eisner was a close
friend to the author and helped arrange his many visits to Toronto, said the
letters were hand-written in Yiddish and covered a variety of subjects.
“Every letter has something else,” she said.

Leo Greenbaum, an archivist at YIVO, said the letters were an
“important donation” that would long be relevant to scholars of
Grade’s novels and poetry.

Grade, who lived from 1910-1982, is
considered by many to have been the great Yiddish writer. His novel-memoir,
“My Mother’s Sabbath Days,” is a stark evocation of Holocaust and Stalinist
Europe. The Encyclopaedia Judaica calls him the “national Jewish
poet.”

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