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Sholom Aleichem Chaim Grade

The New York Times weighs in on two great Yiddish writers: one very well known, and one practically unknown.

First, the great but relatively unknown postwar Yiddish writer Chaim Grade soon may be known to the public as his widow and protector of his work died this month. Inna Hecker Grade had refuted most efforts to translate her husband’s work since he died two decades ago.

Now the contents of the Grades’ book-cluttered second-floor apartment in the north Bronx may soon be opened to scholars and publishers. Because Mrs. Grade died without a will or survivors, the Bronx public administrator is charged with overseeing her estate. Four institutions have been invited to examine her husband’s papers and determine their literary and monetary value. Each has been asked to make competitive proposals for how the papers should be preserved or disposed of.

The four institutions include YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Manhattan; the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.; the New York Public Library and Harvard University, through its Yiddish scholar, Ruth R. Wisse.

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The known writer is famous fabler Sholom Aleichem, whose 94th yahrzeit was celebrated this week at Brotherhood Synagogue on Gramercy Park South, in New York. As per his request, friends and family read the will and story excerpts, in Yiddish and in English translation. Readers included actors and artists Jerry Adler, George Guidall, Zalmen Mlotek, Isaiah Sheffer and Suzanne Toren.

Read the full story here.