Israel Publishes Anthology of Yiddish Poetry in Hebrew Translation
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Israel Publishes Anthology of Yiddish Poetry in Hebrew Translation

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The appearance in Israel of an anthology of works of Yiddish poets throughout the world translated into Hebrew by Moshe Basuk, an Israeli poet, was celebrated here last night at an impressive gathering arranged by Ambassador Katriel Katz, Israel’s Consul General in New York. Eight noted American Yiddish poets whose works have been included in the anthology recited their poems at the assembly which was attended by American Jewish writers prominent in the world of Yiddish literature.

Israel President Zalman Shazar, himself a noted figure in the Jewish literary world, cabled a warm-hearted message to the assembled. “I send my heartiest blessings to the gathering of the Yiddish writers in New York whose creative talents have been brought nearer to the reader in Israel by my friend the poet Moshe Basuk through bringing them into Hebrew literature,” President Shazar said in his cable.

“The use of the two languages (Hebrew and Yiddish) was the blessed advantage of the founders of our modern literature in both languages, and the creation of a link between our creative forces in the countries of the Diaspora with the readers in Israel is today a national necessity for both,” the Israel President emphasized. “My greetings of encouragement to my friend Katriel Katz, the representative of the State of Israel in New York, who brought you together in his house and Mazeltov to all of you who have lived and will live to see the young generation of Israelis among their readers.”


Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, reviewed in a lengthy address the process which separated the Jews in Eastern Europe, two generations ago, into two streams–one going to Eretz Israel and the other to the United States and other countries. He saw these streams now getting closer and even merging in some cases. He cited the arrival of Jews from South America for permanent settlement in Israel as one indication. The publication in Israel of the anthology of Yiddish poetry in Hebrew translation, he said, was also an expression in this direction.

Mr. Sharett emphasized that more than one-half of the Jewish population in Israel came from countries where Yiddish was not spoken, or were born in Israeli families where Yiddish was never spoken. The new anthology “Mivchar Shirei Yiddish” (Selections from Yiddish Poetry), he said, will give this part of the Israeli population the opportunity to get acquainted with the works of Jewish writers whom they never had an opportunity to read in the original.

Ambassador Katz, in opening the memorable evening, stressed the contribution of Mr. Basuk to the building of a cultural bridge between Israel and the Jews in countries outside of Israel. He presented Consul Abraham Avidar who gave the audience an analytical review of the book. The American Jewish poets who read their works at the evening, in Yiddish, included David Einhorn, Jacob Glatstein, Chaim Grade, Reizl Zhichlinsky, Aron Leyeles, Kadia Molodovsky, Itzhik Manger and I.I. Schwartz. They are all represented in the anthology.

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