By Jeffrey Shandler

ISBN-10: 0520244168

ISBN-13: 9780520244160

ISBN-10: 1423727630

ISBN-13: 9781423727637

Adventures in Yiddishland examines the transformation of Yiddish within the six a long time because the Holocaust, tracing its shift from the language of lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of Jews to what the writer phrases a postvernacular language of various and increasing symbolic worth. With a radical command of recent Yiddish tradition in addition to its centuries-old background, Jeffrey Shandler investigates the striking variety of up to date encounters with the language. His research traverses the vast spectrum of people that have interaction with Yiddish--from Hasidim to avant-garde performers, Jews in addition to non-Jews, fluent audio system in addition to those that understand very little Yiddish--in groups around the Americas, in Europe, Israel, and different outposts of "Yiddishland."

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Additional info for Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies)

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Bylas´ moj˛a ojczyzn˛a” (“Faithful mother tongue, . . 16 At the same time, imagining Yiddishland must be considered within the larger issue of language and nationalism particular to the modern Jewish experience. In its earliest manifestations, the notion of Yiddishland is a product of the new ideas about Yiddish and its role in Jewish life that emerged in Eastern Europe at the turn of the previous century, ideas that gave rise to Yiddishism. Its adherents championed their native language as a distinctive cultural repository to be cultivated rather than condemned.

This was especially true in the United States, where Jews—most of whom were Yiddishspeaking immigrants or their descendants—suddenly confronted the fact that they were not only the world’s largest and most prosperous Jewish community but also its most continuous and, albeit by default, its most authoritative one. ”42 Thesignalchangesof lifeinpostwarAmerica—large-scaleembourgeoisement,internal migration from cities to suburbs, expanded access to higher education—had a profound impact on the nation’s Jews.

46 After the war, the sudden absence of Yiddish speech became, especially for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, a compelling metonym for the tragic loss of its speakers. This development invited some to make special efforts to restore the use of Yiddish as a gesture of rebuilding or of memorialization. Thus, Samy Feder, who in 1945 established a Yiddish theater troupe among Jewish survivors in the liberated concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, recalled, “I was deeply moved when several Jewish girls came to see me and begged me with tears in their eyes to let them join the troupe.

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Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies) by Jeffrey Shandler


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