Friday, December 4, 2009

The National Yiddish Book Center

I may have gotten this lens up too late to help them this year, but maybe a few people looking to make a tax-deductible end of the year contribution will find my National Yiddish Book Center lens.

I'm not affiliated with the Yiddish Book Center in any way, except as a devoted fan and satisfied customer. They have a gorgeous, interesting magazine called the Pakn Treger which comes out every month (oh, it's so yummy) that you get for a modest donation. It's the only magazine I didn't cancel when I decided to simplify my life...

I've visited their set of buildings, styled like a little shtetl on a lovely sweep of greensward on the Hampshire College campus. They have zillions of real old-time Yiddish books you can buy for cheap, and real old-time sheet music, and if you don't want an OLD book you can pay them to make you a new one, or you can read almost any book they have online, because Stephen Spielberg gave them a grant to digitize their ENTIRE collection available, incredibly: Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library cataloged and downloadable for FREE.

They have concerts and lectures and they provide scholarships for summer interns to learn Yiddish and do projects (very cool ones) and take care of these books.

Aaron Lansky, the founder, wrote a very popular book called "Outwitting History" about saving Jewish literature after the Holocaust. It's funny and inspiring.

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