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February 26, 1988 - Image 96

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-26

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Lea s ing
s p eC


$ 1 5 2 9 2*



$ 1

6 0 5 6*


from $ 1 5 8 5 2 *

*Lease pymt. based on approved credit on 48 mos. closed
end, 60,000 total mileage w/6i; per mile extra charge. To
get total amt. multiplypymt. times 48. Subject to 4% use
tax, 1st mo. in advance, sec. dept. equal to 1st mo. pymt.,
plate cost extra.


Mon. 8 Thu.
Ill 9
Tu.. Wed.. Fri.
Iil 6


Just East of Novi Rd., Novi



Reports Of Yiddish's
Death Are Exaggerated



ew York — A staunch
supporter of Yiddish
has asserted that the
expansion of the study of the
language in North American
universities is "one of the
most positive developments
for the maintenance of Yid-
dish for future generations."
That appraisal was offered
in a recent issue of Midstream
magazine by Meyer Bass,
former executive director of
the National Council for Yid-
dish and Yiddish Culture.
Bass' optimism was strongly
supported by Joseph Mlotek,
education director of the
Workmen's Circle, in a
telephone interview.
Bass, a lecturer and teacher
now living in Albuquerque,
N.M., criticized "detractors,
antagonists and pessimists
who have existed since Yid-
dish began as a language
about one thousand years
ago." He contended that "Yid-
dishkeit has remained an un-
quenchable factor in the
Jewish experience, a vital ver-
nacular for centuries."
Bass conceded that until
the university programs the
future of Yiddish had seemed
questionable. Citing gains for
the language, he noted that
Hillel Foundations conduct
Yiddish classes on 40 to 50
campuses each year for hun-
dreds of students.
The Weinreich Center at
Columbia University, New
York, and the Jewish
Teachers Seminary, now at
Touro College in Manhattan,
"have established a high level
of Yiddish research," he
He asserted that the Yid-
dish press continues at a high
level, despite declining
readership and fiscal pro-
blems. He said Yiddish poetry
was "published in journals
and books" here and abroad.
He reported that Yiddish
classes, festivals, lectures,
community events, film series
and similar Yiddish projects
have been held in North
American Jewish community
centers and synagogues "for
more than a decade and are
In addition, he asserted,
"The rhythms and melodic
tones of Yiddish are iden-
tifiable in the works of
modern Jewish writers who
are part - of the literary
. mainstream."

He said that Yiddish stories
reach "a large proportion" of
American readers through

translations. Yiddish author
Isaac Bashevis Singer has
won a Nobel Prize for
literature, he noted.
In a kind of footnote, Bass
commented that Yiddish "has
continued to become in-
tegrated into modern
American English" through
usage in speech, the arts and
the media.
In his interview, Mlotek
added that many other
Yiddish-language activities
were taking place regularly.
He said Workmen's Circle had
started two-hour summer
festivals in Yiddish in
Manhattan's Central Park in
1968 and that such gather-
ings are now held annually
not only throughout New
York City but elsewhere in
New York State as well as in
Cleveland and Detroit.
About three years ago, he
said, the Workmen's Circle
started seminars in Yiddish
and Yiddish culture in col-
leges and universities, but
because the campuses lacked
the facilities needed for such
gatherings, they were switch-
ed to the Workmen's Circle
Lodge in Sylvan Lake, N.Y.
Mlotek said that the
Workmen's Circle is receiving
a steadily increasing number
of requests from synagogues
and centers for help in stag-
ing such programs. A seminar
on Yiddish and Yiddish
culture, to include Yiddish
scholars from all over the
United States, will be held in
Washington on March 20.
The Workmen's Circle is
one of six organizations com-
mitted to the preservation,
development and augmenta-
tion of the Eastern European
culture heritage and Yiddish
language that recently form-
ed an American Committee
for Yiddish and Yiddish
The others are the Jewish
Labor Committee, Jewish
Forward Association, Labor
Zionist Alliance, I.L. Peretz
Writers Union and Zerubavel-
Goldman-Tyberg Poale Zion

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Writing Contest
Is ,Announced

Washington, D.C. — The
U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Council is accepting entries
in its fourth annual National
Writing Contest on the
Holocaust. The deadline for
the contest, which is open to
all high school students in
grades nine through 12, is

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