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July 12, 2002 - Image 78

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Detroit Free Press. January 8th. 1999

MARCUS MORAES
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

a

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uib a click, dos is
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This sentence can be heard
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"Give a click, this is Jewish music,"
translates Kibrit, who also is fluent
in English.
YidishMusic began as a family ini-
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two sons, Ariel, and Ilan — that
grew bigger and bigger as friends
started to listen, like and spread the .
word. It has now become something
of a fad among the Web users in
Brazil's 120,000-member Jewish
community, even though its funding
comes solely from Kibrit and his
family.
"YidishMusic is one of my most
precious findings on the Internet. I

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from page 77

received a MacArthur Fellowship, oth-
erwise known as a "genius grant," to
continue his work in restoring Eastern
European Jewish culture.
The birth of the National Yiddish
Book Center coincided with a trend
to study Yiddish language and litera-
ture, especially among Jewish college
students seeking a connection with
the generation of Jews lost in the con-
centration camps of Nazi Europe.
"Yiddish literature is a gateway into
a world that was lost during the
Holocaust," said Rachel Levin of
Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons
Foundation, which made the lead
donation. on the digital library project.
"A new generation is beginning to
realize how cut off we are from our
recent history."
The center's permanent home
opened in 1997 on the campus of
Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.
It now has a paid staff and a network
of more than 200 volunteers and
some 30,000 members.
Recently the center collected books
from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and

.

listen to it while I am downloading
my e-mails," says historian and visu-
al artist Silvia Rezende of Sao Paulo.
However, 55 percent of the listen-
ers come from outside Brazil, from
some 50 countries including
Azerbaijan, New Zealand, Iceland,
Sweden and the United Kingdom,
Kibrit says.
Access is available in both English
and Portuguese.
Recently, the Web site achieved
the 10,000-hour mark on the air,
Kibrit says, with a playlist of 4,000
titles.
The YidishMusic Web radio sta-
tion plays a broad range of Jewish
music, including liturgical chanting,
traditional and modern tunes and
Jewish holiday songs. Most are in
Yiddish, but some are in Hebrew,
Ladino or Russian.
Some 40 percent of the station's
files consist of Yiddish music and
klezmer instrumental music by
artists such as David Tarras, Molly

Havana, Cuba. It has set up Yiddish
libraries as far away as China and the
former Soviet Union.

Going Digital

The digital library grew out of the
same impulse to save books that
inspired Lansky's original quest.
With an increasing number of col-
leges offering programs in Yiddish
studies, more and more scholars,
librarians and students had been buy-
ing the center's used books.
"About four or five years ago, we
realized we were running out of our
most popular and important titles,"
said Nancy Sherman, vice president of
the National Yiddish Book Center.
Even worse, she said, "the collection
was physically deteriorating."
That's because the birth of modern
Yiddish literature in 1864 coincided
with the popularization of wood-pulp
paper, which deteriorates easily.
Because nearly all the books in the
center were printed on the inexpensive
paper, the collection is "literally crurrp- .
bling before our eyes," Lansky said.
Four years ago, the center decided to

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