03 Apr Yiddish Program Celebrates Mother Tongue
Yiddish Language and Culture program at the Yiddish Book Center.
March 19, the day before the program started, I arrived in the town of Northampton, MA at the Northampton Hotel, one of the Historic Hotels of America. Modernity is sprinkled effortlessly with antique furnishings and features – mail chute is my favorite.
Non-commuters to the week-long program stayed here, a few miles from Amherst. The hotel is adjacent to the Council of Governments, in the heart of town, to use a cliché. Both the town and the hotel are historic and young at the same time.
In the afternoon of March 20, we gathered at the Yiddish Books Center (www.yiddishbookcenter.org) for dinner and a musical performance in Yiddish. The id tags hanging off our necks attested to quite a geographical swath – 16 states plus Canada and the UK!
The get-to-know chitchats had a feel of a continual family reunion. But we were held together not by a bloodline—though who knows for certain?—but by a language repeatedly pronounced dead. And here we were, intent on reviving it guided by professors of our children’s and grandchildren’s age.