[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 22.010

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Mon Dec 17 09:29:59 EST 2012

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 22.010
December 13, 2012

1) Findjan (Oron Joffe)
2) Findjan (Hannah Kadmon)
3) Froyim (Ephraim) Kaganowski (Bracha Weingrod)
4) Yiddish Book Center Fellowship/Steiner Summer Program (National Yiddish Book
5) Zusman Segalowicz (Leslie Rubinson)
6) Tfise-lid (Norbert Hirschhorn)
7) Yiddish translators wanted (Gwen Glazer)
8) A Yiddish Song project (Yale Strom)

Date: November 11
Subject: Findjan

Helen Katz asks about the source of the "Findjan Song" in Yiddish. I'm
afraid I haven't
come across it before, so can't answer her question directly, but the
Hebrew version was
written by Hayim Hefer (Feiner) in 1947 and according to him


he wrote the words (rather than translate them). It is sung to the
tune of an Armenian folk
song which was already known in the Palmach at that time. In other
words, it seems
likely that the Hebrew version preceded the Yiddish one.

Oron Joffe

Date: Findjan to Helene B. Katz
Subject: November 10

In Mendele Vol. 22.008, Helene B. Katz raised a question about the song

Here is my response to the question. The Yiddish version has almost
nothing to do with
Hebrew contents of the song written by Khayim Khefer who was then in
the Palmach, in
1947, to the melody of an Armenian shepherd folksong.

Yaakov Shonberg, in Berlin, collected Hebrew songs sung by those who
came to Berlin
from the Land of Israel in 1935 and printed the notes to the songs.
The melody in his notes is the exact melody sung by Israelis whereas the
Armenian melody is slightly different.

The assumption is that a young man in the Palmach heard the song in
his parents' house
in Germany and introduced the melody to his friends.

Hannah Kadmon

Date:  November 12
Subject: Froyim (Ephraim) Kaganowski

As a volunteer translator for the Yiddish Center in Amherst, I am
seeking information of
a more personal nature about this fine Yiddish author.  I have
translated several of his
short stories from FIGURN. (Warsaw 1937) and feel that I am actually
beginning to
know him.

But it occurred to me that there may be others out there who REALLY
knew him, of him,
about him???    Perhaps family or friends??

There is a comprehensive description of him in the YIVO encyclopedia
website.....but I
would greatly appreciate more personal memories, mayselekh and recollections.

A sheynem dank,
Bracha Weingrod

Date: December 12
Subject: Yiddish Book Center Fellowship/Steiner Summer Program

Paid Fellowship Opportunity:

The Yiddish Book Center is accepting applications (applications are
due by January 4th,
2013) for its prestigious one-year Fellowship. Fellows, who work as
paid staff at the
Center, spearhead new initiatives and programs. Fellows have worked on
the launch of
the Center's Wexler Oral History Project; overseeing the remastering
and digitization of
more than 1,500 rare audio recordings of lectures by renowned Yiddish
writers; support
of on-site and online Yiddish courses; helping with the development of
a tablet-based
multimedia Yiddish textbook; the launch of a translation website;
production of a weekly
podcast series; publication; and more. The Fellowship provides
candidates with a unique
opportunity to develop professional skills and experience. The
Fellowship Program
begins in September 2013 and runs through August 2014.  Learn more:


The Yiddish Book Center's Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Apply Now!


The Yiddish Book Center's Steiner Summer Yiddish Program offers
college students a
seven-week, six credit, tuition-free, exploration of Yiddish language
and culture. The
program includes beginning and intermediate Yiddish language
instruction and Yiddish
culture classes. The program runs from June 9-July 26, 2013. Six
undergraduate college
credits will be available through the University of Massachusetts.
Limited housing
subsidies are available, based on need. The 2013 Steiner Summer
Yiddish Program is
open to all full-time college students under the age of 26. To learn
more and to apply
(applications are due by February 10, 2013)


Date: November 28
Subject: Zusman Segalowicz

Does anyone have any family information on the poet/writer Zusman
Segalowicz from
Bialystok? My cousin, whose great-grandfather was a Segalowicz from
Bialystok, is
interested to learn if there is a family connection.

Leslie Rubinson

Date: November 10
Subject: Tfise-lid

This person who is also searching features your song (Prison Song)--
although it looks
like a 'lost' melody.

Norbert Hirschhorn

Subject: Yiddish translators wanted (sine pecunia!)
Date: November 28

Good morning!

My name is Gwen Glazer, and I work at Cornell University Library. We recently
announced a new project involving Yiddish-speakers helping to
translate journals and
newspapers, and we thought you and your readers might be interested to
know about it.

Details about the project can be found in our press release


and we would be happy to discuss any questions you may have.

Thank you!
Gwen Glazer

Subject khores/kheyrus
Date: November 25

In reply to Ruth Murphy's question (Mendele 22.008) about the term

There are two Hebrew words, one being "chorus" (ch for ches, not kh,
which usually
represents a khof), meaning "carved" or "engraved," and the other
"cheyrus," meaning
"freedom" or "liberty." I'm not a literature person but from the
context the latter seems to
make more sense.

Rick Turkel

Date: November 20
Subject: A Yiddish Song project

Samuel Vladimirovich Polonski was born in 1902 in Ukraine; from 17-20
years old he
served in the Red Army, and by his early 20s was already leading
musical ensembles and
choruses. He died at the age of 52 in 1955, two years after Stalin
died. In 1931, there
were Yiddish schools, theatres, choruses, the autonomous republic of
Birobidzhan had
just been founded, and the Songbook, comprising 19 separate numbers,
was presumably
prepared for use in the Yiddish school system and by Yiddish choruses.
The lyrics, many
of them, are by the most respected names in the Soviet Yiddish
pantheon: Itsik Fefer,
Perets Markish, Izi Kharik, and others. Subject matter includes
pastoral scenes and
village life, collective farming, a woman who becomes a tractor
driver, the death of
Lenin, the Red Army, the machine rhythms of a shoe factory, and seamstresses.

Yiddish culture enjoyed a spotty and often tragic career in the USSR,
but we can
understand these songs by Shmuel Polonski as a record of a fleeting,
uplifting moment in
time, and as a legacy to the future for us to discover and cherish.
The CD will render the
whole set of 19 songs faithfully, creatively, and professionally, with
name vocal talent
and fresh instrumental arrangements. Klezmer musician, composer and
Yale Strom and Eric Gordon, Director Emeritus of SoCal Arbeter Ring, are the
producers. If you are interested in being one of the singers for the
Polonski project,
please submit one example  of you singing a Yiddish folk or art song.
Send your just one
MP3 to Yale Strom. _yitztyco at aol.com_ (mailto:yitztyco at aol.com)
We hope to begin recording sometime in the fall 2013 and release the CD in 2014.

Yale Strom
End of Mendele Vol. 22.0010

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