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A Settled Schtick

How to write a Yiddish trend piece

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Hy Wolfe, this week’s melancholy champion of a dying language.(NYT)

Picture of forlorn-looking older Jewish man: Check.

Lead with acknowledgment that everyone knows and writes about the fact that Yiddish is dying: Check.

Superimpose cultural connotations of Yiddish onto subject of article, with a phrase like “flinty Yiddish contrarianism”: Check.

Name-drop Sholom Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer: Check.

Note that language is actually on the rise in Hasidic communities: Check.

Name-drop a Gentile Yiddish enthusiast (in this case, Shane Baker, whom Tablet Magazine has profiled): Check.

Mention the Lower East Side and a particular Brooklyn neighborhood (Brownsville, in this instance): Check.

End on mournful note: Check.

I’ll be honest: I could read a new one every week.

Shop That Speaks Yiddish Needs a Rich Man’s Help [NYT]
Related: The Ventriloquist [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Amid Dying Languages, Yiddish Lives On

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I’m surprised that neither Hy Wolfe nor the NYT reporter mentioned the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.
A huge library of Yiddish books, Yiddish classes, college students doing internships… Check it out!

hey all, I used to be just checkin’ out this weblog and I actually admire the idea of the article, and don’t have anything to do, so if anybody would like to to have an engrossing convo about it, please contact me on AIM, my name is heather smith

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Yogi Berra~ Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

The world goes as it will and not as you or I would want it. – Darkovan Proverb

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A Settled Schtick

How to write a Yiddish trend piece

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