Book Talk to Feature Author of Yiddishlands

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

December 31, 2008, New York, NY

Dr. David Roskies, the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Professor of Yiddish Literature and professor of Jewish Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will discuss his newest book, Yiddishlands: A Memoir (Wayne State University Press) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 22, 2009. The program will take place at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Dr. Roskies will lead the audience through “Yiddishlands” old and new by revisiting his personal and professional experiences and retelling his remarkable family saga in a series of lively, irreverent, and interwoven stories.

Born after World War II to the sound of his mother, Masha, singing Az der Rebbe Elimeylekh (based on the tune “Ol King Cole Was a Merry Ol’ Soul”), Dr. Roskies was raised in Montreal, where his family had fled from Europe in 1940. There, they created a home that was a salon for Yiddish writers, actors, and artists. A product of the city’s Yiddish schools, Dr. Roskies today is one of the leading American scholars of Yiddish literature and a renowned cultural historian of eastern European Jewry.

A prolific author, editor, and scholar, Dr. Roskies has won numerous awards and has published seven books, including Night Words: A Midrash on the Holocaust, which has entered its fifth edition; The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky (Yale, 1992); and A Bridge of Longing: The Lost Art of Yiddish Storytelling (Harvard, 1995). In 1981 (with Dr. Alan Mintz), he cofounded Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, published by Indiana University Press, and has served since 1998 as editor in chief of the New Yiddish Library, published by Yale University Press. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, Dr. Roskies served as the J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007. Dr. Roskies was educated at Brandeis University, where he received his doctorate in 1975.

Sponsored by The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, the event is part of the 2008–2009 series of book talks by JTS faculty moderated by Dr. David Kraemer, JTS Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics. The series will conclude on March 18 with Dr. Eitan Fishbane, who will discuss his new book, As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford University Press, February 2009).

Autographed copies of Yiddishlands will be available for purchase. The talk is open to the community at no charge; reservations are required. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Hector Guzman at (212) 678-8075.