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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: On the Landing

January 2, 2020 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: On the Landing
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: On the Landing by Yenta Masha

The last book on my Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list is Yenta Mash’s On the Landing, one of the best Yiddish writers you’ve never heard of, whose short stories were translated into English by Ellen Cassedy.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory

December 24, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top Picks - Yiddish Glory album

My second pick for the top Soviet-Jewish works of the past decade is Yiddish Glory: Lost Songs of World War II, which has completely changed what we thought we knew about how Soviet Jews made sense of the war. Its significance cannot be overstated.

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From Russia to Israel and back (to Siberia) again

June 11, 2010 / Comments Off on From Russia to Israel and back (to Siberia) again

Birobidzhan: A Jewish homeland in Siberia, endorsed by Stalin. It sounds like either the beginning of a Soviet joke, or a satirical novel by someone like Michael Chabon. I’d heard about Birobidzhan before, but had thought the idea died off a long time ago. It was established by Stalin in 1934, and is still known…

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Three generations, three languages: A former refusenik on language and identity

April 19, 2010 / Comments Off on Three generations, three languages: A former refusenik on language and identity
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Ha’aretz has an interview with Soviet refusenik writer David Markish, who immigrated to Israel in 1972. Thirty-six years later, Markish still writes all his books (15 so far, though almost none available here) in his native Russian. Markish’s father, Peretz Markish, a prominent Yiddish writer, was executed by the Soviet regime and the family was…

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