Cultural Program: An Experience of Secular Yiddish in Israel

Bet Shalom Aleichem Yiddish in Israel
On August 16th, 2020, we had the honor and pleasure of having a guest speaker: Melody Barron, who was gracious enough to allow us to share a recording of her presentation.
Ms. Barron told us about the history of the Yiddish language and culture in Israel, its relationship with Zionism, and what contemporary secular Yiddish culture looks like in Israel today. The Yiddish language’s reputation in Israel is that it is the language of the ultra-Orthodox and is thus irrelevant in secular and modern contexts. This so-called irrelevance is part of the history and relationship Zionism had with Yiddish in the days of the modern Hebrew revival, in which modern Jewish identity left Yiddish behind. Melody went in search of Yiddish, thinking it was a dying, marginal language and culture in Israel. What she found swiftly changed her mind about the usage and significance of the Yiddish language and culture there.
Melody Barron (she/her) is an Israeli Jewish woman, living in Israel, contemplating the intersection of Jewishness, Israeliness, Gender, Sexuality, Nationality and Race in her free time. She holds a BA in Literary Theory and Women and Gender Studies, a MA in Gender Studies, and struggles to hold on to her Yiddish. All of her opinions are her own.



Watch a recording of her presentation:

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