Home >> Translators
(Page references below are to the Yiddish text)

Andrew Firestone (Melbourne)
Andrew Firestone, the editor of this site, is an Honorary Research Associate at the Australian Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilization, Monash University, Melbourne. This is his second Yiddish website for Monash; the first was www.yisroelshtern.org In 2006 he was a prizewinner in the CIYCL Yiddish Translation competition, for his translation of Shtern’s "When the Surgery is Over". In 2007 he translated the concluding portion of Chaim Grade’s  Musernikes  for the Pinkus Navaredok memorial website: www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Novogrudok/nov185.html#Page185

A native Polish speaker, Andrew learned Yiddish as a child at Sholem Aleichem Sunday School in Melbourne and in the SKIF organization, where Pinye Ringelblum mentored the development of his interest in Yiddish literature. He first translated Yiddish poetry as a teenager when Abraham Sutzkever visited Melbourne. In the 1980's "Melbourne Chronicle" published his translations of Kadye Molodowski. He has a special interest in Yiddish literature in Poland between the two world wars.

Shachar Pinsker (Michigan)
Shachar Pinsker is an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture at the University of Michigan. His research and publications focus on modern Hebrew and Yiddish writers, such as Bialik, Gnessin, Brenner, Baron, Fogel, Appelfeld, Birshtein and Kosman. With Sheila Jelen he recently co-edited Hebrew, Gender, and Modernity: Critical Responses to Dvora Baron's Fiction, (University Press of Maryland, 2007). His book The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe: 1900-1930 is forthcoming, and he is currently working on a book dealing with Yiddish in Israeli literature and culture since the 1950's.


Merle (Malke) Bachman (Louisville)
An accomplished poet, Merle is an Assistant Professor of English at Spalding University. Her articles and poetry have been published in such journals as Shofar, Bridges, and Five Fingers Review. She has recently received an Artists Enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a writer's residency at the Millay Colony of the Arts, both for her creative nonfiction. In 2007 Syracuse Uni Press published her book "Recovering Yiddishland: Threshold Moments in American Literature" which reconstructs "Yiddishland" as a cultural space produced by Yiddish immigrant writers from the 1890s through the 1930s, largely within the sphere of New York City. In this book she presents the modernist Yiddish poet Mikhl Likht as the supreme "threshold" poet. It is available at www.SyracuseUniversityPress.syr.edu

Zackary Sholem Berger (New York)
Sholem is a poet, blogger, and essayist in Yiddish and English. His Yiddish poetry will be included in the first issue of the new Yiddish journal "Gilgulim," while his English translations have appeared in Lyric and Words Without Borders. His poetry and translation will be represented in the forthcoming "Step by Step: An Anthology of Contemporary Yiddish Poetry" (Quodlibet, 2008).
He and his wife, Celeste Sollod, work together as the micro-publisher Yiddish House, the force behind The Cat in the Hat and Curious George in Yiddish translation (http://www.yiddishcat.com).

Helen Coles-Beer (U.K.)
Helen is the Ben-Zion Lecturer in Yiddish at UCL, University of London. A native Yiddish speaker born in Melbourne, she taught Yiddish in Oxford (1995 -1999). She has worked extensively on the poet Itzik Manger and has published articles about him and his ballads. She lectures and teaches abroad, is director of an annual Yiddish summer course in London, produced a Yiddish play at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2002 (1st time in 50 years!) and has released a Yiddish CD with Israeli jazz musicians (www.itzikmanger.com). In July 2007, she was one of the first recipients of the UCL Provost's Teaching Awards. She also translates from and into Yiddish.

Leigh Fetter (Melbourne)
Leigh is an Arts/Law graduate from Monash University, is a freelance editor of short stories and poetry, and is quite fond of the onomatopoeic quality of Yiddish.

Hanna (Ne’eman) Galay (Tel Aviv)
Hanna was born in Tel Aviv. Her parents immigrated to Palestine from Poland in the fourth Aliya. Her family spoke mainly Hebrew but Yiddish was heard everywhere. Hanna has a law degree from the Heberw University. She also studied Yiddish at Tel Aviv University. She has been working as an attorney in public institutions and in her private office. Hanna is also an active member and a legal advisor for many social and cultural organizations including Beit-Leivik. She initiated the process which led in 1996 to the legislation and the establishment of the National Authority for Yiddish Culture. Hanna has lectured widely on Yiddish and Israeli culture all around the world. She is married to Daniel Galay and mother of Asaf and Racheli.

Beni Gothajner (Melbourne)
Beni, the translator of the series of 11 memorial poems that open Birstein's collection, is a native Yiddish speaker. He is a former headmaster of Melbourne's Sholem Aleichem School, in the days when it was still only a Sunday School. A retired teacher of English and History, Beni has been translating both poetry and prose from Yiddish for many years.

Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein (Philadelphia)
is the Ruth Meltzer Senior Lecturer in Yiddish and Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include a translation and study of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern's poems, In New York: A Selection, (Jewish Publication Society, 1982), Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky (Wayne State University Press, 1999), and Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, of which she is co-editor (W. W. Norton, 2001). She is also a major contributor to American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology (University of California Press, 1986). Her poems and many scholarly articles on Yiddish literature, and most recently, on women poets in Yiddish, have appeared in journals and anthologies. A recent article (in Yiddish) on Moyshe-Leyb Halpern's art appeared in the Forverts. She has received grants from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and is working on a book and an anthology on women Yiddish poets.

Faith (Nomi) Jones (New York)
Until recently Faith was the head of the Mid-Manhattan Literature and Languages collection of the New York Public Library. While working in her previous appointment as Yiddish bibliographer in NYPL's Jewish Division, she was project manager for the award-winning online yizkor book project, which brought 650 rare and out-of-print yizkor books to the open internet (yizkor.nypl.org). She is part of a three-person collective that translates the poetic works of Celia Dropkin into English and her research interests include Yiddish women writers, Western Canadian Jewry, and the history of the book. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Canadian Jewish Studies, the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Publishing Research Quarterly, and Judaica Librarianship, while other essays and criticism have been published in The Forward, Canadian Jewish Outlook and אויפֿן שװעל (Afn Shvel). She serves as Yiddish editor for Bridges: a Jewish Feminist Journal. She is an active volunteer with KlezKamp and co-produced their double-CD release, "Live From KlezKamp!"

Floris Kalman (nee Gryfenberg) (Melbourne)
Floris lives in Melbourne. She was born in Belgium before the War and is a native Yiddish speaker. She attended Yiddish Sunday School in Brussels after the war. Trained as a Sunday School teacher in Melbourne and taught Yiddish. Studying Hebrew language and literature much later in life paradoxically improved her Yiddish and enabled her to read Mendele and to write a Master’s thesis on his works. She has always had a great interest in languages and enjoys the challenge of translating. Married for 49 years, she has three children and 8 grandchildren.

Miriam Koral (Los Angeles)
Ms. Koral is the CEO of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture & Language (CIYCL), which is internationally known for its winter Yiddish intensive, “The Art of Yiddish” and its Yiddish-into-English Poetry Translation Contest
(www.yiddishinstitute.org); is a Lecturer in Yiddish at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1998; and has published prose and poetry in Yiddish and English. She also lectures widely on modern Yiddish poetry and was one of the contributing translators for the Yisroel Shtern Project. An American native of Israel, Yiddish is her mameloshn.

Miriam Leberstein (New York)
Miriam learned Yiddish at home and in the Ordn shules in New York City. She lives in New York, where she studies, teaches, and translates from Yiddish.

Jon Levitow (California)
Born in 1958 in Los Angeles CA, Jon Levitow received a Ph.D. in English literature from Princeton University in 1986 with a dissertation on James Joyce. He is a former student of Yiddish at the Los Angeles Arbeter Ring and at the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language intensive Yiddish program in Los Angeles, where he has also served as an instructor, as well as first prize winner of the inaugural CIYCL internet-wide Yiddish poetry translation competition in 2005. He currently teaches Yiddish at Stanford University and lives in San Jose. Jon welcomes comments and criticisms at: jnlvtw@comcast.net

Aaron Rubinstein (Massachusetts)
Aaron is the Collections Manager at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is a contributing editor to the Center's magazine, The Pakn Treger, and has contributed to the Dictionary of Literary Biography volume, Writers in Yiddish, edited by Joseph Sherman. Most recently, he has curated an exhibit titled "The People's Book: The Bible in the Jewish Imagination" that explores the influence of Biblical themes in Yiddish literature.

Sheva Zucker (New York)
Sheva is currently the Executive Director of the League for Yiddish and the editor of its magazine Afn shvel. She is the author of the textbooks Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature & Culture, Vols. I & II. She teaches Yiddish in the Uriel Weinreich Program in Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture in New York City. She was for several years the Translation Editor of the Pakn Treger, the magazine of the National Yiddish Book Center. Some of her translations appear in the Pakn Treger and in Beautiful as the Moon, Radiant as the Stars: Jewish Women in Yiddish Stories.

| Book | Other Poems | About | Archive | Translators | Acknowledgments | Links | Contact Us   

Website Design Twam Design
Yiddish Poetry