Major Figures

Philip Roth

A long (fictional) trail of tears.

Chaim Potok

In addition to being an award-winning novelist, Chaim Potok was also a philosopher and a rabbi.

Cynthia Ozick

Ozick's version of Jewish literature is more than Yiddish words and slapstick.

Emma Lazarus

The poet best known for the verse inscribed on the Statue of Liberty pedestal.

Maurice Sendak

From monsters under the bed to the horrors of the Holocaust, the artist and author knows his way around a child's brain.

American Jewish Literature

Jewish American Literature from 1970-2000

Suddenly being Jewish seemed as natural as breathing, sleeping, and sex.

Immigrant Literature

Yiddish-speaking Jews put faith in the language of their new country.


Is there something uniquely Jewish about the poetry of Jewish Americans?

The 21st Century

Vibrancy and diversity mark the new crop of novelists and story writers.

Comic Books

How American Jews created the comic book industry.

Yiddish Literature

European Writing

The writings of Ashkenazic Jewry spans several languages and centuries.

20th Century

Yiddish writers emigrated from Europe, and though Yiddish writing all but ceased after the Holocaust, it is seeing a small rebirth today.

I.L. Peretz

And his contributions to Yiddish literature.

Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem was one of the most beloved writers of Yiddish literature in the late 19th and early 20th century.

I.B. Singer

The life and work of Yiddish literature's Nobel laureate.

Hebrew Literature

A Reader's Guide

Hebrew literature in translation.

Early Literature

Nationalistic poetry was a powerful, early Israeli genre.

The New Wave

In the second half of the 20th century, Israeli writers became a voice of critique and protest.

Yehuda Amichai

Amichai was among the first Israeli writers to compose poems in colloquial Modern Hebrew.

Rahel the Poetess

Rahel's poetry expounded on the beauty of the land of Israel--but it was a tragedy in space that gave one of her poems renewed attention.