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Beyle: The Artist and Her Legacy

Hosted By: Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA)

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman was a woman whose life and work bridged the old world with the new. Following in the footsteps of her activist father and folk singer mother, she dedicated her life to preserving and transmitting the Yiddish language and culture. Her influence reached across continents until her death in 2013, and lives on in a new generation.

Born to a Yiddish-speaking family in Vienna, Holocaust survivor Beyle (pronounced “bay-luh”) was raised in Czernowitz. After the Second World War, she settled in the United States, where she became a central figure of a vibrant Yiddish community-based in the Bronx, New York. Along with several other neighboring families, she raised her children in Yiddish. Her home on Bainbridge Avenue became a gathering place for people who wanted to be near Beyle and her remarkable songs, experiences, and ideology. She prioritized living fully in Yiddish by anyone who wanted to do so, whether or not it was their mame-loshn (mother-tongue). One can find Beyle’s influence throughout the contemporary Yiddish world.

A poet and artist, Beyle was named a National Heritage Fellow in recognition for her invaluable contributions to traditional Jewish folk art. Her creative output and devotion to the continuation of Yiddish language and culture spanned seven decades.

BEYLE: The Artist and Her Legacy tells the story of Beyle’s rich life through archival recordings along with newly recorded oral history interviews with family, friends, and colleagues – in both English and in Yiddish. In keeping with Beyle’s multimedia artistic practice, we have translated her paintings and sketches into whimsical animations and weaved her story through the tradition of oral history and into a film.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.

Host

Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA)

The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity. The Yiddish Book Center is home to permanent and visiting exhibits; two performance halls with a year-round schedule of educational programs, concerts (including the annual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music), films, and events; an English-language bookstore; and a million Yiddish books.
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