In this three-part series, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell will join a panel in exploring issues of systemic racism in the United States through the lens of moments in Yiddish culture: Leyb Malach’s play Mississippi, written in the wake of the infamous Scottsboro Boys trials; Yoysef Kerler’s poem Ven Kh’volt in Alabama Zayn, written in response to the American Civil Rights Movement, and the diverse engagements in the Yiddish language press with the phenomenon of anti-Black racism in the United States.
Thursday, February 18, 2021, 7:00-8:30pm ET
Familiarity and Distance: Yoysef Kerler’s Ven Kh’volt in Alabama Zayn
Maia Evrona & Amelia Glaser
When a Soviet Yiddish poet is inspired to pick up his pen in response to the American Civil Rights movement, what experiential resonances arise for the poet? Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, with guests Maia Evrona and Amelia Glaser, will visit Yoysef Kerler’s 1965 poem Ven Kh’volt in Alabama Zayn as an entry into a larger discussion of Jewish projections onto Black struggle in Yiddish poetry, contemporary reception of the American Civil Rights movement and the horizons—then and now—of ethnic solidarity.
Co-sponsors: Be'chol Lashon, Boston Workers Circle, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Congregation Kol Ami, Detroit Jews for Justice, Jewish Community Action, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Sacramento Region, Jewish Labor Committee, JFREJ, Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Council of Jewish Women, Reconstructing Judaism, Ritualwell, T'ruah, Yaffed, Yiddish Book Center, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.