Annual Authority Prizes Ceremony
Every year, the National Authority for Yiddish Culture awards prizes to prominent figures in the fields of arts and literature who contribute significantly to Yiddish language and culture in Israel. In 2019, this ceremony took place on November 19 at the Einav Cultural Center, located at Ibn Gvirol St. 71, Tel Aviv, on the roof of the Gan Ha'ir compound.
This time, the Authority's Public Council chose to bestow lifetime achievement awards upon the actress of Yiddish & Hebrew theaters Annabella Yaakov; veteran Yiddish teachers Rivka Reich and Esther Rozhansky.
Esther Rozhansky receiving the prize
Rivka Reich receiving the prize
Miri Yaakov receiving the prize for her mother Annabella
Ethel Niborsky receiving the first prize at the Yiddish short story content
Shiri Shapira receiving the second prize at the short story content
Raphael Halff receiving the third prize at the short story content
Violinist Chaya Livni
Singer Diana Zingerman
Singer Maxim Lewinsky accompanied by pianist Regina Dricker
Singer Chen Lachs with her pupil Eden
The overcrowded hall
Ya'akov Glatstein, American-Yiddish poet: "Talk to me in Yiddish, my Jewish land, and I'll certainly address you in Hebrew"
רעד צו מיר ייִדיש, מײַן ייִדיש לאַנד.
און איך וועל צו דיר רעדן עבֿרית ממילא.
אַבֿרהם מיט שׂרהן קומען מיר אַנטקעגן
פֿון דער מערת־המכפּלה...
One of the Authority's main activities is to provide financial assistance to organized groups or individuals for projects which contribute to the conservation and development of Yiddish language and culture.
Furthermore, the Authority awards scholarships to students studying for M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in academic institutions in Israel, whose research explores an aspect of Yiddish language or culture.
The Winners Of Israel’s Yiddish Story Contest
Israel’s National Authority for Yiddish Culture launched the first government-sponsored Yiddish-language writing contest ever held in the Jewish state. Ethel Niborsky, age 17, won the first prize for her short story “Letters to a Blind Grandfather,” for which she received an award of 3,000 shekels. The second prize, with an award of 1,500 shekels, went to Shira Shapira, 31, for her story “Three Widows.” Raphael Halff, 25, got the third prize: 1,000 shekels for “A Letter to the Mail.” These prizes were awarded during a ceremony in Tel Aviv on November 19, 2019.
Shiri Shapira, also a Jerusalem resident, is a literary translator who translates works from English, German and Yiddish into Hebrew; her translations include works by the Yiddish writers Deborah Fogel and Yisroel Rabon. She earned M.A. degrees in literary translation and Yiddish studies from the Hebrew University.
Raphael Halff, studying for M.A. in Yiddish at Tel Aviv University, is originally from Teaneck, New Jersey. He graduated with a joint degree from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. A former fellow at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, he made his literary debut in the last print issue of the Yiddish Forward in April 2019.
In June 2019, the National Authority for Yiddish Culture in cooperation with the International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress held a seminar on Yiddish language and culture in Vilnius, Lithuania. 15 Israeli students who are studying Yiddish culture and language in Israeli universities attended the event.
On June 13, a Yiddish choir festival was held in Ashkelon
* 160th anniversary of the birth of the Yiddish literature classic author Sholem Aleichem;
* 50th anniversary of the death of the prominent Yiddish poet Itzik Manger;
* 130th anniversary of the birth of the prominent Yiddish poet Dovid Hofstein;
* 100th anniversary of founding the first Yiddish state-sponsored theater "GOSET" in Petrograd (today Saint Petersburg / Sankt Peterburg)
Yiddish Radio Show – also online
A weekly radio program in Yiddish, sponsored by the National Authority for Yiddish Culture, is broadcast in Israel on public radio at the following frequencies:
104.9 and 105.3 FM (Kan Tarbut) every Friday at 2 p.m.; 100.3, 100.5 and 101.3 FM (Kan REKA) every Friday at 4 p.m. as well as at 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
Listeners can now tune in online at: https://www.kan.org.il/Radio/program.aspx/?progId=1136. Listen and enjoy! The Authority welcomes feedback by email.
Some of the new books issued with the Authority's support
The National Authority for Yiddish Culture was established following the Knesset's resolution authorizing it in 1996. The Authority's mission includes:
* Deepening acquaintance with and increasing exposure of the Israeli public to Yiddish culture in all of its forms;
* Fostering research of Yiddish culture;
* Promoting the instruction of Yiddish language and literature;
* Encouraging the creation of contemporary works in Yiddish, including literature, poetry, theater, etc.
* Compiling, documenting and cataloguing oral folklore and written culture in Yiddish;
* Publishing selected works both in their original Yiddish versions and in Hebrew translation;
* Organizing events for people of all ages, transmitting Yiddish heritage from generation to generation.
The Authority's activities are focused mainly inside the State of Israel, but it also promotes collaboration with Yiddish cultural institutions around the world.