— Bibliographic Items

Yiddish – The Mame Loshn (Yiddish - the Mother Tongue)

Material Type: 
Ergo Media inc.

Directed by Cordelia Stone and Pierre Sauvage

Produced by Pierre Sauvage

       Yiddish used to be a language that was spoken by over ten million Jews around the world. Now, as a result of different factors, such as the Holocaust, American assimilation, and Zionism's insistance on Hebrew as the national language of Israel, its numbers have steeply decreased. This emmy-award winning film interviews American Yiddish speakers including actors and comedians, such as David Steinberg, about the Yiddish language and culture. Different aspects of the culture are discussed such as film, poetry and music.


    There are a few scenes in the film where Yiddish music is heard and performed. Some of them include the singing of the Yiddish alpha bet, scenes from films (such as Tevye, Maurice Schwartz's 1939 adaptation of Shalom Aleichem's Tevye the milkman) and performances of famous Yiddish singers, like Molly Picon.  The Klezmorim, who were among pioneers of the late 1970s klezmer revival is shown performing and the band's leader, Lev Leiberman, gives an introduction to the origins of Klezmer music and the roots of its revival.