Rudnitsky’s Yiddish Lullaby


Hear Leslie Newcorn sing “Birds are Drowsing” by Leah Rudnitsky (in Yiddish) during the 3/24/10 Chicago WITASWAN program sponsored by the Chicago YIVO Society.

(Note: Leslie’s part begins with a tribute to Leah Rudnitsky at minute 6:35 after “Welcome & Thank You to Sponsors” by program MC Jan Lisa Huttner).

Birds are Drowsing on the Branches

By Leah Rudnitsky

Birds are drowsing on the branches.

Sleep, my darling child.

At your cradle, in the field,

A stranger sits and sings.

Once you had another cradle

Woven out of joy,

And your mother, oh your mother

Will never more come by.

I saw your father fleeing

Under the rain of countless stones,

Over fields and over valleys

Flew his orphaned cry.



From Nightwords: A Liturgy on the Holocaust


Information about Leah Rudnitsky is sparse.  Born in 1913 in Kalvarija, Lithuania, she moved to Vilnius around 1940.  According to some sources, once the liquidation of the ghetto began, she joined a partisan group in the woods and survived for several years.  She died sometime after 1943, but her poem lives on in many Yiddish anthologies.

Leslie Newcorn is a Cantorial Soloist in the Chicago area who served Congregation Kol Ami from 2001 to 2009.  An accomplished singer with over 30 years of professional vocal training, Leslie began singing liturgical music in 1991.  She is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians and the Women Cantor’s Network, and is currently treasurer of the Chicago Milwaukee Association for Synagogue Musicians.  Leslie has a Liberal Arts degree from Indiana University with a major in theater.

Leslie begins at 6:35 (after Intro).


Click HERE for more information about the 2010 Chicago WITASWAN program sponsored by the Chicago YIVO Society.


Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now!

One Response to “Rudnitsky’s Yiddish Lullaby”

  1. Sara Says:

    Thank you Jan for giving me the oprtunity to hear the beginning of the presentation I was not able to attend.
    Keep up the good work

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