Archive for the ‘YIVO News’ Category

Mazel Tov Elisa

October 30, 2013

CAF13Chicago YIVO member Elisa Steinberg honored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation!



Elisa Steinberg, Class of 2007, has a combination of talents that’s unique even among our eclectic corps of CAF docents.  She acted in the Yiddish theater, was educated in architecture, and studied linguistics at The University of Chicago.  Oh, she is a native Spanish speaker, too.

She’s originally from Uruguay, where her Jewish parents emigrated from Poland in the 1920s.  “We spoke Yiddish at home,” Elisa says.  “From the ages of 3 to 28 I acted in the Yiddish theater ensemble in Montevideo, the capital of the country. When I was a child, I played the role of one of the daughters in Tevye the Milkman.  (The play, a drama by Sholem Aleichem, was later adapted as a musical that premiered on Broadway in 1964 as Fiddler on the Roof.)

In the mid-1970s Elisa studied architecture at the University of the Republic-Uruguay.  She then worked for an architectural firm, first in Montevideo, then later in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1976 Elisa and her husband, Manuel Diaz, fled Uruguay following the nation’s military coup and rule that lasted until 1984.  “We lost our house and most of our possessions, but the worst was losing my architecture portfolio,” says Elisa.  They relocated to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1978, when Manuel was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for research in molecular and cellular biology at Yale University…

Click HERE to access article online in the Docent Quarterly.

Follow this link to download article as a pdf –> SteinbergCAF


PHOTO: Friends celebrate Elisa’s birthday at the AMC River East. From Left: Elisa Steinberg, Manuel Diaz, Rich Miller, Dan Susmano & Sara Susmano.

(Jan Lisa Huttner/2009 Chicago International Film Festival)

MVM: Muchas Gracias

August 15, 2012

Extending muchas gracias & sheynem dank from the Chicago YIVO Society to filmmaker Maria Victoria Menis of Argentina (shown in photo on left).

In the past two days, almost 500 people attended one of our three screenings of her lovely film Camera Obscura either at Northbrook Public Library, Skokie Public Library, or Harold Washington Library Center (Chicago Loop).

Click HERE for more information on how to purchase Camera Obscura (for home use) or rent Camera Obscura (for public exhibition) from the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University.

Click HERE to purchase The House of Memory: Stories by Jewish Women Writers of Latin America, a collection edited by poet Marjorie Agosin which contains Angelica Gorodischer’s original short story.

Click HERE for the words of the lovely poem by Eliahu Toker (set to music by Marcelo Moguilevsky).

Click HERE for the Wikipedia page explaining the camera obscura phenomenon (“one of the inventions that led to photography”), seen in film when Jean-Baptiste notices that the image of Gertrudis drawing water from the well has been projected on the back wall of his room.

We also send our appreciation to our library partners for their terrific onsite support, & to NCJF for making this wonderful film available to Kol Yisrael. Finally we thank all the audience members who participated in the three lively Q&A sessions after each screening.

All Chicago YIVO “Summer Festival of Yiddish Culture” programs are FREE & open to the public 🙂

Vilna Film Pix

February 21, 2012

Photos taken by Chicago YIVO Society eMaven Tzivi Huttner at the ILHMEC screening of The World Was Ours on Sunday 2/12.

Top photo: Filmmaker Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren with Lillian Gerstner (ILHMEC’s Director of Special Projects). Bottom photo: Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren with longtime Chicago YIVO Society supporters Betty & Leo Melamed.

DVD copies of The World Was Ours can be purchased (for home use) from The Vilna Project.

Here is the complete contact information:

Mira Jedwabnik Van Doren

130 West 57th Street

New York, NY 10019


For more photos from this event, visit our Facebook page: Chicago YIVO Friends 🙂

New Turtletaub Book!

December 21, 2011

Dr. Khane-Faygl Turtletaub (Chicago YIVO’s Leyenkrayz Leader) is pleased to announce that her new book Yiddish Songs for Children has just been published.

Yiddish Songs for Children is an 8×11 full-color book with a disc of 14 lively songs with a message, such as: it is good to listen to your parents, enjoy Shabbos, appreciate nature, and give charity.

The book includes Yiddish lyrics with English translation, Yiddish transliteration and musical score. A CD with all the songs (played by  musicians from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra) is enclosed on the front cover.

To order Yiddish Songs for Children, contact:

Mame-Loshn Productions
8914 N. Central Park
Evanston, IL 60203

(847) 675-3335

Cost: $30 (including sales tax and regular postage)

Fall Bulletin (2011)

November 15, 2011

Follow link BELOW to read our new Fall Bulletin for 2011 including reports of recent activities plus special articles by Beata Kasiarz (“My Yiddish Summer”), Rivka Schiller (“The Significance of a Newspaper Article”) & Alan Todres (“The Fourteenth Annual Symposium for Yiddish Studies in Germany, 2011″):


CFIC: Gei Oni

November 14, 2011

The Chicago YIVO Society (in collaboration with Films for Two) was the proud sponsor of Dan Wolman’s new film Gei Oni. at this year’s Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema.

Our screening was Sunday Nov 6th @ 3:30 PM at the AMC Northbrook Court, followed by a private dinner for Wolman at DiPescara Restaurant.


The screening was sold out! Sheynem Dank to everyone who attended & special thanks to the staff at DiPescara for a delightful evening.

Dan Wolman speaking about Gei Oni at the DiPescara reception. Pictured with Wolman below are Kate Berezutskaya (l) plus Morrie Fred, Cindy Stern & Fran Dvorkin (r).

Read more about Gei Oni in Tzivi’s Guide to the 2011 Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema (in the October issue of the JUF News):

“Tamar Alkan makes an unforgettable screen debut as ‘Fania’ in Gei Oni (Valley of Fortitude). Fania is a refined young woman who arrives in Turkish Palestine circa 1882 traumatized by the Ukrainian pogroms which decimated her family. Moving to a settlement near Sfat, she must build a new life for herself while coming to terms with her past. Gei Oni, directed with epic scope and historical precision by Dan Wolman, has already received festival awards in France, Germany and Romania.”

New Year Greetings

September 19, 2011






Torah graphic courtesy of Free-Bitsela.

Klezmer Pizza Party

August 16, 2011

10/2/11 Update: Follow link for photos taken onsite –> 11Oct02TziviPix

To Pre-Schoolers, K-12, Gen-X, Gen-Y, Boomers, Bubbes & Zaydes:

The Chicago YIVO Society invites you & your entire family to a Holiday Sing-along with a quintet from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band & noshes from EJ’s Pizzeria!

Date: Sunday, Oct 2 (between Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur)

Time: Doors open 11:30 AM/Music @ Noon/Refreshments 1-2 PM

Where: Evanston S.P.A.C.E.  @ 1245 Chicago Ave.

One block east of Dempster Purple Line station.

Free municipal garage across the street, plus on-street parking.

Cost: $7.00 per person (under 6 years old FREE)


email: / phone: Fran (630)620-0634

Click here for pdf download –> 11Oct02KlezmerParty

Sarah Lazarus Memorial Concert

July 12, 2011

Tzivi’s Report: The life of Sarah Rose Lazarus was celebrated with joy and laughter when the Chicago YIVO Society presented Mayses un Klangen (Stories and Sounds) in her honor at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie on July 10.

Cantor Stewart Figa of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest told a series of traditional Khelm Stories (including An Open Door and Teltse by Solomon Simon) while cellist Racheli Galay and pianist Ilya Levinson provided punctuation.

Most of the musical interludes came from Klezmer Tunes with a Classical Touch by Israeli composer Daniel Galay (Racheli’s father). Then, in his grand finale, Figa lead a sing-along of Yiddish favorites (such as Der Rebbe Elimelekh), and Galay and Levinson closed with a medley of their own called Wedding Potpourri.

Born in Warsaw in 1911, Sarah Lazarus lived most of her life in Chicago. After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in music, she became a beloved teacher at both Yiddish folkshuln and local Hebrew schools. She also sang in synagogue choirs and performed at hundreds of metro Chicago community events.

The SRO crowd included program sponsors Jerry and Debbie Lazarus (Sarah’s son and daughter-in-law) who came from Denver to reminisce with dozens of her former students.

Top photo from left: Levinson, Galay, and Figa.

Bottom photo from left: Levinson, Figa & Galay with  Debbie &  Jerry Lazarus, and Chicago YIVO Board President Jake Morowitz.

Photo Credits: Jan Lisa Huttner (7/10/11)

Chava Alberstein Doc

June 29, 2011
NOTE: Replacing the film originally scheduled on this date!!! 

Chava Alberstein

Date: Sept 8 (Thurs)

Time: 12:15 PM
Where: Skokie Public Library
Too Early to be Quiet, Too Late to Sing
In this poignant documentary, world-famous Israeli singer Chava Alberstein gives expression to her endless love of Yiddish poetry.

Six million Jews perished during the Holocaust and with them their spoken language, but a small core of survivors continued to create in Yiddish.  Alberstein set out to interview these last writers of Yiddish poetry, to hear their poems and stories.

In addition to singing classic Yiddish folk songs, Alberstein also creates new music for several of the poems recited in this film.  The full set of 15 poems of the greatest Yiddish poets of the 20th century can be found on her CD The Well (performed in collaboration with The Klezmatics).

 The title “Too Early To Be Quiet, Too Late To Sing” comes from the work of Yiddish poet Binem Hiller (words which express the status of Yiddish literature today).