Community Open House

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Yiddish Book Center
1021 West St.
Amherst, MA 01002

Community Open House
Join us for a day of events.

Featuring the Melinda Rosenblatt Lecture presented by Adam Kirsch

All events are free and open to the public.


2 p.m. |  The 2016 Melinda Rosenblatt Lecture presented by Adam Kirsch: "Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?"

Adam KirschJews take pride in the name "the people of the book"; the Jewish literary tradition is thousands of years long, spanning many languages and genres and a wide variety of approaches to religious questions. But does anything define Jewish literature, formally or thematically, beyond the mere fact of its being written by a Jew? Adam Kirsch explores the fraught history of attempts to define Jewish literature and looks for clues to its definition and its future.

Adam Kirsch is director of the master’s program in Jewish studies at Columbia University and the author of the recently published Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander. He writes for publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, the Times Literary Supplement, and Pakn Treger.

11 a.m. | Oral History Films

studio oral historyChrista Whitney, director of the Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, will screen and then discuss two short films from the project's "Beyond the Books" series showcasing Yiddish literary figures and their descendants: Ida Maze: The “Den Mother” of Yiddish Montreal and Alter Esselin: Craftsman of Wood and Words.

11am & 1pm | Tour the world's first Yiddish museum!

Group TourThis 45-minute tour takes the visitor through the Yiddish Book Center's museum exhibits and allows them to...

DISCOVER the whole of Yiddish literature and its writers
about Yiddish language
ENCOUNTER the stories of three immigrant families told through words, pictures, and artifacts
EXPERIENCE the world of rural Jews in 1912-1914
GLIMPSE life in the American Jewish home
EXPLORE a Yiddish print shop
WATCH classic Yiddish film clips
to vintage Yiddish radio
SEE our visiting exhibits
TOUR the Yiddish Writers Garden, and more

PLEASE NOTE: Lineup is subject to change. All ticket sales are final, we cannot accommodate refunds or exchanges.

This event does not require an RSVP. Registered users can request event reminders.