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China Through Yiddish Eyes

February 17 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Sunday, February 17th at 1 pm


Speaker Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania


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Join Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein as she explores the poems and travel writings of Melech Ravitch from his visit to China in 1935. Ravitch was one of Warsaw’s most influential literary figures in the interwar period. His vivid, sometimes disturbing writings helps readers experience his own wonder at the novelty of traveling to these fabled places while drawing connections and a sense of familiarity between his Yiddish readers and der vayter mizrakh (the Far East).


Dr. Hellerstein will draw on poems from Kontinentn un okeanen (Continents and Oceans) and selections from Melech Ravitch’s travelogue, portions of which were originally published in Yiddish newspapers in Warsaw, Melbourne, and Johannesburg.


Kathryn Hellerstein is a professor of Yiddish and Director of  the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her books of translations are: In New York: A Selection (Moyshe-Leyb Halpern) and Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky.  Her monograph, A Question of Tradition:  Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 won the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies and the 2015 Modern Language Association Fenia and Yaacov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies.  Her current project is China through Yiddish Eyes: Cultural Translation in the Twentieth Century.


This program is presented in relation to the Jewish Refugees and Shanghai exhibit, on display February 3 – March 10, 2019. Tickets to public programs include admission to the Museum.


February 17
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm