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Frontier Yiddish: Western Yiddish Americana from the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Jan 28, 2015 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am


Special Guest: Danny Luzon, Graduate Student in Comparative Literature

Come learn about Yiddish at the first meeting of the Working Group this semester, on Wednesday 28 January 2015, 4:30pm-6pm!

This session will highlight the Magnes’s holdings of Western Yiddish Americana imprints, consisting of original Yiddish literature printed in California until the middle of the twentieth century. Our guest Danny Luzon will help us connect these literary pieces with the prose of Lamed Shapiro (1878-1948) whose works used minimalist, modernist techniques to portray the social and psychological tensions of the Eastern European Jews during an age of mass immigration to the U.S. Shapiro’s life was characterized by constant geographical shifts, especially between New York and Los Angeles, yet the American experience he depicts in his fiction is located almost exclusively in New York. The literary pieces we offer for discussion include:

  1. Lamed Shapiro, Ksovim (Los Angeles, 1949) – A posthumous collection of previously unpublished writings.

  2. S. Miller, Dor Hamidber (Los Angeles, 1951) – A novel by the leading Los Angeles Yiddish author and a close friend of Shapiro’s.

  3. Kheshbon (1946-2007) – A Yiddish journal published in Los Angeles which hosted local authors from California as well as international contributors from all around the globe.




The Townsend/Magnes Working Group in Modern Jewish Culture meets once a month to discuss scholarly issues in conjunction with specific items from the Magnes’s extensive holdings.

SPRING SEMESTER 2015 DATES: 25 February, 18 March, 29 April.

Due to space considerations, Working Group sessions are limited to current students, post-doctoral scholars and faculty.



Jan 28, 2015
8:30 am - 10:00 am
Program Category:


The Magnes Collection of Jewish Life and Art
2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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