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YIVO Institute for Jewish Research » Support Yivo » Support YIVO » Letter from the Executive Director

Letter from the Executive Director

90 Years and Growing!
Dear Friends,

YIVO has always been committed to the Jewish future. The founders of YIVO knew that this future depended upon knowledge of our past in Eastern Europe, and creating meaningful connections to the present. YIVO is as intent as ever on rebuilding these connections and strengthening Jewish identity. Our work is essential for the Jewish future and your support is essential to our work.

Thanks to our Members, 2014 has been a banner year and we anticipate an even better 2015, YIVO’s 90th Anniversary. In January, we will launch a seven-year $5.25 million international project to preserve, digitize, and reunite YIVO’s prewar archives in New York and Vilnius, Lithuania, and make them available online. At completion, this project will constitute the world’s largest collection of materials on East European Jewish civilization, including Yiddish-language materials, stimulating new research and educational possibilities across the globe.

Letters to Afar, YIVO’s first major New York exhibition in several decades, drew over 800 people to its grand opening on October 21 at the Museum of the City of New York. This groundbreaking video installation, created by media artist Péter Forgács and The Klezmatics, is based on a YIVO collection of home movies made by American Jewish immigrants returning to their native Poland in the interwar period. Letters will be on display at MCNY through March 22, 2015 and opens at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in February 2015.

In 2014 YIVO launched a new Visiting Scholars program that established three new appointments in the fields of East European Jewish History; Literature; and Yiddish Language and Linguistics. Our 2014 Visiting Scholars include Professor Steven J. Zipperstein, Stanford University (Jacob Kronhill Visiting Scholar in East European Jewish History, 2014), Professor Gennady Estraikh, NYU (Albert B. Ratner Visiting Scholar in East European Jewish Literature, 2014), and Professor Rakhmiel Peltz, Drexel University (Atran Visiting Professor in Yiddish Language and Linguistics, January 2015).

YIVO’s initiatives would not be possible without your support. Our mission and moral responsibility is to preserve and foster knowledge of East European Jewish civilization and to restore essential links between East European Jewry and their descendents around the world. We must reclaim our own history and culture in order to hand it down to our children and grandchildren.

As you consider your year-end charitable giving, we strongly encourage you to support our work and become more involved in the richness and experiences YIVO has to offer.

A hartsikn dank un a yasher koyekh,

Jonathan Brent
Executive Director

P.S. Help ensure the continuity of our heritage, and make your tax-deductible gift today at!