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Yiddish Writers Monologues: Yosl Birshteyn 'A Kiss in Jerusalem'
Apr 24 2012

YOSL BIRSHTEYN (1920-2003) may be the last Jewish writer to have inhabited a creative life in two Jewish national languages: Yiddish and Hebrew. Not only did he write and publish in each, but he also mastered the art of storytelling in both as well. He never simply spoke; he was a raconteur whose every anecdote was a performance. In 1994, towards the end of his career, Birshteyn gave an in-depth video interview about his life and work to the editor in chief of the Forverts, Boris Sandler, from which this film is drawn.

The video below includes the introduction and closing remarks of the evening.
Chava Lapin, former Educational Director of Workmen’s Circle, introduced the film and Boris Sandler.
Yosl Birshteyn’s daughter, Hanna Inbar, spoke about her father after the film.

A Kiss in Jerusalem is part of a series of video Yiddish Writers’ Monologues. Each DVD features contemporary footage shot on locations from Jerusalem and Rehovot to Vilna, incorporating archival footage and intimate photos from the writers’ personal archives. This series provides an opportunity to eavesdrop on spoken Yiddish as articulated by native Yiddish writers, with subtitles in English.

This event was co-sponsored by the Yiddish Forverts.
The DVD Series was funded by the Forward Association, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Atran Foundation and Beth Shalom Aleichem (Israel)
Yosl Birshteyn Video