This Week in JPL History: The Yiddish Symposium

From March 12-14, 1988 the JPL held a symposium on Yiddish Montreal. The Symposium saw 19 speakers including Irving Massey, Pierre Anctil, Zachery Baker, David Rome, Eugene Orenstein, Brad Sabin Hill, Leo Davids, Felix Lazarus, Marie Poirier, and David Roskies. It covered a breadth of topics from Massey’s lecture on the poetry of his mother, Ida Maze, to the politics of Montreal’s Yiddish literary community. The keynote address was given by David Roskies on the topic of “Yiddish Montreal and the Tradition of Internal Jewish Bilingualism.” The symposium had two goals, the first was to look at Montreal as a centre for Yiddish literary creativity and second to examine the role Yiddish played in the social development of Montreal’s Jewish community.

In honour of the Library’s centennial, the JPL is organizing a conference for October 26th of this year on the collective history of the Library and how this history provides a path to the future. It will explore the cultural communities that have shaped the Library, it grassroots founding and the literary and creative culture supported and honoured here. The keynote lecture will touch on the continuing importance of libraries and literacy in the digital age. We look forward to seeing you at this celebration of the past, present, and future Jewish Public Library!

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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