Yiddish Resources on the Web: A Guide
Whether you are studying Yiddish for your own leisure or academically, these resources are wonderful tools to use as starting points.
Yiddish Dictionary Online
This Yiddish-English, English-Yiddish Dictionary is searchable by English word, Yiddish word, or transliterated Yiddish in Roman letters. The dictionary is also browsable, making it an easy-to-use resource.
Yiddish Search Tools:
Yiddish Google allows you to search the web using Hebrew characters. Results will include both Hebrew and Yiddish hits.
A more limited resource than its English language counterpart, Yiddish Wikipedia is a useful resource for finding brief entries on a wide variety of topics. The public contributes and edits encyclopedia entries for this site.
Digitized Yiddish Works:
Yiddish Book Center
The National Yiddish Book Center is a valuable resource with full-text online access to nearly 11,000 out-of-print Yiddish titles. The books can be downloaded, browsed, printed or read online for free. Full-text reference works, including encyclopedias, as well as Yiddish literature has been made available.
This digitized collection from the National Library of Poland features many well-known Yiddish poets, novelists and playwrights.
The University Library in Frankfurt am Main has digitized more than eight hundred complete Yiddish works, which are made available online. The texts range in publication date from the 16th until the 20th century, and include liturgy, legends, and literature. This site is searchable by title, author, and publication year, and titles are also available to browse.
The World of Yiddish
Short Stories and excerpts from novels are available for download as PDFs or to listen to as audio files.
A variety of short Yiddish works available online.
Yizkor Books Online - New York Public Library.
Large collection of digitized Yizkor books that can be viewed online.
Yizkor Book Project - on the JewishGen website.
A project intended "to facilitate access to Yizkor Books and the information contained in them.”
Yiddish journals, newspapers and event listings:
Named for its origins in the San Francisco Bay Area, Der Bay lists major Yiddish events worldwide as well as providing ideas and suggestions for local Yiddish speaking groups.
The Yiddish Forward is a weekly news magazine published out of New York City with both Yiddish and English editions.
Published by the National Yiddish Book Center, this magazine has English language articles dealing with Yiddish culture and themes.
Yiddish Radio and Interviews:
“The archive is an attempt at reconstructing the historical Yiddish language and culture area.” Over 6000 hours of digitally recorded interviews. Monthly interviews are featured free of charge of the website, as well as interviews from different regions in Europe.
The Golden Age of Yiddish Radio
A collection of downloadable archival Yiddish radio programs, from 1940s New York as well as radio programs from 1960s Miami.
Yiddish Radio Project
The exhibits on this site feature the Yiddish radio programs from the 1930s until the 1950s and include rare Yiddish radio clips, archival photographs, and various ephemera from a forgotten radio universe.
The Yiddish Voice
Listen to Boston’s Yiddish radio show on Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30 P.M.
Learning and Typing the Language:
The Yiddish Alphabet and transliteration Chart
YIVO Institute's Interactive Alef-Beyz explains how Yiddish letters and pronounced and transliterated. You can listen to a pronunciation of the letters.
Yidishe Shraybmashinke(Yiddish Typewriter)
Raphael Finkel's typewriter allows you to enter transliterated Yiddish text which it will then correct to YIVO’s transliteration standards.
This site allows you to type in English and it will automatically convert the characters into Yiddish. Please check for errors.
Yiddish Collections and Research:
A Garment Worker’s Legacy: Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry
This collection from McGill University’s rare book collection includes “2300 Yiddish works, mostly poetry, and includes many rare volumes, most of which have been preserved in vintage condition by beautiful hand-made jackets fashioned by Joe Fishstein, the Bronx garment worker who amassed them.” Covers of books and some pages have been digitized and can be viewed online.
The Index to Yiddish Periodicals
Maintained by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “The ‘Index to Yiddish Periodicals’ is a bibliographical data base using Yiddish, which aims to record the materials published in the Yiddish press in Eastern Europe, from its beginnings (1862) until 1939 (in the Soviet Union: until 1948).”
Mendele: Forum for Yiddish Literature and Yiddish Language
Mendele is a free “moderated mailing list dedicated to the lively exchange of views, information, news and just about anything else related to the Yiddish language and Yiddish literature.”
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
“Founded in 1925 in Vilna, Poland (Wilno, Poland, now Vilnius, Lithuania), as the Yiddish Scientific Institute, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and to its influence in the Americas.” Find information about Yiddish courses and history.
Yiddish Music and Film:
Freedman Jewish Sound Archive
“This musical research library, international, and multi-lingual in scope, is a collection of approximately 5300 Judaic sound recordings, in various formats.” This database includes some free recordings and a sheet music collection of 940 items, as well as the recording information and the first lines of indexed songs.
Judaica Sound Archives
These archives from Atlantic University allow you to listen online to a variety of Yiddish language music recordings for free.
National Center for Jewish Film
The NCJF has a catalogue of Jewish films which include a wide array of Yiddish language films, some of which have been digitally restored. A valuable resource for identifying early Yiddish film.
Listen to Yiddish Music online using Internet Explorer as your browser (not compatible with Firefox).
Yiddish Sheet Music
A searchable and browsable collection of digitized Yiddish sheet music from Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives.
The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music
“The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music is an international undertaking to record, preserve and distribute a vast cross-section, comprising hundreds of outstanding pieces of American Jewish music from the past 350 years.” You can listen to some tracks online for free.