Culture in motion: Yiddish in Canadian Jewish life

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Abstract

The past century has transformed Yiddish in Canada: it has moved from an immigrant vernacular, to a language of high culture, to a heritage language and component of Jewish popular culture. These changes are reflected in shifts in its institutional life, notably in publishing, literature, education, and theatre and music. The mass immigration of tens of thousands of Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews during the early twentieth century rendered the language a significant force in Jewish centres across Canada. In the decades since the Holocaust, Yiddish Canada has shown vitality in the face of global attrition, both in modern secular Yiddish culture and in Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) communities. Its primary mechanisms for transmission are centred on performance as well as translation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages51
JournalThe Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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