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Jacob Dinezon

Beloved Uncle of Modern Yiddish Literature

Jacob Dinezon
Yiddish Fiddler on the Room Program

One Year Ago, Part Two

Exactly one year ago today, on September 3rd, my family and I celebrated the Yiddish writer Jacob Dinezon’s 100th yortsayt for a second time in New York City. Three days earlier, we returned from Poland, where we commemorated Dinezon’s memorial on August 29th, the anniversary of his death on the secular calendar. September 3rd marked the date on the Hebrew calendar. On Sunday afternoon, September 1st, we had the opportunity to attend one of the final performances of A Fidler Afn Dakh, a Yiddish version of Fiddler on the Roof. In the early 1960s, the Israeli actor and director, Shraga . . . (Read More)

Dome on Mausoleum of the Three Writers

One Year Ago, Dinezon’s 100th Yortsayt

With all that’s been going on in 2020, it’s hard to believe that exactly one year ago, my sweet companion Carolyn Toben and I arrived at the Warsaw Chopin Airport. We had come to Poland to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of an important Jewish writer named Jacob Dinezon. The decision to visit Warsaw was not an easy one. Almost everything there when Dinezon was alive was destroyed by the Nazis during the Holocaust: the streets he walked, the apartment he lived in, the synagogue where he prayed. And, of course, the devastation of the Jewish population. . . . (Read More)

Jacob Dinezon 100th yortsayt photograph

#CelebrateDinezon

As the year 2019 comes to a close, I wish to express my deepest thanks to all who have helped us celebrate the life and literary career of the remarkable Yiddish author Jacob Dinezon on the occasion of his 100th yortsayt—the 100th anniversary of his death. In the beginning, my plan was to simply commemorate this event with the February publication of the first English translation of Jacob Dinezon’s 19th-century bestselling Yiddish novel, The Dark Young Man by Tina Lunson. But the creative insights and skills of our publicist, the author, poet, and blogger, Erika Dreifus, expanded the vision into . . . (Read More)

The Mausoleum of the Three Writers in Warsaw Poland

Jacob Dinezon’s 100th Yortsayt in Warsaw

“Żydowski” is the Polish word for Jewish, and this is the plaque that marks the Jewish cemetery on Okapowa Street in Warsaw, Poland. The cemetery, which dates back to the first years of the 19th century, is one of the few places that survived the utter destruction of Warsaw by the Nazis during the Second World War. Today, much of the cemetery is overgrown with weeds. The tall, overhanging trees, crumbling walls, leaning granite headstones, and toppled marble monuments, give the graveyard an ancient, disheveled, eerie quality. But we are here to visit the grand and well-tended Mausoleum of the . . . (Read More)

The Dark Young Man Cover

A Publishing Milestone: The Dark Young Man

February 12, 2019/7 Adar I, 5779 is an auspicious day for us. Today Jewish Storyteller Press published the first English translation of Jacob Dinezon’s 1877 Yiddish novel, The Dark Young Man. Translated by Tina Lunson, and adapted and edited by Scott Hilton Davis, Dinezon’s renowned nineteenth-century Jewish romance is now available to twenty-first-century readers. For me personally, this is the culmination of a sixteen-year effort to revive and rescue Jacob Dinezon’s literary legacy. A highly respected and beloved folk writer during his lifetime, Dinezon’s significant contributions to Jewish literature were obscured by the demise of secular Yiddish following the Holocaust. . . . (Read More)

Headstone Unveiling Announcement for Fajga Kac 1929

What’s In A Name

Over the past fifteen years, as I’ve spent time researching the life and career of the Yiddish author Jacob Dinezon, one piece of information has eluded me: the name of Dinezon’s older sister with whom he lived in Warsaw from the mid-1880s until his death in 1919. Many biographers and memoirists speak of Dinezon’s small apartment in the home of his sister and her family, and an announcement in Warsaw’s Yiddish newspaper, Haynt, reveals the location of Dinezon’s passing: “With deepest sorrow we announce to all family members and friends that Friday the 29th of August, 3 Elul, at 5:20 . . . (Read More)