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Don’t Knock Me a Tea Kettle: Strange Yiddish Expressions and How They Got That Way, with Michael Wex
In Michael Wex’s second presentation for KlezCalifornia, we will look at a few well-known Yiddish expressions and their sources to see what they tell us about the history, nature, and attitudes of the language and about why Jews felt that they needed a language of their own.
About Michael Wex» Author of three books on Yiddish, including the bestselling Born to Kvetch, Michael Wex, born in Lethbridge, Alberta, has taught the language at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan and is a mainstay of the contemporary Yiddish scene. A native-speaker whose Yiddish songs have been recorded by such bands as the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, Wex has translated material ranging from classical Yiddish literature to testimony for war crimes trials. He has also translated The Threepenny Opera from German into Yiddish. His most recent book, Rhapsody in Schmaltz, a study of Ashkenazi food that did for Yiddish food what Born to Kvetch did for Yiddish speech, was published 2016 by St. Martin’s Press only a few months before the world premier of Bobe Mayses, a collaborative spectacle by Wex, Jennifer Romaine and Alan Bern developed and produced at Yiddish Summer Weimar. His most recent major project, Baym Kabaret Yitesh, an all-Yiddish cabaret show, premiered at Yiddish Summer Weimar in 2019.
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