8 December: Queer Yiddish

newspaper on meir arber
The drag performer Délice (aka Meir Arber), Velt-shpigl, Poland, 1931

With Jake Schneider

Yiddish is a queer language. For generations now, Yiddish-speakers have been blending their queerness with their Yiddishness, drawing on this international language’s built-in intersectionality to create theater, music, art, film, and literature that defies old taboos by including our own queer selves. As Sara Felder wrote, “Queer Yiddishkeit gives me permission to go back to the world of my grandparents without leaving myself behind.” The multimedia presentation, a whistle-stop tour through time, will start with the 1907 Berlin premiere of Sholem Asch’s play God of Vengeance, set in a Jewish-run brothel and featuring a lesbian kiss, and enjoy examples from every decade since. You can expect: cruising in 1930s Vilnius, a trans yeshiva boy, a gay bullfighter from Brooklyn, a sapphic bagel baker, a Soviet Yiddish-to-Gay dictionary, queer rabbis, AIDS activism, a ritual spanking on stage, and more.

Jake Schneider is a translator, literary organizer, aspiring Yiddish poet, and proud member of Yiddish.Berlin. He organizes the local Yiddish conversation group “Shmues un Vayn” and gives tours by appointment about the history of Yiddish-speakers in Berlin’s Scheunenviertel neighborhood. jakeschneider.eu

Thursday, 8 December 2022, 8PM
during the exhibition MIR ZENEN DO! [photos]

The presentation will be in English. Most of the Yiddish examples will include English translation.

Hasselwerder Str. 22
12439 Berlin-Schöneweide

Admission free — Donations welcome

With the kind support of the Partnership for Democracy Schöneweide with funds from the federal program Democracy Live!

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