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Zackary Sholem Berger (New York)
Zackary Sholem Berger is a poet, translator, essayist, and blogger (, ) in Yiddish and English. He is the co-editor of the Internet journal Der Bavebter Yid ( Berger and his wife, Celeste Sollod, are the founders of Yiddish House, LLC, publishers of Yiddish translations of classic children's books (


Andrew Firestone (Melbourne)
Andrew Firestone, the editor of this site, is an Adjunct Research Associate at the Australian Centre of Jewish Civilisation, Monash University, Melbourne. A native Polish speaker,he learned Yiddish as a child at Sholem Aleichem Sunday School in Melbourne and in the SKIF organization, where Pinye Ringelblum mentored the development of his interest in Yiddish literature. He first translated Yiddish poetry as a teenager when Abraham Sutzkever visited Melbourne. In the 1980's "Melbourne Chronicle" published his translations of Kadye Molodowski. He has a special interest in Yiddish literature in Poland between the two world wars. In 2006 he was a prizewinner in the CIYCL Yiddish Translation competition, for his translation here of "When the Surgery is Over".

Arnie Goldman (Sydney)
Dr Arnie Goldman received his BA from the University of Connecticut, and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He taught poetry (among other subjects) at the University of Minnesota and the California State University. In 1974 he joined the faculty of Humanities at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he helped establish the writing program. He has written, produced and presented poetry programs on ABC Radio National and 2SER-FM. In recent years he has been a freelance writer, editor and consultant on writing, and is the author of a corporate writing training program. He is enrolled in the Diploma course in Yiddish at Sydney University.


Beni Gothajner (Melbourne)
Beni Gothajner is a native Yiddish speaker and a former headmaster of Melbourne's Sholem Aleichem School, in the days when it was still only a Sunday School. A retired teacher of English and History, Beni has been translating both poetry and prose from Yiddish for many years.

Mindle Crystel Gross (Florida)
Mindle Crystel Gross lives in Florida. She was born in  Brooklyn, New York,  is college educated and a product of the Sholem Aleykhem schools and Teachers' Seminary. She is a teacher of Beginners' Yiddish and Conversational Yiddish.  Her work as a translator of Yiddish to English is centered mainly around Yizkor books, personal letters, manuscripts and the like.  She has been married for 50 years and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Her hobbies include playing classical piano, all forms of needlework, scrapbooking and most especially, reading. Travel has taken her to England, Scotland, France, Italy, Holland, Canada and recently, Eastern Europe.

Web site:


Freda Hodge (Melbourne)

Freda holds an Honours degree in English from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, an  MA General Linguistics from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and an MA in Jewish Studies, Monash University, Australia. She was born in South Africa and has lived in Australia for more than twenty years.  She taught English language and literature at universities and colleges in South Africa and ESL in Australia. Her interest in Jewish studies arose from her first encounter with Holocaust survivors at a Limmud Oz panel about  8 years ago, and her subsequent work as a volunteer at the Melbourne Holocaust Centre. She has presented papers at Limmud Oz on two separate occasions, and also at the Holocaust Centre.  Freda has published articles on linguistics and English literature in academic journals, and continues her interest in Jewish Studies. She is greatly interested in the Yiddish language which she learned comparatively late in life.


Floris Kalman (nee Gryfenberg) (Melbourne)
Floris Kalman (nee Gryfenberg) lives in Melbourne. She was born in Belgium before the War and is a native Yiddish speaker. She attended Yiddish Sunday School in Brussels after the war. Trained as a Sunday School teacher in Melbourne and taught Yiddish. Studying Hebrew language and literature much later in life paradoxically improved her Yiddish and enabled her to read Mendele and to write a Master's thesis on his works. She has always had a great interest in languages and enjoys the challenge of translating. Married for 49 years, she has three children and 8 grandchildren.


Miriam Koral (California)
Miriam Koral is a native Yiddish speaker who is the Founder and Director of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language (CIYCL), a non-profit organization in Los Angeles dedicated to preserving and promoting Yiddish through unique and inspirational educational programs for adults. CIYCL produces the world's only Winter Yiddish Intensive, The Art of Yiddish, which draws participants world-wide. Ms. Koral has published prose and poetry in Yiddish and English, and teaches Yiddish at UCLA and the University of Judaism. She has also taught Yiddish poetry and literature at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute in Lithuania and at Elderhostel.


Miriam Leberstein (New York)
Miriam Leberstein is a student, teacher and translator of Yiddish living in New York.


Jon Levitow (California)

Born in 1958 in Los Angeles CA, Jon Levitow received a Ph.D. in English literature from Princeton University in 1986 with a dissertation on James Joyce. He has taught English composition and literature in Maryland, Chicago IL, and most recently, at Merced College in Merced CA. He recently finished a novel which remains unpublished. He is a former student of Yiddish at the Los Angeles Arbeter Ring and at the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language intensive Yiddish program in Los Angeles, as well as first prize winner of the inaugural CIYCL internet-wide Yiddish poetry translation competition in 2005. He currently lives in San Jose. He dedicates these translations to his Ostrolenker relatives: to his Aunt Frances Glassman, born in Ostrolenka, who currently lives in Los Angeles, and to the memory of his “Bube,” Sarah or “Sortche” Levitoff (a”h), born Sarah Shlafmitz in Ostrolenka, Poland, where Yisroel Shtern visited her home during his school days before World War I. Jon welcomes comments and criticisms at:


Renata Singer (New York and Melbourne)
Renata Singer is a novice translator who was bitten by the Yiddish bug 6 years ago. She started her working life as a teacher, moved into anti-racist and multicultural education and most recently has worked in publications with Non-Government Organizations. Among her published works are the books "The Front of the Family" a novel, "True Stories From the Land of Divorce" (with Nelly Zola), and "Goodbye and Hello" (with Suzy Orzech.) She lives in New York and Melbourne, Australia.


Bella Szwarcman - Czarnota

Studied at the Philosophy and Sociology Faculty of the Warsaw University, Institute of Philosophy  and at the Applied Linguistics Faculty of the Warsaw University. Author and translator.  Translated more than 30 books from French, Russian and Yiddish. Currently working as an editor and columnist of the Jewish magazine “Midrasz”.


Bella Szwarcman-Czarnota: Ukończyła studia na Wydziale Filozofii I Socjologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. A także Studia Podyplomowe na Wydziale Lingwistyki Stosowanej Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.  Pisarka i tłumaczka.  Przetłumaczyła ponad 30 książek z francuskiego, rosyjskiego i jidysz.  Obecnie pracuje jako redaktorka i autorka własnej kolumny w żydowskim czasopiśmie “Midrasz”


Yiddish Poetry