Re: Yenta #general

Arnold Davidson <arnoldbd@...>

On Ida Selavan wrote:

To all:
It is my theory that the name Yenta took on its present pejorative meaning
from the series in the Forward about Yenta Tilabenda in the twenties and
thirties. She was described as having all the negative attributes of the newly
arrived immigrant >from Eastern Europe. Of course Abe Cahan's goal was to
americanize the new immigrants, so she was not seen favorably.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Arad, Israel
The name Yenta appears frequently in my family tree so I did some research to try
to find when and how it took on a negative connotation. Ida was correct in what
she wrote but there is more to the story. Paul Adler, grandson of the great
Yiddish theatre personality, Jacob Adler, wrote that his grandfather, Jacob Adler,
was the person that popularized the name Yenta back in early 1900's. Jacob wrote
a play called "Yenta Telebenta", which played in the Yiddish theatre, and also
wrote for the Jewish Daily Forward under the pen name of B. Kovner for 40 years,
using the name Yenta to describe a gossipy woman.

Arnold Davidson
Boynton Beach, FL

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