JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen January 2012 Update from the Museum of Family History #general

Steven Lasky <steve725@...>

Hi all,

Over the last year I have been busy creating more content for my Museum of Family
History, although I haven't been posting many updates. I have been concentrating
heavily on Yiddish matters, most notably translating individual biographies >from
Zalmen Zylbercweig's "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", as well as creating
spreadsheets that, among other capabilities, allow me to easily find the names of
those biographied, along with their town and country of origin. This is useful to a
point genealogically; however, as I make public within the next month the links to
the lists of those biographied, you will be able to learn the name of the town
(for the most part) in which each was born. For those with KehilaLinks pages, you
might like to link to any of these pages, which will add more content to your page,
albeit via a link. Please, though, let me know if you decide to do so. I will
announce the online availability of these translations within the month, if not to
this List, then on my blog or in Perspectives, my e-newsletter. I have to date
translated over 1,500 of the 2,814 biographies, so this has been a long, but
enlightening project, and it certainly has improved my abililty to translate
Yiddish, albeit text (not script). Each biography was created >from the answers to a
set of fourteen questions that was sent out by Zylbercweig, the Hebrew Actors'
Union and the Yiddish Artistn Farein in Europe, so the answers follow a pattern and
make it somewhat easier to translate.

Also this month I will begin to make available the Museum's "Zylbercweig Yiddish
Radio Hour", which will enable an interested party to listen to one of a good
number of broadcast >from his radio programs, broadcast >from a studio in his Los
Angeles, California home, mostly in the 1950s and 60s. These programs will be
offered 24/7 and will be changed periodically for a new one. The programs include
commentary, news, announcement of local events, tributes, music, interviews, etc.
Much of the program is in Yiddish, though there will be some parts in English. My
hope was to have a volunteer translate the programs into English, so that it would
be even more interesting and more useful to a wider audience, but alas such
volunteers as you must know are very difficult to come by. I also will be including
some old-time radio programs (in English), such as the various Al Jolson radio
programs, with Groucho Marx, Henry Fonda, et al.

I am also creating more exhibitions re the Yiddish world, especially the Yiddish
theatre, including an audio "walking tour", that is part of this exhibition about
lives in the Yiddish theatre, eachc one provided by the children and grandchildren
of those honored.

As to what is currently new and available for viewing at the Museum:

1. Four more short films >from Tomek Wisniewski re Bialystok, Hajnowka, Orla and one
other about a burned-out synagogue, location unknown ("The Burnt Synagogue"). The
links to the more than one hundred Tomek films can be found at

2. The Synagogues of Europe: Past and Present: Belarus: Molchad and Slonim;
Netherlands: Monnickendam; Switzerland: Berne and Biel-Bienne; Turkey: Izmir.

3. The Zambrow, Poland Yizkor Book Translation Project: The latest
English-language installment of the Zambrow Yizkor Book has been uploaded to the
Museum's website. The English translation of the Zambrow Yizkor Book can only be
found at the Museum of Family History. There will be more to come in the next few
months. You can find the newest installment at

Steven Lasky

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