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    Barnett Zumoff

picture of Dr Barnett Zumoff  

Dr Barnett Zumoff was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York to Ukranian immigrants. Yiddish was his first language and he attended Yiddish schools in New York throughout his school career. Zumoff served as Major General in the United States Air Force.

Dr Zumoff is a reknowned endocronologist and has conducted major research in this area. He is a Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine.  

In 1983, he began translating works from Yiddish to English, with co-translation of a play by Sholom Aleichem. For 13 years, Barnett was President of the Forward Association, which publishes the Yiddish Forvent and the English Forward.He is also the long time President of the Congress for Jewish Culture, the umbrella organization for almost all Yiddish associations in America. He is current vice president of the Board of Directors of Folksbiene, the oldest Yiddish theater in the world as well as Atran foundation, that raises funds for Yiddish cultural organizations. Zumoff was also President of the Workmen's Circle, a major supporter of Yiddish culture and schools in the US, for many years.

Dr Zumoff has translated 21 volumes from Yiddish over the years.


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  • At the Edge of Dreamland

    Tsvi Eisenman

    Tsvi Eisenman is a member of the last generation of Yiddish writers to have been nurtured in Eastern Europe in an environment of living, burgeoning, highly productive Yiddish culture. He is distinguished from all the others in that group by his beautifully crafted, highly imaginative, and profoundly affecting short stories, many of which depict allegorical creatures and events that reflect weltschmerz and pessimism. Though the stories can be read as beautiful literature in their own right, they can be even better appreciated if the reader is aware of their references to the Jewish fate"they are informed by and saturated with the overwhelming event of Eisenman's early years, the Holocaust, and by the displacements and wanderings he underwent as a result. Even when a story of his is not directly about the Holocaust, one can sense in it a pervasive sadness derived from that catastrophe.
    It is no exaggeration to say that Eisenman's short stories deserve to be ranked alongside those of such masters of that genre as O.Henry, Saki, and Guy de Maupassant, though the latter are better known due to the fact that they wrote in widely read languages, English and French, rather than Yiddish, which is restricted to a diminishingly narrow audience. Eisenman's tales share with theirs the unexpected events and the ironic twists that have made them justly famous. His particular genius is in the brilliant conceptualization and the beautiful language that makes his stories magical and haunting and lifts them into the company of the great literary masters. The purpose of this translation of Eisenman's work is to make his tales accessible to an audience that cannot read Yiddish so that they too can enjoy the beauty of his creations.
    About the translator
    Barnett Zumoff is an internationally renowned teacher and researcher in the field of Endocrinology, who has published 250 papers in that field. He was, for 13 years, President of the Forward Association, which publishes the Yiddish Forverts and the English Forward, and is currently its Vice-President. He has been and continues to be a prolific translator of Yiddish literature and has published 14 volumes of translations. Learn More
  • Pearls of Yiddish Poetry

    Mark Mlotek

    Joseph (Yosl) Mlotek and his wife, Chana (Eleanor) Mlotek, have been names to conjure with in the world of Yiddish culture for more than half a century. Yosl was a Yiddish poet, a Yiddish teacher, an editor of the Yiddish Forverts, a Yiddish educational administrator (Director of the Educational Department of the Workmen's Circle), and the nexus of a world-wide communication network of writers and other users of Yiddish. These multiple activities were recognized and celebrated by the award to him of the sobriquet: "the address for Yiddish in America." Chana is a distinguished Yiddish musicologist and historian of Yiddish folklore, and is a leading archivist of Yiddish music today at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; she and Yosl are the authors of four highly regarded volumes of compilations of Yiddish songs. In 1970, Yosl and Chana initiated an extremely popular column in the Forverts that was devoted to bringing the greats of Yiddish poetry and their poems to the attention of the readership, often rescuing some of them from relative obscurity, and often correctly demonstrating their rightful authorship of songs and poems that had been considered anonymous folksongs. As a result, they have been characterized as "the Sherlock Holmes of Yiddish poetry." Yosl died in 2000, but Chana is still publishing the column at biweekly intervals. The current volume is a compilation of 37 of their most important columns, spanning a century of Yiddish poetry, from Mikhl Gordon to Abraham Sutzkever. It was published in Yiddish in Israel in 1974; this English translation by Barnett Zumoff (which also presents the Yiddish originals of the poems) is in honor of the 10th anniversary of Yosl's death. Yosl and Chana's son Mark, who edited this volume, is himself a distinguished scholar in the field of Yiddish culture.
    Barnett Zumoff is probably the most prolific translator of Yiddish literature working today: he has published 18 volumes of translation of novels, short stories, biography, drama, essays, songbooks, and poetry, including the current volume. His poetry translations include five volumes by single poets: two by Abraham Sutzkever and one each by Jacob Glatstein, Peretz Miransky, and Reyzl Zichlinsky, as well as three anthologies: Songs to a Moonstruck Lady, Yiddish Literature in America, 1870-2000, and the current volume, Pearls of Yiddish Poetry. He has also been a leader of Yiddish community organizations, as President or Vice-President of the Workmen's Circle, the Forward Association, the Congress for Jewish Culture, the Atran Foundation, the Folksbiene, and the International Association of Yiddish Clubs.
    Yosl and Chana Mlotek shared their love of Yiddish poetry with generations of
    readers. They freshened their appreciation of familiar songs and poems, introduced
    them to new and unknown works, and invited children and grandchildren to claim
    the treasures they hardly knew existed until the Mloteks showed them off. This new
    English edition of their charming columns invites a brand new readership to delight
    in the cultural gems that they unearthed.
    Ruth R. Wisse, The Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor
    of Comparative Literature at Harvard University Learn More
  • The City in the Moonlight

    Dovid Katz

    Dovid Katz has written dozens of short stories that depict the life and culture of the old-time Lithuanian Jews (Litvaks), especially their misnagdicreligious tradition and psyche, which differed greatly from that of the chasidim, whose culture is far more familiar to most American Jews. He set himself the task of redressing the balance by masterfully and immersing himself in the long-lost milieu that he brings to life on these pages. The present volume comprises 13 of his most compelling
    and accessible stories, translated into English by Barnett Zumoff, America's leading translator of Yiddish literature.

    Learn More

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