Committee for Yiddish

Recent Program: "My Three Decade Search for the Last Litvaks" with Dovid Katz

Photo 1 of 1: Recent Program: "My Three Decade Search for the Last Litvaks" with Dovid Katz

The UJA Committee for Yiddish Proudly Presents Dovid Katz in an online Yiddish-Language Talk:

Mayne Draysik Yor Zukhndik di Letste Litvakes in der Historisher Lite

My Three Decade Search for the Last Litvaks in Their Historic Land

Recorded live on Zoom from Wales and Toronto, Sunday, July 18, 2021

Dovid Katz speaks in deeply personal terms about his first visit to his ancestral Lithuania and Belarus in 1990, and how the trip changed the focus of his life and work for the ensuing thirty years. He has since travelled widely in today's Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, eastern Ukraine, northeastern Poland, and beyond, seeking out the last Litvaks and preserving their language and folklore in thousands of hours of taped interviews. In addition to his 'tales of the road', he addresses implications for Yiddish studies.

Dovid Katz dertseyt af an ekht perzenlekhn oyfn vegn zayn ershtn bazukh in Lite un Vaysrusland in 1990, un vi azoy di rayze hot ge'endert dem fokus fun zayn lebn un shafn in gang fun di vayterdike 30 yor.

This program is in Yiddish, followed by a Q&A in English and Yiddish

Dovid Katz's July 18th presentation, taking place on Tishebov, a day of fasting and mourning, is in keeping with the tradition of recalling tragic events in Jewish history. The search for the last survivors, and the need to treasure and preserve their legacy, is deeply linked with the Holocaust and our own need to understand its moral, cultural and linguistic ramifications.

**Watch the recording on our YouTube Channel

Dovid Katz, a native of New York, and son of Yiddish poet Menke Katz, worked for 18 years at Oxford founding and building Yiddish studies there and elsewhere in Europe. After a stint as visiting professor at Yale, he relocated to Vilnius, Lithuania where he taught for many years at Vilnius University. He is the author of numerous works in Yiddish and in English, and is currently at work on an online English-Yiddish dictionary. His website is