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:

מײַנע דרײַסיק יאָר זוכנדיק די לעצטע ליטװאַקעס אין דער היסטאָרישער ליטע


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

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.

דוד קאַץ דערציילט אויף אַן עכט פּערזענלעכן אופֿן וועגן זײַן ערשטן באַזוך אין ליטע און ווײַסרוסלאַנד אין 1990, און ווי אַזוי די רײַזע האָט געענדערט דעם פאָקוס פון זײַן לעבן און שאַפן אין גאַנג פון די ווײַטערדיקע 30 יאָר.

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

Dovid Katz’s July 18th presentation, taking place on Tishebov תשעה באב, 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.

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