J L Feinstein

Create accessible resources for Diasporic Jewish learning, culture, and community

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Why do I spend so much time creating free high quality printable materials of old Yiddish texts and music, using open source tools?

Because I think that such materials and tools must be available to everyone—not just those privileged with money or academic access—if we want to bridge the chasm created between us and our ancestors by the Holocaust and the era of assimilation, and effect a Yiddish cultural revival in our Diaspora.

This is not to erase the existence of contemporary Yiddish speaking communities, but those communities are so isolated from even the rest of the Jewish people, and so conservative, that despite the fact that those traits enabled them to keep Yiddish as a living language—that the rest of us must also take initiative if we want to be a part of Yiddish culture.

Neither is this to discount the existence and importance of other Jewish languages that are endangered and need support, notably Ladino and Judeo-Arabic. My ancestors spoke Yiddish, so that's where I work—but I believe that what I do is also useful to my siblings who come from communities; and I am committed to doing more to support and raise awareness for them. We are one people, for all that we have different languages, different minhogim, and even different historical experiences, for better or for worse.

Jewish community projects I administer:

My Yiddish culture projects:

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yiddish-reader 0 Updated 1 year ago

A project aiming to create high-quality typeset printable Yiddish texts using the TeX typesetting engine and the ConTeXt macro package.

liderbukh 5 Updated 1 year ago

A program to create beautiful lead sheets using Python, Lilypond, and LaTeX, with templates and a collection of Yiddish folksongs


derpayatz joined 3 years ago.

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