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Gallery 6: On the Jewish Street, 1918–1939

YiddishYiddishthe historic Jewish vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, a fusion of German dialects, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Judeo-Romance and Slavic languages. The beginnings of Yiddish are in the Rhineland in the Middle Ages. About 13 million people spoke Yiddish before the Second World War. itself has been recognized as a territory, an anarchic republic with its capital in Vilna,” and “YIVO is the scholarly academy of the territory of Yiddish.” So declared Noyekh Prilutski in 1935. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research enlisted the Jewish public in its efforts to document Yiddish language and culture: “Help us collect treasures of Jewish folklore! In towns and cities around the world, where the Yiddish language is still alive, where Yiddish songs resound and Jewish stories and customs still persist – it is there that the treasures of our folklore are scattered. Let’s not lose them!” Become a YIVO zamler, a collector, at the interactive station dedicated to collecting Yiddish folklore.