Scene from Mekhires Yoysef (The Selling of Joseph), a Purim play presented at an ethnographic evening program at YIVO, Vilna, 1928. The Yiddish signs read (left) “Snake pit” and (center) “Dotan” [biblical site of the pit that Joseph was thrown into by his brothers]. Photograph by Moryc Grossman. (YIVO)

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Folklore, Ethnography, and Anthropology

Jewish folklore and ethnography emerged as a field of study during the nineteenth century. As early as 1823, Leopold Zunz, a founder of the Verein für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Judentums, outlined what a future “statistics” of the Jews should include: religion, education, occupations, language, government, pastimes, old buildings, tombstones, and “die Tradition,” which included legend, fable, and anecdote. By 1918, in a posthumously published essay, British folklorist Joseph Jacobs explicitly identified Zunz’s statistical outline as the ideal protocol for a Jewish Volkskunde (folkloristics).

Shmuel Lehman (fourth from right) reenacting an interview with an elderly woman, with his folklore students crowding around them, Warsaw, 1931. (YIVO)

While collections of Yiddish folklore (Abraham Tendlau’s compilation of Yiddish proverbs appeared as a book in 1860) and descriptions of East European Jewish customs were published in the course of the nineteenth century, most often in journals (Globus; Am Ur-Quell: Monatschrift für Volkskunde; and various European anthropology journals), it was not until the 1890s that this work coalesced as a discipline with its own society, journal, and museum. In 1898, Max Grunwald (1871–1953), a rabbi living in Hamburg and then Vienna, established the Gesellschaft für Jüdische Volkskunde, Mitteilungen (der Gesellschaft) für Jüdische Volkskunde (1898–1929) and Museum für Jüdische Volkskunde, having issued a call to collect materials and a questionnaire in 1896. Grunwald hoped that Jewish Volkskunde would preserve a record of a disappearing way of life and, by demonstrating the beauty of traditions and encouraging their revival, help stem the tide of assimilation; he also hoped that by showing the connectedness of Jews to other peoples and their universal values, Jewish Volkskunde might counteract anthropological characterizations of Jews as an immutable and degenerate race.

Not everyone was in favor of creating a separate field: Friedrich S. Krauss (1859–1938), editor of Am Ur-Quell and Anthropophyteia, believed that Jewish folkloristics should be an integral part of German Volkskunde, which he took to task for excluding Jewish material. In 1922, Ismar Elbogen (1874–1943), a rabbi and historian, expressed concern that the centrifugal tendency to establish separate disciplines would undermine the original vision of Wissenschaft des Judentums as a comprehensive field dedicated to studying the totality of Jewish life from a variety of perspectives.

For the most part, those who dedicated themselves to Jewish folklore and ethnography were not academically trained in these fields: they were lawyers, physicians (notably Samuel Weissenberg, 1867–1928, who studied the physical and cultural characteristics of Jews in Russia and elsewhere), rabbis, cantors, teachers, writers, and passionate amateurs. The main centers of activity included Hamburg, Vienna, Saint Petersburg, Warsaw, and later Vilna and Kiev, with some working in Budapest and other cities. Their motivations varied.

Zusman Kiselgof, member of S. An-ski's ethnographic expedition, recording folklore in Kremenets, Russian Empire (now in Ukraine), 1912. (YIVO)

For the Jewish lawyer-historians who established the Jewish Historic-Ethnographic Commission of the Society for the Promotion of Culture among the Jews in Russia, in Saint Petersburg in 1889, folklore was a valuable source of historical information; it was in this spirit that Sha’ul Ginsburg (1866–1940) and Peysekh Marek (1862–1920) published their landmark collection of Yiddish folk songs, Yevreyskiye narodnye pesny in 1901, based on material mailed to them in response to a call for songs. For the historian Ignacy Schiper (Yid., Yitskhok Shiper; 1884–1943), who collected Purim folk dramas from those still performing them for his three-volume history of Yiddish theater, folklore had no aesthetic value but great historical usefulness; he saw folklore as “‘living’ archives and museums” of cultural practices (song, dance, drama, clothing) abandoned by the upper social strata and picked up by the lower strata, which preserved them in corrupted form—this concept is consistent with the devolutionary theory of gesunkenes Kulturgut, a term coined by German folklorist Hans Naumann in 1902 (Schiper, 1933, p. 73).

For the composers who established the Society for Jewish Folk Music in Saint Petersburg in 1908, Jewish folk song was a resource for creating a Jewish national music. Similarly, for S. An-ski (Shloyme Zaynvl Rapoport; 1863–1920), folklore was “the source of Jewish national character and its distinctiveness.” Concerned that Jewish folklore was disappearing, An-ski declared in 1908 that “The time has arrived for creating Jewish ethnography,” chastised Jewish intelligentsia for their indifference to the “treasure of folk creativity,” and organized an ethnographic expedition (1912–1914) under the auspices of the Jewish Historic-Ethnographic Society (1908–1919) in Saint Petersburg, with the participation of members of the Society for Jewish Folk Music and others. These motivations stand in stark contrast with reformist goals of earlier surveys such as the one commissioned by the Ethnographic Section of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society: at their behest, Mosheh Berlin (1821–1888), an adviser for Jewish affairs to the governor-general of Belorussia and later to the department of religion in Saint Petersburg, documented the condition of the Jews; his report, which appeared in 1861, included physiognomy, language, home life, customs, ceremonies, occupations, and popular pastimes.

For the better part of the nineteenth century, the primary genre of Jewish “ethnography” was maskilic satire, as seen in the fiction of Yiddish writers such as Yisroel Aksenfeld, Yitskhok Yoyel Linetski, Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, and Sholem Aleichem; indeed, later generations far removed from their world would come to read their work as ethnographies, The World of Sholem Aleichem (1943) by Maurice Samuel being a case in point. The ethnographic burlesque, already evident in the first issues of the German maskilic magazine Sulamith (1806–1848), strikes a distinctly museological note in a vitriolic key, as does the title page of Aksenfeld’s 1861 novel Dos shterntikhl, which had been written several decades earlier:

The story that is told in this storybook has the title Shterntikhl, as it is called in Russian Poland. This same feminine ornament of pearls was called in other places shternbindl, kopbinde, bindalik, and many, many other names. Now this crazy thing has been removed from their heads, and Jewish women go around like all ladies, with false braids. . . . So they will remind us what a shterntikhl could once have meant. Maybe a shtrayml and spodek, for the sake of memory should also be put in alcohol, to be exhibited one day.

Cover of Menakhem Kipnis, 60 folks lieder mit notn (60 Folk Songs with Notes; Warsaw: E. Gitlin, 1918). RG 112, Music Collection, F80. (YIVO)

As early as the 1820s, Zunz had compared Hasidim from Shklov whom he encountered in Leipzig to the “savages of New Zealand,” while as late as 1911, Jakob Frommer, in his introduction to Salomon Maimon’s autobiography, described as an “ethnological sensation” the experience of crossing the Russian border, just a day away from Berlin, and beholding “an almost unknown human type full of mystery and wonder.” In contrast, Martin Buber (1878–1965), for whom Hasidism was a source of Jewish spiritual renewal, advocated “studies of the Jewish people as an ethnic group” in all its aspects and within ethnology and other social sciences.

By the 1890s, repudiation had given way to recuperation. Radical change in the course of the nineteenth century, experienced in a single lifetime, produced transformations of consciousness that gave rise to Jewish autobiographies, many of which describe in great detail the vanished world of an author’s childhood, to mention only those of Yekhezkl Kotik (1847–1921) and Pauline Wengeroff (1833–1916). As the old way of life disappeared, cultural practices once considered an embarrassment became valued as folklore. Indeed, to have folklore and to study it came to be understood as a hallmark of civilization and modernity and a basis for creating a distinctive national culture. Moreover, Polish authors such as Eliza Orzeszkowa (1841–1910) displayed a quasi-ethnographic interest in Jews, as can be seen in her realist novel Meir Ezofowicz (1878) and other works.

What animated the collection of folklore on the part of Grunwald, Y. L. Peretz, An-ski, and their circles were an exhilarating sense of discovery—the places where they found folklore constituted a “world utterly unknown to Jewish intellectuals” (Nomberg, 1967, p. 295)—and a profound sense of loss. Indeed, Peretz and his circle, which included Y. L. Cahan, were such passionate folklore collectors that they became the subject of a little drama at one of the Purim balls in Warsaw, where Peretz was the center of attraction: a person dressed as a blind beggar went around collecting Yiddish folk songs, accompanied by a young girl, as they both sang. For Peretz and his circle, the songs were appealing because of their “artless” poetry, inner truth, and deep feeling.

Two other Yiddish folklore circles formed in Warsaw, each committed to folklore as a scholarly discipline—indeed, according to historian Yankev Shatzky, there were unsuccessful efforts in 1905 and 1906 to establish a separate department at Warsaw University for the study of Yiddish philology and folklore (as well as for Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Lithuanian)—and appeals to collect Yiddish folk songs that appeared as early as the 1860s in the Polish Jewish press had also gone unheeded. The circle around Noah Pryłucki, for whom folklore was a branch of philology and a resource for the study of language, attracted the prolific Shmuel Lehman, who collected folklore from every strata of society, and Pinkhes Graubard, who underwrote the publication of Bay undz yidn: Zamlbukh far folklor un filologye (1923), a landmark collection of Yiddish master thief tales, argots, folklore of the underworld, children’s folklore, and Purim plays. In his introduction to the volume, M. Vanvild (a pseudonym) identifies as one of the obstacles to the study of Yiddish folklore ivrit-ideologye (Hebrew-centrism) and the view that der goles tor nisht zayn pozitiv (the Diaspora must not be positive). The other circle was formed around two Polish ethnography journals: Wisła, established in 1887 by Jan Karlowicz, who was eager to publish Jewish folklore, which he saw as a resource for the study of Polish folklore; and Lud. Trained by a Polish sociologist, Regina Lilientalowa published her studies of children’s folklore, folk beliefs, wedding customs, childhood, and holidays in those and other journals.

Whereas Wisła depended on questionnaires answered by mail for much of its material, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, established in Vilna in 1925, was committed to studying Jews in Yiddish in the midst of a living Jewish culture and to mobilizing broad popular support throughout Eastern Europe; to that end, YIVO created a network of zamlers (collectors) and collectors’ clubs. From the outset, folklore and ethnography were essential to YIVO’s research program. The Ethnographic Commission, renamed Folklore Commission in 1930, was a division of the Philology section, one of YIVO’s four major divisions, and was headed by Max Weinreich.

YIVO Ethnographic Section. Questionnaire 6: Children's play and games, June 1926. A questionnaire sent out to researchers with suggested topics for research, including games children play with coins, knives, and feathers; hand-made toys; games played by boys who are heder students; songs and rhymes; and games created by teachers in the new, more modern Jewish schools. Yiddish. RG 1.2, Records of YIVO (Vilna): Ethnographic Committee, F7. (YIVO)

YIVO’s handbook, Voz iz azoyns yidishe ethnografye? (hantbikhl far zamler) (What Is Jewish Ethnography? [Handbook for Collectors]; 1929), after complaining that “Most of our intellectuals fail to this day to understand the importance of collecting and preserving Yiddish folk creation and view this work with scorn,” and despairing that even the folk is skeptical of the collector’s interest in writing down folktales and folk song, declared, “Tradition is holy” because “it carries the spirit of long past eras.” The handbook defined the scope of Yiddish ethnography as the study of all branches of life within the historical territory of the Yiddish language and within distinctive groups and strata from shoemakers and yeshiva boys to the underworld. After defining three subfields (spiritual, social, and material culture) of folkskentenish (Weinreich preferred this term to the Anglicism folklore, a word coined by William Thoms in 1846 in an effort to replace “popular antiquities” with a good Anglo-Saxon compound), the manual accounts for the apparent paucity of attention to material culture and focus on spiritual (verbal art and music) and social (folk beliefs) culture. Developing a Yiddish terminology for the field was a concern not only of YIVO, but also of folklorists working in the Soviet Union: the vocabulary that developed included, along with folklor, the terms folksshafung, folkskentenish, folkstimlikh, folklorishkayt, folkloristik, and folklorizm, among others, to distinguish the material (folklore) from the discipline (folkloristics) and to differentiate folklore from material that had been folklorized.

YIVO undertook an ambitious program, including journals and monographs, lectures and conferences. In 1935, the institute established the Tsemakh Szabad Research Program to train scholars; among the aspirantn, as the students were known in Yiddish, were several folklorists, notably Shmuel Zaynvl Pipe, Nekhame Epshtayn, and Shloyme Bastomski. Y. L. Cahan, who was living in New York, but visited Vilna, provided intellectual leadership. By 1938, after just more than a decade’s concentrated effort, YIVO’s folklore collections contained some 100,000 items.

About the same time that YIVO opened, Soviet academies were establishing Yiddish folklore divisions in scholarly institutions in Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, and Moscow. In the Soviet Union, as elsewhere, folklore and ethnography were usually part of some other division. Though suspect, prerevolutionary Jewish organizations did persist for a time, among them the Jewish Historic-Ethnographic (or Archaeographic) Society, albeit with restrictions and eventually in a reorganized form, only to be disbanded in 1929. A degree of Jewish cultural autonomy was tolerated within a longer-range Bolshevik goal of Jews disappearing as a distinct group. Until 1931, before it became necessary to repudiate “bourgeois” scholarship, folklorists tended toward the formal analysis of Yiddish folklore. The period 1932–1941 was dominated by “hard-line” Marxist analysis.

Working against the Soviet ideological grain, ethnomusicologist Moyshe (Moisei) Beregovskii (1892–1961), who headed the ethnomusicological section of the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in the 1930s, defended the position that

By confirming the fact of significant outside influence on Jewish folk music and considering it a natural and general occurrence, we are in no way denigrating the better ethnic forms and original style of Jewish folk music. As in the folklore of other peoples, in Jewish folk music “foreign” elements are not simply mechanically interspersed but are transformed in accordance with ethnic forms in the given historical situation, constituting a reflection of the social psychology and ideological striving of those strata of Jews who relate to the given folklore. (Beregovskii, 1982, pp. 25–26)

Because Soviet Yiddish folklorists saw folklore not as a closed canon but as a vital force reflecting and effecting social change, they were not interested in philological questions of origins and influences, but rather in processes of social differentiation, intergroup interaction and mutual influences, social struggle, and the formation of class consciousness. Rather than focusing on “reactionary” religious enclaves, Soviet folklorists, Jewish ones included, were to study the oppressed and exploited masses of workers whose common interests transcended their ethnic differences. Class conflict rather than national peculiarity, though the latter was not ignored, was the order of the day. Formal ties between the Jewish Division of Inbelkult, the Institute for the Study of Belorussian Culture, and YIVO were cut off during the late 1920s ostensibly because of YIVO’s Yiddishism.

The emphasis in Soviet studies of Jewish folklore was the folk song, and Beregovksii was the preeminent scholar. What distinguished him from other Yiddish folk-song collectors was his definition of the field as yidishe muzikolishe ethnografye (Jewish musical ethnography, or ethnomusicology). Those taking a philological approach focused on the words, annotated the songs, and compared versions and variants in order to determine the origin and original form of a song. By contrast, Beregovskii took an ethnographic approach to the study of folk song and paid attention to its actual performance. His questionnaire about klezmorim (Jewish instrumentalists) and their music explored how living performers compose, perform, learn, and transmit their art in a heterogeneous environment. This approach was compatible with the Soviet interest in the permeability of cultural boundaries and the degree to which interaction might lead to assimilation and the formation of a unified national Soviet culture.

Ethnographic studies focused on the shtetl as a socioeconomic unit. In Forsht ayer shtetl!, a field guide published in 1928, H. Aleksandrov complained that little research had been done about the shtetl, as opposed to the traditional lifestyle, the focus of An-ski’s work. Defining the shtetl as a specific socioeconomic type of settlement with varied national composition and interethnic interaction, Aleksandrov called for monographic studies on the model of Russian regional studies of villages, as did Hirsz Abramowicz (1881–1960), who wrote: “The shtetl was the economic basis of East European Jewish life; it sustained us the way the village sustained Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian peasants. Until now, there have been few attempts to study the shtetl, as has been done, for example, with the Russian village, which has been analyzed comprehensively” (Abramowicz, 1999, p. 77). As a start, Abramowicz offered his own ethnography of Wysoki Dwór (Poland), near the border with Lithuania, the hometown of his great-grandfather, based on field research during the summer of 1925. Lev Shternberg (1861–1927) and V. G. (Vladimir; Waldemar) Bogoraz (1865–1936) took their students from the Leningrad Ethnographic Institute and the Institute of Jewish Education to Belorussia during the summer of 1924 to examine the effects of the revolution and civil war on Jewish communities (Evreiskoe mestechko v revoliutsii: Ocherki; 1926). Such studies were to inform Soviet Jewish policies. By the late 1930s, Jewish research divisions in Soviet institutions were being closed down or evacuated to remote locations.

While folklorists such as Grunwald saw no conflict between their commitment to Zionism and their interest in documenting Jewish life in the Diaspora, others such as Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik, who was deeply influenced by Ahad Ha-Am, saw the need for a specifically Hebrew folklore for a new Hebrew nation. While this would seem to imply a lack of interest in the folklore of Jews living in Eastern Europe, the opposite was the case. In collaboration with Yehoshu‘a Ḥana Ravnitski, Bialik, who moved to Tel Aviv in 1924, published not only anthologies of stories and legends culled from the Bible, Talmud, and other Hebrew texts, but also, with the addition of Alter Druyanow, founded Reshumot (1918–1921) in Odessa; it was the first journal in Hebrew to be devoted to folklore. Their 1914 manifesto was addressed to readers in the Pale of Settlement and became the mission for the journal: “Come and help! Scatter out among the people of Israel in all of its Diaspora and record! Seek out its elders, research its old women and children as well, and rescue from their hands that which you can.” Yiddish folklore, in the Yiddish language, appeared in the pages of Reshumot and, “Thirty years later, the founders of the Hebrew Society of Folklore in Palestine would cite An-ski’s work and the ethnographic division of YIVO, both pillars of Yiddish folklore, as inspirations for their own (Hebrew) enterprise” (Rubin, 2005, pp. 72–73).

The dais and part of the audience at the first YIVO Conference, Vilna, 1929. Among the scholars and communal leaders on the stage are (seated, center) Tsemaḥ Szabad, (second to Szabad’s right) Max Weinreich, (second to Szabad’s left) Perets Hirshbeyn, (standing, third from right) Zelig Kalmanovitsh, and (seated, second from right) Eliyahu Tsherikover. (YIVO)

That said, the creation of Hebrew folklore out of folklore collected in the Diaspora was a daunting task—Hebrew translation could not in itself make this material into Hebrew folklore—and Reshumot did not fully realize its ambitions. Hebrew folklore remained a paradox. Was it to be found only in classical Hebrew texts from the distant past? Did it reside in the content of Jewish folklore, no matter what the language? If so, could the documentation and preservation of the folklore of the ingathering provide a basis for forging a unified Hebrew folklore from the diversity of the Diaspora? Or, could Hebrew folklore arise only as part of a Hebrew national culture in its own land? A lasting legacy of the salvage collecting from recently arrived immigrants is the Israel Folktale Archive in Haifa, which was established by Dov Noy in 1955 and includes material from Polish, Ukrainian, and Romanian Jews, among others.

With the outbreak of World War II, Max Weinreich made the New York branch of YIVO its temporary and then permanent headquarters, and the Y. L. Cahan Folklore Club, which published three issues of Yidisher folklor between 1954 and 1962, was established. Folklorists active in Eastern Europe before the war had perished in the Holocaust, though not without collecting folklore, under pain of execution if caught, to the bitter end: Shmuel Lehman continued to record folklore in the Warsaw ghetto, comparing what he found during this war with what he had collected during World War I, until his death on 24 October 1941. Declaring that even under the most extreme conditions folk creativity (folksshafung) could not be stopped, Yisroel Kaplan collected “newly created folklore” (gallows humor, code words, sayings) in the ghettos and concentration camps he had survived and published this material immediately after the war, first in a periodical he edited, Fun letstn khurbn (1946–1948) and in 1949 in book form (Dos Folks-moyl in Natsi-klem; rpt., 1982). The poet Shmerke Kaczerginski, a survivor of the Vilna ghetto, went around the displaced persons camps right after the war painstakingly writing down the words and melodies of songs; Lider fun di getos un lagern (Songs from the Ghettos and Concentration Camps) was published in Yiddish in 1948 in New York.

Since then, folklorists and ethnomusicologists have continued to interview Holocaust survivors, with the goal of providing a fuller ethnographic picture of the contexts and meanings of the expressive culture created under devastating conditions. Gila Flam examines not only songs sung in the Łódź ghetto at the time but also how they continue to be performed in Holocaust commemorations. Toby Blum Dobkin explores the transformation and transformative role of ritual in the displaced persons camp (Landsberg, Germany) where she was born. Her father was instrumental in orchestrating a massive Passover Seder for thousands of survivors, with matching dishes borrowed from a nearby factory, and an effigy of Hitler took the place of Haman in the camp’s Purim festivities.

With the destruction of the world of East European Jewry, two major efforts to reconstruct that culture at a distance by interviewing East European Jews living elsewhere were organized, the first by Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead as part of their Research in Contemporary Cultures project, which was initiated in 1946 with support from the United States Department of Naval Research; and the second, through the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry, which was initiated by Uriel Weinreich (1926–1967) during the 1950s. Both projects were based at Columbia University in New York City.

The result of Benedict and Mead’s project was Life Is with People: The Jewish Little-Town of Eastern Europe (1952)—the subtitle was changed to The Culture of the Shtetl for the paperback edition, which appeared in 1962. This book is the most comprehensive, if flawed, ethnography of East European Jewish culture before the Holocaust and represented the first time that American anthropologists made East European Jewish culture the subject of sustained study. Unable to do fieldwork in a particular town to produce a monographic ethnography, as Abramowicz and the Soviet ethnographers had done, the team fashioned a composite portrait of a virtual town, not an empirical description of an actual one, and identified all that was most Jewish about East European Jews with the shtetl. Their goal was to delineate the general patterns of East European Jewish culture, rather than inventory its customs, consistent with the researchers’ interest in patterns of culture, the impact of culture on personality, and the nature of national character; the project is a classic example of cold-war anthropology. Written by Mark Zborowski, who was born in Uman (Ukraine) and studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, and Elizabeth Herzog, a social science writer, Life Is with People was modeled on three texts, all of them published in the 1940s and examples of the popular arts of ethnography: Maurice Samuel, The World of Sholom Aleichem; Bella Chagall, Burning Lights; and Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Earth Is the Lord’s: The Inner World of the Jew in Eastern Europe.

Since Life Is with People, anthropologists, folklorists, and ethnomusicologists have turned their attention to East European Jewish immigrant communities in Paris, New York, Toronto, Cape Town, and other cities, whether to reconstruct prewar Jewish life or to examine its transformation in new settings. Others are returning to Eastern Europe to salvage what remains of prewar Jewish culture, fueled in part by the revival of klezmer music and search for the last living performers of the tradition, or to document emergent cultural practices in new kinds of communities. During the last two decades, a new generation of scholars in Eastern Europe has been retracing An-ski’s steps, tracking down his collections, conducting ethnographic expeditions of their own, publishing their research, and establishing museums.

Suggested Reading

Hirsz Abramowicz, Profiles of a Lost World: Memoirs of East European Jewish Life before World War II, ed. Dina Abramowicz and Jeffrey Shandler, trans. Eva Zeitlin Dobkin (Detroit, 1999); H. Aleksandrov, Forsht ayer shtetl (Minsk, 1928); Steven E. Aschheim, Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German Jewish Consciousness, 1800–1923 (Madison, 1999); Moisei Beregovskii, “Jewish Folk Music (1934)” and “Jewish Instrumental Folk Music (1937),” in Old Jewish Folk Music: The Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski, ed. Mark Slobin, pp. 19–43 and 530–548 (Philadelphia, 1982); Toby Blum-Dobkin, “The Landsberg Carnival: Purim in a Displaced Persons Center,” in Purim: The Face and the Mask, ed. Shifra Epstein, pp. 52–59 (New York, 1979); John M. Efron, “Samuel Weissenberg: Jews, Race, and Culture,” in Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe, pp. 91–122 (New Haven, 1994); Ismar Elbogen, “Ein Jahrhundert Wissenschaft des Judentums,” in Festschrift zum 50 jährigen Bestehen der Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin, pp. 101–144 (Berlin, 1922); Gila Flam, Singing for Survival: Songs of the Lodz Ghetto, 1940–1945 (Urbana, 1992); Itzik Nakhmen Gottesman, Defining the Yiddish Nation: The Jewish Folklorists of Poland (Detroit, 2003); Joseph Jacobs, “Jüdische Volkskunde und die Einteilung des Statistik der Juden,” in Statistik der Juden: Eine Sammelschrift, pp. 30–35 (Berlin, 1917); Yisroel Kaplan, Dos folksmoyl in natsi-klem: Reydenish in geto un katset (1949; rpt., Tel Aviv, 1982); Mark William Kiel, “A Twice Lost Legacy: Ideology, Culture and the Pursuit of Jewish Folklore in Russia until Stalinization, 1930–1931” (Ph.D. diss., Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 1991); Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “Problemen fun yidisher folklor-terminologye,” Yidishe shprakh 31 (1972): 42–48; Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “Problems in the Early History of Jewish Folkloristics,” World Congress of Jewish Studies 10.D2 (1990): 21–32; Dan Miron, The Image of the Shtetl and Other Studies of Modern Jewish Literary Imagination (Syracuse, N.Y., 2000); Hersh D. Nomberg, “Isaac Leibush Peretz As We Knew Him,” in The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe, ed. Lucy S. Dawidowcz, pp. 286–304 (Boston, 1967); Adam Rubin, “Hebrew Folklore and the Problem of Exile,” Modern Judaism 25.1 (2005): 62–83; Yitskhok Shiper (Ignacy Schiper), “Araynfir-verter in der yidisher folkskentenish,” Landkentenish 1 (1933): 64–74; Anna Shternshis, Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (Bloomington, Ind., 2006); Abraham Moses Tendlau, Sprichwörter und Redensarten deutsch-jüdischer Vorzeit: Als Beitrag zur Volks-, Sprach- und Sprichwörter-Kunde (Frankfurt a.M., 1860); M. B. Vanvild (pseud. for Moses Joseph Dickstein?) and Szmil Lehman, eds., Bay unz yuden: Zamelbukh far folklor un filologye (Warsaw, 1923); Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog, Life Is with People: The Culture of the Shtetl (New York, 1995), see esp. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s “Introduction,” pp. ix–xlviii; [Leopold] Zunz, “Grundlinien zu einer künftigen Statistik der Juden,” Zeitschrift für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums 1.3 (1823): 523–532.

YIVO Archival Resources

RG 1,2, YIVO (Vilna): Ethnographic Committee, Records, 1911-1940; RG 125, Folklore, Jewish, Collection, ; RG 202, Judah Loeb (Yehude Leyb) Cahan, Papers, 1920s-1930s; RG 206, A. Litwin, Papers, 1907-1940s; RG 552, Uriel Weinreich, Papers, 1949-1967; RG 584, Max Weinreich, Papers, 1930s-1968; RG 615, Beatrice Silverman Weinreich, Papers, 1950s; RG 683, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Collection, ca. 1900-1970s.