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Our Mission, Vision, and Aims

We believe that yiddishkayt — the culture, language, art, and worldviews of Eastern European Jews, as they lived in Europe and in the places they settled — has a crucial role to play in our world today.

 

Yiddish culture offers a much-needed model of diverse people coming together and rejecting parochialism, of fusion, collective creativity, and critical engagement.

 

We serve the public by cultivating the work of new artists and scholars of culture that preserves, promotes, and broadcasts the legacy of Yiddish culture while embodying the spirit of diversity, solidarity with immigrant communities, and intercultural sensibilities common both to Los Angeles and the world of Yiddish.

Yiddishkayt aims…

  • to preserve, cultivate, and broadcast the treasures of Yiddish, the diversity of yiddishkayt’s legacy, and the progressive tradition of Jewish European and immigrant life and explore this cultural and moral heritage in the face of the disappearance and neglect of the historical, lived experience of European Yiddish culture;

  • to show how the lessons of Yiddish cultural history are more important than ever and demonstrate that learning about shared cultural treasures opens us up to the riches, not only of our own past, but also of the cultures around us;

  • to inspire current and future generations with the artists, writers, musicians, performers, filmmakers, philosophers, and social justice activists whose yiddishkayt — their particular form of critical and compassionate engagement with humanity — emerged from the Jewish communities of Europe as they developed in constant contact with their non-Jewish neighbors;

  • to teach this culture as a crucial bridge that connects personal histories to the present globalized world of displaced people, immigrants, and exiles;

  • to educate about Jewish culture in the most pluralistic way possible in order to understand what history teaches us about being a mentsh—a compassionate human beingin an often hostile world.