to the main Klezmershack pageSearch the KlezmerShack:

Loading

Note that the latest stuff may not yet be indexed.

For further info:

Helen Winkler maintains a website dedicated to Jewish dance at www.yiddishdance.com.

The best online Jewish bibliographies are at the Jewish Music Web Center, www.jmwc.org.

The KlezmerShack Jewish music print bibliography

other klezmer articles on the Internet


Jewish Music and Dance as recorded in Yizkor books

compiled by Helen Winkler

After the holocaust, former residents of Eastern European Jewish shtetls created Yizkor books. These memory books written in Hebrew and Yiddish served as a tribute to their destroyed homes. The books cover pre-holocaust history as well as events during and after the holocaust, and are often first hand accounts of life as it was. Recently, many of these books have been partially or totally translated into English and some have been put online. The Jewish Genealogy web site (www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor) has an ongoing project of translating and making these books available via the internet. Included in this vast collection is much information about Jewish music and sometimes dance. Here are a few of the music/dance web sites I have found mostly within the Jewish Genealogy Web, but a few in other places. I've divided them into 3 sections:

For further information on my findings e-mail me.

If you wish to find a hard copy of the original books, the Jewish Genealogy web site has a searchable listing of which libraries have which books. There are also project coordinators for each book who can be reached via e-mail. Addresses are available on the individual web sites. I should add that this very worthwhile work is financed by donations and staffed by volunteers!

[ TOP ]     

Assorted Musical Vignettes

Dubossary Memorial Book (Moldova 4707' / 2910'), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Dubossary/dub204.html
Published in Tel-Aviv, Israel, 1965
Reb Isaac Shargaradsky
The Dubossar Klezmer -- The section above about Yiddish theatre also looks interesting.

Oswiecim; Auschwitz memorial book (Poland, 5002' / 1914'), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Oswiecim1/osw494.html
Translation of Sefer Oshpitsin
Edited by: Ch. Wolnerman, A. Burstin, M.S. Geshuri.
Published in Jerusalem, Oshpitsin Society, 1977
The Hasidic Dance in Oswiecim -- A very moving account of a group of young Hasids who attempted to die observing the mitzvah of Kiddush Hashem, utilizing music and dance as a form of rebellion in Auschwitz.

Memorial book of Czortkow (Ukraine, 4901' / 2548'), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/chortkov/cho142.html#149
Translation from Sefer yizkor le-hantsahat kedoshei kehilat Czortkow; Editors: Dr. Yeshayahu Austri-Dunn, Published by the Former residents of Czortkow in Israel, (H,Y,E, 471 pages)
Chortkov a musical city -- A detailed discussion of cantors, choirs, rabbis and musical life in Chortkov.

In memory of the Jewish community of Iwie (Ivye) (Belarus 5356' / 2546'), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ivye/ivy092.html
A translation of: Sefer Zikaron le-kehilat Iwie; Edited by M. Kaganovich, Published in Tel Aviv, 1968. Section F: Leyzshinke the Tailor and His Gramophone (1910-1911) Read about the first gramophone in the shtetl of Iwie.

Memories of Keidan, mywebpages.comcast.net/acassel/keidan/talmudsociety.html,
by Dr. Chaim Yakov Epstein
The Talmud Society -- A musical celebration that took place to mark the completion of the 7 year cycle of reading the Torah.

Book of Remembrance for the Communities of Shtutshin, Vasilishki, Ostrina, Novi Dvor, and Rozanka (Shchuchin, Lida District, Vilna and Grodno Gubernii, now Belarus) www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/szczuczyn-belarus/szc177.html
Translation of Sefer zikaron le-kehilot Szczuczyn Wasiliszki Ostryna Nowy-Dwor Rozanka, Edited by: L. Losh, Published in Tel Aviv, 1966. Vasilishki portion of Shchuchin Yizkor Book: Musicians of Vasilishok, (4th sub-section from the bottom of the page) An account of the cobbler-klezmorim of Vasilishok.

A city and the dead; Zablotow alive and destroyed
Memorial Book of Zabolotov
(Zablotow, Ukraine), www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/zabolotov/zab003.html
Translation of entire Yizkor Book, pictures, and creation of an index of names and places: Ir u-metim; Zablotow ha-melea ve-ha-hareva (A city and the dead; Zablotow alive and destroyed)
Published in Tel-Aviv Israel, 1949
Scroll down to the section called Musicians for an account of R' Berele Shpilman's klezmer band.

The Scroll of Kurzeniac (Belarus) 5433' / 2657', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/kurenets/kur020.html
Translation of Megilat Kurenits: ayara be-hayeha u-ve-mota
Edited by: A. Meyerowitz, Former Residents of Kurzeniec in Israel and in the USA
Published in Tel Aviv, 1956
Matia, son of Pesach (Zavodnik)
By Maris Cohen, New Haven
Read about singer/songwriter Matia in the shtetl and later in America.

Lost Tunes
By Yehoshua Alperovich
Translated by Eilat Gordin Levitan
Read about musical life in that shtetl. It even mentions someone called Bentze der Tantzer who taught the people in shtetl how to play music and how to dance

The Tys'mienica still flows (Borislav, Ukraine) 5415' / 2325' http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Borislav/bor082.html
Translation of A Tys'mienica Nadal Plynie
Written by Leopold Held (deceased) Published in privately printed in Poland, sometime after 1978
They Rose above their Circumstances
Scroll down to paragraph 12 to read about Bumek Strauss and the Sabbath Tango. Be sure to read the song lyrics at the end of the section.

Woronow, Voronova (Belarus)
Translation of the entire unpublished manuscript
Written by Moshe Berkowitz, beginning 1943
Translated from Yiddish by: Adah Fogel (1983)
Typed by : Alma Cahn
Edited by : Ellen Sadove Renck
Contributed by: Alan Berkowitz (grandson of author) - holder of the copyrights
Chapter I: The Jewish town of Woronowa
Chapter IV: Jewish types, their character traits, fanatic; customs and religious mysticism; religious and folk songs, www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Voronovo1/vor001.html#C1
Scroll down this page to find the lyrics of some interesting folk songs.

Jewish Mlawa; its history, development, destruction (Poland), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/mlawa/mla449.html
Translation of: "Mlawa ha-yehudit; koroteha, hitpatKhuta, kilyona" - "Di yidishe Mlawe; geshikte, oyfshtand , unkum"
Written by: Dr. Ze'ev Jonis in 1949
Chapter 14: Modern Times -- Scroll down to paragraph 6 to read about the musical activities of Hazamir
http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/mlawa/mla461.html
Chapter 12:  A Train Passes Through Town
Scroll down to read about the 'Jewish Gypsy tribe' of Mlawa.

Mikulince Yizkor Book (Ukraine) 49 24' / 2536', www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Mikulintsy/Mik178.html#page192
The kleizmerim (musicians) of Mikulince
By Yitzhak Schwartz

Navaredok Memorial Book, (Novogrudok, Belarus) 5336' / 2550', www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Novogrudok/nov089.html
Music in Novogrudok
by Menashe Rabina (Rabinovich)
(last section at bottom of page)

[ TOP ]     

Wedding Descriptions

The following web pages discuss weddings in shtetls and often give information about the kapelyes that played at these weddings. The customs surrounding weddings are also often described.

An excerpt from Kitaigorod: A Profile of a Jewish Shtetl in the Ukraine by Steven Lapidus Steven Lapidus, 2000
A Wedding in the Shtetl
http://www.jewishgen.org/Ukraine/Podolia/kitaigorod/kitaigorod_2.htm   

Jewish Mlawa; its history, development, destruction (Poland), 
Translation of: "Mlawa ha-yehudit; koroteha, hitpatKhuta, kilyona" - "Di yidishe Mlawe; geshikte, oyfshtand , unkum"
Written by: Dr. Ze'ev Jonis in 1949
Chapter 16:  Mixed Streets
Read about Mendl Gurni and his kapelye who played at weddings in Mlawa.

Memorial book of the community of Bobruisk and its surroundings (Belarus) 53 09' / 2914', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/bobruisk/byb764.html
Translation from: Bobruisk; sefer zikaron le-kehilat Bobruisk u-veneteha
Edited by: Y. Slutski, Former Residents of Bobruisk in Israel and the USA
Published in Tel-Aviv, 1967
Memories of Hlusk
by Yaakov Lipshitz (BYB pp. 764-767)
Scroll down to section II, paragraph 3, to read about Reb Yoshke's klezmer band and weddings in Hlusk.

Our hometown Goniondz (Poland) 5323' / 2245', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/goniadz/gon475.html
Translation of Sefer yizkor Goniadz
Edited by J. Ben-Meir (Treshansky)
Published in Tel-Aviv, 1960
Scroll down the page to the section entitled "A wedding in the shtetl" pp. 501-502

Memorial for Greater Mezirich: In Construction and Destruction (Ukraine) 5039' / 2652', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Mezhirichi/mez024.html
Editor and Designer: Israel Zinman
Privately printed in Haifa, Israel, 1999
Tradition in our area: Weddings in our areas
A detailed discussion from betrothal to khupe.

Chrzanow:: The Life and Destruction of a Jewish Shtetl, www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Chrazanow/chr025.html
English Translation Copyright (c) 1989 by Chrzanower Young Men's Association
Translation by Jonathan Boyarin
Copyeditor: Mary Smith
Editor: Solomon Gross
Scroll down to the section about "Reb Yisroel Leyzer Weintraub of blessed memory," a badkhn known far and wide for his skill.

A Hole in the Heart, mywebpages.comcast.net/acassel/keidan/wedding.html
A Hometown Wedding
by Philip Greenblatt, 1940

"Sadgura" (also Sadagura or Sadgora, Ukraine) from Vol II of History of the Jews in the Bukowina
Translation of the chapter "Sadgura" from Volume II of Geschichte Der Juden in der Bukowina (Hugo Gold, editor), www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Bukowinabook/buk2_098.html
Written by: Dr. Leo Bruckenthal
Published in Tel Aviv, 1962
Scroll down to paragraph 10 to read about the court of the Hasidic Rabbi of Sadagura and weddings held in the court. Further down is a discussion of the Zimbler (translates to cimbalom) family and their musical careers.

Dokshitz-Parafianow, www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/dokshitsy/dok059.html
The story of two Jewish communities between Vilna and Minsk in Byelorussia during the Holocaust
Written in Hebrew and Yiddish
and Contributed by Organization of Dokshitz - Parafianow Veterans in Israel and the Diaspora
Editor: David Stockfish (1970)
Scroll down to Reincarnations of a Samovar (p.64) to read about a wedding with emphasis on the badkhn's role.

Sopotkin; in memory of the Jewish community (Belarus) 5350' / 2339', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Sopotskin/sop085.html
Translation of Korot ayara ahat; megilat ha-sigsug ve-ha-hurban shel kehilat Sopotkin
Edited by Alexander Manor (Menschinsky)
Published in Tel Aviv, 1960
Click on Celebrations and Holidays to read the section called "Wedding Celebrations".


The Shtetl and I", by Dvora Rogovin Helberg, www.geocities.com/biography1915/e_hatuna.html
Translation from Hebrew, by Zvi Rogovin. Second Volume: Vishnive After World War I: A Wedding in the Shtetl. This submission courtesy of Lori Cahan-Simon

Book of Remembrance for the Communities of Shtutshin, Vasilishki, Ostrina, Novi Dvor, and Rozanka (Shchuchin, Lida District, Vilna and Grodno Gubernii, now Belarus), www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/szczuczyn-belarus/szc205.html
Translation of Sefer zikaron le-kehilot Szczuczyn Wasiliszki Ostryna Nowy-Dwor Rozanka, Edited by: L. Losh, Published in Tel Aviv, 1966. Vasilishki portion of Shchuchin Yizkor Book, A Wedding in the Shtetl (4th section from top).

[ TOP ]     

Sheet Music

Drohiczhn; 500 years of Jewish life (Belarus) 5211' / 2509', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Drohichyn/dro162.html
Translation of Drohiczyn; finf hundert yor yidish lebn
Edited by: Dov Warshawsky, Book Committee Drohichyn
Published in Chicago, 1958
"Notes written by R. Moshe Kobriner to words of a song called Yah Ekhsof [I desire G-d] composed by the great Rebbe Aharon of Karlin. The words were written by R. Baruch, the Kobriner Rebbe, and edited by Moshe Nathanson. From the book, Horodetz ". The New York Public Library has two scanned images of the sheet music for the Drohichyn Yizkor book, including "Nigun from Der Shochet and one titled Ya Ekhsof from the ritual slaughterer.

Stanislawow (currently Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine), www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/stanislawow-arim/staph375.html and www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/stanislawow-arim/staph376.html
Yizkor Book: Arim ve-imahot be-yisrael; matsevet kodesh le-kehilot yisrael she-nehrevu bi-yedei aritsim u-tmeim be-milhemet ha-olam ha-aharona, vol. 5, Stanislawow (Towns and mother-cities in Israel: memorial of the Jewish communities which perished: vol. 5, Stanislawow), Ed: D. Sadan, M. Gelerter, Jerusalem, The Rav Kuk Institute, 1952 (Hebrew).
Nigun Melodies from Stanislawow

Horodetz: history of a town, 1142- 1942 (Belarus) 5212' / 2440', www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/gorodets/gor048.html
Translation of Horodets; a geshikhte fun a shtetl, 1142- 1942
Edited by: A. Ben-Ezra, 1949
Published in New York, N.Y., U.S.A. 1949
"V'hi sheh-amda" (Song for the Passover Seder) Music for Karliner Pesach song.

Drohiczhn; 500 years of Jewish life (Belarus) 5211' / 2509', www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Drohichyn/images/160.gif
Translation of Drohiczyn; finf hundert yor yidish lebn
Edited by: Dov Warshawsky, Book Committee Drohichyn
Published in Chicago, 1958
Click on the gif of the yizkor book for a closer view of the Song sheet for the Sabbath melody She-Hashalom Shelo [Peace that is His], sung by R. Binyamin Moshe the ritual slaughterer of the shtibel. This music is difficult to read.

Compiled by Helen Winkler


to top of page To top of page

the KlezmerShack   Ari's home page 

to About the Jewish-music mailing list
to The Klezmer Shack main page
to Ari Davidow's home page

Thank you for visiting: http://www.klezmershack.com/articles/winkler/yizkorlinks08.html
Compilation copyright 2001-2009 Helen Winkler. All rights reserved.
This page is maintained by Ari Davidow. Send me E-mail with any comments or suggestions. All rights reserved. Last revised 27 December, 2008.