Kickstarting Yiddish literature

Websites for grassroots fundraising have begun to change the way we fund lots of projects. Recently, 6noBacon favorite Zach Braff used Kickstarter to fund a movie free from the oversight of Hollywood studios. Now the site is being used for the resuscitation of Yiddish Literature.

Translator Michael Wex, using a similar service, Indiegogo, is attempting to raise $75,000 for a new translation of a foundational Yiddish novel. In the words of Wex:

Joseph Opatoshu’s 1921 novel, In Poylishe Velder (In The Forests of Poland),is one of the most important works of world literature with which you’re probably unfamiliar. A vast panorama of Jewish life in Poland during the 1850s, Opatoshu’s novel concentrates on backwoods Jews who live among gentile peasants rather than in Jewish communities in cities or shtetlekh. Touching as it does on hasidism, heresy, pre-Christian Polish folk customs, wife-swapping, messianism, and Polish nationalism, this book will change the way you think about Jewish life in Poland.

If successful, Wex will have complete creative control over his project, precisely the reason many folks turn to these sites in the first place. Wex plans to release the book for free. The $75,000 will allow him to devote a year to the project.

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To learn more, or to contribute click here.

Watch the video below:

Joe Winkler is the online coordinator for JTA.