The first modern publications in Yiddish which were intended for young readers in Eastern Europe—either original works or translations from foreign languages—appeared at the turn of the twentieth century as the sporadic initiatives of a few writers. A more systematic literature for children in Yiddish started relatively late, and was linked to the developing Yiddish school system. A growing number of writers and cultural activists, including Sholem Aleichem and Y. L. Peretz, became gradually aware of the importance and need for appropriate literature for children. Within less than a decade, the Yiddish book market was enriched with a variety of publications focused upon young readers whose ages ranged between 5 and 12 years. These publications included many translations (or adaptations) from foreign languages—either directly or indirectly—as well as original works by known Yiddish writers. The first Yiddish periodicals for youngsters, as well as textbooks, also appeared then, prior to World War I. Yiddishists and publishers established publishing companies for this purpose and initiated pretentious projects of which few were realized, or even partly realized. The current article will review and examine the first initiatives for publishing Yiddish children's literature and periodicals, who the initiators were and what their purpose was. Also, to what extent these publications were accepted, and their contribution to modern Yiddish literature.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 92-109
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.