Minneapolis Yiddish Vinkl
The Minneapolis Yiddish Vinkl explores and remembers our roots and keeps our language (mamaloshen) alive through history, literature, music, news, films, and our life stories.  
This is a friendly, heymish group. All levels of ability are welcome.  Most of our programs are in Yiddish, but English is spoken as well. 

We meet on Sundays (sometimes modified by holidays), usually at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. (See program listing for detail)
September 2017 through June 2018, at

the Sabes Jewish Community Center
4330 Cedar Lake Road South
Saint Louis Park, MN 55416

(952) 381-3400

Membership is $15 per year for JCC members and $20 per year for non-members. 

Programs are open to the public. Admission costs as listed. 

Members receive a program flyer each month in the mail.

26th Year of the Minneapolis Yiddish Vinkl
2017 - 2018 CALENDAR Light refreshments follow each program.

September 10,  2017

2:00 p.m. 

Sabes JCC
Bessie Thomashefsky, Yiddish actor
Bessie Thomashefsky, Yiddish actor (1873-1962)


From our archives

Mayn Tayere Meydl
A delightful Yiddish Musical
-- a fun Musikant

Come and enjoy this acclaimed Musicant as performed by members of
the Prairie Heym Klezmorim
with Amy Olson and several of our beloved Vinkl members.

Professor Nudnick gives elocution lessons to a poor "maidel" who sells "bia-gels."
Guests can hum or sing along to familiar tunes such as "Shlep Mir Tsu Di Shul Arayn" and "Ikh Volt Getanst Di Nakht" (I Could Have Tanst All Night.) 

English synopsis of each scene will be available for guests.

Light refreshments follow the program

Paid up Vinkl members, free.  Guests, $5.00
L'Shanah Tovah to all our

10:00 p.m

October 8, 2017

Sabes JCC

Special Guest: Christa Whitney, Director
the National Yiddish Book Center's
Wexler Oral History Project

A fascinating presentation of personal stories about Yiddish culture.
"The Story Behind the Stories: Highlights from the Yiddish Book Center's
Wexler Oral History Project."

What was it like to have Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish writer Issac Bashevis Singer as your father? Who is learning Yiddish songs in Poland in the 21st Century and why?  Why would a college professor choose to teach her children Yiddish?
For the past seven years the Wexler Oral History Project has been collecting stories from people of all ages and backgrounds that  illustrate the many ways our Yiddish linguistic and cultural heritage is being transmitted, adapted, and reinterpreted by each generation.
Ms. Whitney has been seeking out Yiddish speakers and information about their descendants. She will speak and show short vignettes of some of the interviews from famous kultur-tuers (cultural leaders) and yidn fun a gants yor (everyday Jews).

Presentation in English with some Yiddish

Musical Interlude: Rita Lusky, piano

Naturally, a nosh follows the meeting.
Paid up Vinkl members, free.  Guests, $5.00

Yosl Bergner and Christa Whitney
Yosl Bergner smooching Christa Whitney

10:00 a.m

November 19, 2017

Sabes JCC

Judith Brin Ingber in Weimar
Judith Brin Ingber between Luba Claus from Berlin , left, and Ann Don, from Amsterdam, right, participants in the dance workshop for Weimar Klezmer Festival.

The Unusual Story of Israeli Folk Dance at the Famous Klezmer Festival in Weimar, Germany

as told by featured dancer/teacher Judith Brin Ingber, who taught at the Yiddish Summer Weimar Festival last summer. 

Though usually emphasizing klezmer, the festival this year, had an unusual theme:0

"The Other Israel, Seeing Unseen Diasporas." 

Come hear the November 19 Vinkl Program featuring Judith Brin Ingber and hear why Yiddishkeit and klezmer were abandoned in the new Israeli folk culture.  

           In Weimar, Judith taught classic Israeli folk dances from the 1940s, including "Mayim Mayim" ironically created in Israel by transplanted European dancers who had escaped the Holocaust. For the Vinkl, she will talk about those emigres, their European backgrounds and why they turned their backs on Yiddishkeit as they created new festival dances for Israeli kibbutzim. She will show historic photos, film clips and photos from Yiddish Summer Weimar to bring all this to life for you.

Light refreshments follow the program

Paid up Vinkl members, free.  Guests, $5.00

December 2017
Winter Break
No program.
January 2018
Winter Break No program.

10:00 a.m

February 11,  2018

Sabes JCC

The controversial historical events at the 1923 production of "God of Vengeance", as well as the equally controversial Sholem Asch. 

"Indecent" is a play about a play, "God of Vengeance" (Got fun nekome).
"Indecent" is being performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis February and March 2018.

At the conclusion of the original Broadway production on March 23rd, 1923, the entire cast and producers of the play were arrested by the New York Police Vice Squad and jailed on obscenity charges. The play was written in 1907, when Asch was a mere 27 years old.

 The first non-Yiddish performance took place in Berlin in 1910, followed by critical acclaim all over Europe. Why then, in America, was the play shut down and the participants arrested?   

 All this - and readings from Sholem Asch.

Light refreshments follow the program

Paid up Vinkl members, free.  Guests, $5.00

God of Vengence cast arrested
Broadway Cast, Crew and producers of God Of Vengeance Arrested on Obscenity Charges

10:00 a.m

March 11, 2018

Sabes JCC

Bund - May 1
The Jewish Bund marching on May 1 in Poland

Jewish History:
100 Years 1917-2017

How historical events changed Jewish life, culture, and politics.
Starting with the Balfour Declaration and looking at documents and milestones.

Presenters: Dorothy Marden and Vinkl members.

Rita Lusky will provide piano music.

10:00 a.m

April 8, 2018

Sabes JCC

Commemorating Survivors:
Hear their Stories

Two guest speakers and songs by Yosl Kurland
Leah Pobiel is originally from Romania.
Her parents were killed, and she and her six siblings were sent to live in an orphanage in Israel. 
Leahs first language was
Yiddish, and then she learned Hebrew. 

Gloria Fredkove came as a toddler from Italy with her mother and brother to New York where they were interred in a refugee camp. 
Next, we welcome Vocalist, Klezmerist, Hazzan,
Joe Yosl Kurland

Yosl is the founder of The Wholesale Yiddish Band in Massachusetts. 
He will perform here as a soloist with Yiddish Folk Songs and will teach us nigunim so we can all join him.

Presentations in Yiddish and English
Light refreshments follow the program
Paid up members: Free                                               Guests: $5.00 
Markovits familt in Cluj, Rumania. c. 1939
This is the Markovits family in Cluj, Romania's second city, before the War. The father was a World War I veteran.

10:00 a.m

May 6, 2018

Sabes JCC


"names" slide28 from JewishGen

Whats in a Name



how Jewish names were given and got changed

Light refreshments follow the program
Paid up members: Free                                               Guests: $5.00

June 2018

No program scheduled at this time
Summer 2018 Break

Yiddish Research Bibliography and Guide

Revised 8/27/2014 - AmandaSeigel (at) nypl (dot) org

Yiddish Dictionary Online -- 
A list of words and phrases sorted by Yiddish spelling, with Latin character spelling and English translation.

See the 2010-2011 calendar here.
See the 2011-2012 calendar here.
See the 2012-2013 calendar here.
See the 2013-2014 calendar here.
See the 2014-2015 calendar here.
See the 2015-2016 calendar here.
See the 2016-2017 calendar here

An outgrowth of the Yiddish Vinkl is the "Tuesday Shmuesday "group.  Anyone who can speak Yiddish is welcome. There is no charge. 
Members meet 11:30 a.m. at the Sabes JCC, 4330 Cedar Lake Rd. S., St. Louis Park, MN 55416.
E-mail us at:
post (at) minneapolisyiddishvinkl (dot) com
Minneapolis photo by William Wesen 2006