Yiddish Poetica 2

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

There is something about one’s mother tongue or language of origin, or even just the language you heard growing up, that speaks to you differently. Or as Nelson Mandela says – goes to your heart.  Language has resonance, a vibration and plays on our senses, conjuring memory, time, place, emotion.

Last year’s inaugural Yiddish Poetica proudly co-presented by Poetica, Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and Dunera, spoke to that force, the power of mameloshn. Poets, storytellers, singers and Yiddish lovers from around the world gathered online to share their words in a Zoom meeting where everyone was visible to enjoy the show. Participants were invited to write a poem/prose in Yiddish or in English but sprinkled with Yiddish words to be performed in the open mic.

An Acknowledgement of Country in Yiddish by Kadimah’s Fay Burstin opened the night, strikingly signalling the place of Yiddish in the land down under, ek velt, paying respect to Aboriginal elders, and recognising culture and land.

Poetica host Miriam Hechtman then segued each reading or song with the overarching question: how does Yiddish play out in your life, offering participants an opportunity to explore and share their connection to this unique language.

The night was a tour de force asserting Yiddish poetry’s firm place in contemporary literature. Language was certainly no barrier for interpretation, with poets less familiar with Yiddish giving it a red hot go.

As such, w are still kvelling after last year’s inaugural Yiddish Poetica.

And so … we bring you a little more chutzpah mit a Yiddishn tam for Yiddish Poetica Part 2, The Sequel, The Return of the Kreplach Word Soup.

Dunera, the online home for Jews everywhere, is thrilled to join forces once again with Poetica and Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre for Yiddish wordsmiths to share their khokhme in an international open mic evening of poetry and song.

Hosted by Poetica’s Miriam Hechtman and Dunera’s Ilan Kidron, join us as a participant or viewer, for a joyful, funny and heymishe evening’s entertainment.

Rules for participants:

3 minutes max

Original poetry encouraged

Poems in English must use a minimum 7 Yiddish words

Performance of Yiddish songs welcome

Bookings: here

Those who register as a Participant will be contacted separately by the organisers to schedule their performance and answer any questions.


Melbourne / Sydney 7.30pm

London 10.30am

Paris 11.30am

Tel Aviv 12.30pm

Los Angeles 2.30am

New York 5.30am

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