We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award will be presented to Yiddish poet/activist Irena Klepfisz. Commemorating the life’s work and legacy of Yiddish singer/activist Adrienne Cooper (1946-2011), the award will be presented at the 2016 Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Concert on Sunday, December 25th, 8:00PM, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (check back at YNY’s website soon for information about tickets). Admission to the concert is included in YNY’s Full Festival 6-day Pass.
Born in the Warsaw ghetto, Irena Klepfisz is a poet, Yiddish translator, and teacher of English literature, Yiddish language and literature, and Women’s Studies. She is the author of the poetry collection A Few Words in the Mother Tongue and Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches, and Diatribes. Klepfisz is additionally a co-editor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women’s Anthology and Jewish Women’s Call for Peace: A Handbook for Jewish Women on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, and served for many years as Yiddish editor for Bridges magazine. She has been a long-time activist whose work has addressed homophobia in the Jewish community, women and peace in the Middle East, and secular Jewish identity. She taught for 10 years at Bedford Correctional Facility for Women and has been teaching Jewish Women’s Studies for 20 years at Barnard College.
The Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish supports artists as they embark on the timeless, boundless, utterly unexpected adventure of working in Yiddish. Previous award winners are Jenny Romaine, Michael Wex and Josh Dolgin (a.k.a Socalled).