Go to The Jewish Book Center of The Workmen's Circle website at

The Jewish Book Center of The Workmen's Circle is an excellent online resource whose mission is to preserve the unique beauty of Jewish and Yiddish culture.
Content is from the site's 2005 -2007 archived pages.

Books are no longer available to buy on this archived version of the original site, however the new owners of this domain wanted to keep the titles of these books visible on the web in case a visiter should inadvertently find this site while searching for Jewish books and to send these visitors to the Jewish Book Center of The Workmen's Circle's current website at https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/


Circa 2005 -2007
Welcome To The Jewish Book Center of The Workmen's Circle!

We are your source for a wide selection of Judaica to meet every occasion. Though we specialize in Yiddish language books and references, we aspire to meet all the differing needs and tastes of the Jewish community for books, music and giftware. The Jewish Book Center has a wide range of giftware, T-shirts, jewelry and gifts for holidays and important life cycle events.

The WORKMEN'S CIRCLE/ARBETER RING, founded in 1900, fosters Jewish Identity and participation in Jewish life through Jewish, especially Yiddish, culture and education, friendship, mutual aid and the pursuit of social and economic justice.

It has historically been the goal of The WORKMEN'S CIRCLE/ARBETER RING - and continues to be to this day - to provide vitally important benefits and services so that the Jewish community can continue to achieve a better life.

At the same time, it's also very much our goal to preserve the unique beauty of Jewish and Yiddish culture so that our rich legacy does not disappear into the 'melting pot' of America. As a result, The WORKMEN'S CIRCLE/ARBETER RING is the chief - the preeminent - advocate of Yiddish cultural activity.



Bad Bobby comments: I met my good friend Anthony Chalson on this site. Tony is the wisest of the wise and we've shared many of the books on these pages. He's helped me with many a problem that previously appeared insurmountable. When my sister started having a Google problem, Tony recommended the fix. The search in Google for her name was showing a bankruptcy notice that was related to her former husband's business. Yet it appeared in the search results, suggesting that she was part of the failure. Since she's always fundraising for various projects, this was a devastating discovery. Her ability to convince new donors dropped of as people started questioning her ethics. It became a huge problem for us. Tony educated us about the existence of reputation management services, who are able to delete search results in Google. Better than these services was one enterprise that dealt exclusively with search removals. The fact that we have to consider using such a service is quite disheartening, since it is expensive and really should not be necessary if Google were doing the right thing and enabling us to request removals of this kind. We paid for a years worth of removal service and then stopped. The problem never came back, but I'm told we are just lucky. Anyway, cheers to the Book Center for good reads and good friends.



Our Best Sellers!

  1. Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 1, by Sheva Zucker (paperback)
  2. Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 2, by Sheva Zucker (paperback)
  3. Der Oytser fun der Yidisher Shprakh / Thesaurus of the Yiddish Language (hardcover) by Nahum Stutchkoff
  4. Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture (9 CD set) by Sheva Zucker
  5. Learning Yiddish in Easy Stages by Marvin Zuckerman & Marion Herbst (paperback)
  6. College Yiddish by Uriel Weinreich (hardcover)
  7. Pearls of Yiddish Song, CD, by Various Artists, Musical Director Zalmen Mlotek
  8. Chanukah Candles
  9. Mit Groys Fargenigen / With Great Pleasure by Heather Valencia (paperback with 8 CDs)
  10. Modern English-Yiddish / Yiddish-English Dictionary by Uriel Weinreich (paperback)


Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 1, by Sheva Zucker (paperback)

Detailed Description
An essential textbook written by an experienced Yiddish teacher.  Instructional material quickly progresses from alef-beyz to journalistic and literary excerpts.  Equally suited for high school study, college courses, and adult education classes

Related Products

Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 1, by Sheva Zucker, 8 cassettes Your Price $35.00

Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 2, by Sheva Zucker (paperback) Your Price $32.95


Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Volume 2, by Sheva Zucker (paperback

Detailed Description
The follow up to the popular first volume of Yiddish: An Introduction is perfect for the intermediate student.  Continue your Yiddish studies using the comprehensive methods utilized in the first volume.


Learning Yiddish in Easy Stages by Marvin Zuckerman & Marion Herbst (paperback)

Detailed Description
Provides grammar, expressions, dialogues and songs with easy exercises for the beginner Yiddish student. Written in Yiddish and transliteration.


Der Oytser fun der Yidisher Shprakh / Thesaurus of the Yiddish Language by Nahum Stutchkoff (hardcover)

Detailed Description
This is an indispensable thesaurus of 150,000 Yiddish words, idioms, phrases, similes and proverbs.


College Yiddish by Uriel Weinreich (hardcover)

Detailed Description
A first year course in reading, writing and speaking Yiddish for adult students. The fundamentals of standard Yiddish grammar and vocabulary are presented in reading selections, glossaries, grammatical paradigms and exercises. Supplementary readings in English introduce the student to Yiddish language and culture. A YIVO publication.


Pearls of Yiddish Song, CD, by Various Artists, Musical Director Zalmen Mlotek

Product Details
Song List:
Yidl Mitn Fidl
A Nign
Di Mashke
Di Krenetse
Motl der Opreyter
A Kind A Goldene
Lid Fun Titanik
In An Orem Shtibele
Itsik Hot Khasene Gehat
Dos Zangl
Yosl Ber
A Malekh Veynt
Der Kranker Shnayder
Vi Shlekht Un Vi Biter
Vos Geven, Iz Geven Un Nito
Zol Nokh Zayn Shabes
Nokhemke Mayn Zun
Ikh Bin A “Border” Bay Mayn Vayb




Mit Groys Fargenigen / With Great Pleasure by Heather Valencia (paperback with 8 CDs)
1877909769 | $38.00

Detailed Description
This book responds to a need that readers and students of Yiddish have felt keenly over the years. Too often our access to Yiddish literature has been through yellowing old editions or blurry photocopies, while those living in areas distant from libraries with a Yiddish collection are left with very little possibility of gaining access to works in the original. For the student, original editions of Yiddish novels, poems and stories are rather daunting; wild variations in spelling convention and an absence of notes or explanations of abstruse Hebrew words or phrases make comprehension difficult.

There have been few publications which provide a selection of annotated texts with a glossary, suitable for readers who are not completely fluent in the language and are still in the process of learning. Mit Groys Fargenign is such a book. Here you will find an anthology of shorter pieces of Yiddish writing with footnotes on each page clarifying difficult points of language or commenting on interesting cultural items, together with an extensive glossary. The book is accompanied by eight compact discs on with the stories and poems are brought to life by readers of native-speaker standards.


Defining the Yiddish Nation: The Jewish Folklorists of Poland (hardcover) by Itzik Nakhmen Gottesman

Detailed Description
One vital form of the Jewish nationalism that developed in Europe during the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries held that the Yiddish language and Yiddish culture should be at the center of any Jewish nationalist efforts. In Defining the Yiddish Nation, Itzik Gottesman analyzes how and to what degree folklore study aided the imagining of a modern Yiddish-speaking Jewish nation in Eastern Europe between the two world wars. Gottesman looks at who studied folklore, how it was collected, and for what purposes, as well as how both the folk and the lore were represented by those who collected and wrote about them. Polish Jewish folklorists had much in common with folklorists in other nations, with a central difference. Like nearly all European folklore movements, the Yiddishist one was rooted in nineteenth-century romantic nationalism and Herder's idea of the volk; yet whereas the folk for others meant the peasantry, Jews were urban -- there was no Jewish peasantry. Ultimately this determined the kinds of materials the Yiddish folklorists collected, leading to their focus on oral folklore that reflected the beauty of the Yiddish language.

Defining the Yiddish Nation examines the evolution of Yiddish folklore and the pioneering work of three important folklore circles in independent Poland: the Warsaw group led by Noyekh Prilutski, the S. Ansky Vilne Jewish Historical-Ethnographic Society, and the YIVO Ethnographic Commission. Much more than a study of one particular folklore tradition, however, Defining the Yiddish Nation reveals how the work of the Yiddish folklorists sought to connect Jewish identity with the past, while simultaneously contributing to an autonomous Jewish national culture that would help reshape the present and create a future.


Plant Names in Yiddish (paperback) by Mordkhe Schaechter
0914512498 | $30.00

Detailed Description
Meticulously researched by Yiddish linguist Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, Plant Names in Yiddish is not only a study in botany, but also a window into the development of the Yiddish language and of the people who spoke it. The work draws on literary, scientific, linguistic, dialectal and religious sources to assemble a wealth of plant names, reflecting the richness of Jewish regional diversity prior to the Holocaust. For instance, the book lists 13 ways to say “potato” in Yiddish, including búlbe, bilve and kartófle. Schaechter also explores Yiddish terms for willow beginning with: sháyne-boym, noted in the writings of Mendele Moykher-Sforim and A. Golomb, derived from hoysháyne, hesháyne, sháyne—“willow twigs used ritually on the holiday of Sukkot.”

In the dictionary Schaechter also provides insights into the ritual uses of plants, with a discourse on the species that are acceptable for use on the Passover seder plate.

“This dictionary brings users a deeper understanding of the historical Jewish relationship to the world of plants,” explained Dr. Paul Glasser, Associate Dean of YIVO’s Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies, who helped edit the book.


Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward (hardcover) by Alana Newhouse
0393062694 | $39.95

Detailed Description
The finest photographic account of Jewish life in America.

This extraordinary volume features classic photographs of the history one has learned to associate with the Forward—Lower East Side pushcarts, Yiddish theater, labor rallies—along with gems no one would expect. The premiere national Jewish newspaper has opened up its never-before-seen archives, revealing a photographic landscape of Jews in the twentieth century and beyond. From shtetl beauty contests and matchmakers caught mid-deal to the streets of the New World; from diaspora communities and mandate Palestine to the Holocaust, the Soviet Jewry movement, and the emergence of Jewish suburbia; from Paul Muni and Barbra Streisand to Woody Allen and Madonna—this book is a kaleidoscopic array of modern Jewish life. Original essays are included by leading intellectuals and historians, including Leon Wieseltier, J. Hoberman, Roger Kahn, and Deborah E. Lipstadt, plus an introduction by Pete Hamill. A great gift book in the tradition of Roman Vishniac's A Vanished World and Frederic Brenner's Diaspora: Homelands in Exile. 531 duotone photographs.


Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Meshugas of the Yiddish Theater in America (hardcover) by Stefan Kanfer
1400042887 | $26.95

Detailed Description
From the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed biographies Groucho and Ball of Fire comes a definitive look back at the Yiddish Theater. In this soulful and entertaining elegy Stefan Kanfer traces its meteoric rise, its precipitous fall, and its lasting mark on American theater, film, and culture in general.

The Yiddish Theater's star seems to have burned out. The venues in New York City have all gone. So have the performers and their immigrant audiences. But in Stardust Lost they live again as Kanfer brings the colorful stage roaring back to life. Meticulously unraveling the history of Jewish theater, he begins with the drama of the Old Testament and moves through time and space to the cultural explosions of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the oppressions of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and the pogroms of early twentieth-century czarist Russia. Fleeing anti-Semitic edicts, the Jews of Eastern Europe push westward, migrating first to England and then to America. With them come the extravagant personages who bring drama-in every sense of the word-to Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Stardust Lost invokes the energy, belief, and pure chutzpah it took to establish and run the thriving, influential theaters. En route, Kanfer reveals the nightly drama and comedy that played out behind the scenes as well as onstage, and introduces all the players-actors, divas, playwrights, directors, designers, and producers-who made it possible. Along with the beating pulse of the Yiddish tradition come the larger-than-life stars: Boris Thomashefsky, Jacob P. Adler, Molly Picon, Paul Muni, Bertha Kalisch, David Kessler, Maurice Schwartz,and many others, most with libidos to match their oversized egos. The book grants us views of genuine artistic achievement along with tales of cutthroat competition, adulterous liaisons, and hilarious wrangles. As we see in detail, assimilation, world events, and great shifts in American entertainment-the very entertainment that the Yiddish Theater encouraged by providing talent to uptown stages and film studios-lead to a poignant finale.

From the daring Yiddish interpretation of The Merchant of Venice to Stella Adler's influence on young actors to John Garfield's and Marlon Brando's impact on the screen, Kanfer traverses lower Manhattan, Broadway, and Hollywood to give us the tumultuous birth, flourishing, and decline of a great art form. It is a richly evocative chronicle that resurrects the forgotten landmarks and the vital personalities of the Yiddish Theater, whose work has gone but whose achievements can never be lost.


Secular Jewishness for Our Time edited by Barnett Zumoff and Karl D. Zukerman
0977801403 | $25.00

Detailed Description
A three part symposium by three generations of witers, educators, and cultural activists in 1938-40, 1968-69, and 1998-2000.

The first section is a collection of articles published in Yiddish during 1938-39 in Kultur un Dertsiung (Culture and Education), the Workmen's Circle's monthly journal that dealt with literary and educational aspects of Yiddish culture.  There was no intitial intention to have a symposium about secular Jewishness - it just grew, unplanned , as a point-counterpoint of views about how to preserve and reinforce Jewishness in nonreligious Jews and in their children and grandchildren.  The authors were all deeply and professionally immersed in Yiddish cultural endeavors; they represented a broad spectrum of ideological viewpoints but were united in their view that Yiddish culture was central to Jewishness.  They were all worried about how to keep secular Jews, especially children, within the fold so that they would not drift away into uninvolved assimilation.  They were not worried about losing the children to religious affiliation, for hey all felt that religion among Jews would soon die out.

The second section of the book is similar in many ways, except that the articles were published 30 years later.  The concerns expressed by the authors were much the same as before.  What was different was a subtly pervasive loss of optimism and the certainty that their way would inevitably prevail.

The third section is a planned symposium with invited papers.  There is still a concern with finding ways to keep young secular Jews within the fold.  Their prescriptions vary: for some, the observance of traditions remains the key; for others, the key is the practice of kiuun olam, in its modern incarnation as striving to create a shener un besere velt ( a better and more beautiful world) by struggling for social and economic justice.

The articles in this book provide a comprehensive picture of the changes that have occured over sixty years in the approach to maintaing and strengthening secular Jewishness, not only the how but also the why.


Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Its Moods (paperback) by Michael Wex
0061132179 | $13.95

Detailed Description
In Born to Kvetch, Michael Wex looks at the ingredients that went into this buffet of disenchantment and examines how they were mixed together to produce an almost limitless supply of striking idioms and withering curses (which get a chapter all to themselves). Born to Kvetch includes a wealth of material that's never appeared in English before. You'll find information on the Yiddish relationship to food, nature, divinity, and humanity. There's even a chapter about sex." "This is a look at a language that both shaped and was shaped by those who spoke it. From tukhes to goy, meshugener to kvetch, Yiddish words have permeated and transformed English as well." Through the idioms, phrases, metaphors, and fascinating history of this kvetch-full tongue, Michael Wex gives us a portrait of a people, and a language, in exile.