Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lilke Majzner's Yiddish Lifetime Achievement Award

In July 2009, Lilke Majzner, a Holocaust survivor from the ghetto of Lodz, Poland, passed away. Just nine months earlier, Lilke was given the third annual Lifetime Yiddish Achievement Award by the International Association of Yiddish Clubs. Her acceptance speech, given in Yiddish, was quite eloquent.

While living in Los Angeles, California, Lilke gave of herself quite willingly to works that were involved with the preservation of the Yiddish language. She served as the Director of the Los Angeles Yiddish Culture Club and was a member of the Board of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language and Yiddishkayt LA. She will be sorely missed by all who came to know her.
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"Language is the instrument of creativity. Our creative treasure is collosal. It is not only the legacy, it is the wonderful metamorphosis of the wandering process of now. Our yesterdays must be historically woven into today. The road is hard, not easy. We live in a new technological world.Technology brings both good and bad. But Yiddish vitality and endurance will come to our aid. We must have faith and we must have great stubbornness. Together…together we will preserve our values and build new values. Our language and culture must be a component of our Jewish existence. May the words of our great writer Leivick, 'I rise up again and stride off farther,' become our motto." --Lilke Majzner

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The Museum of Family History now offers you three ways to appreciate Lilke's words. You may either:
---watch the complete video of her speech. You will need the proper media player to watch this mp4 video file. Also if you rely on land lines/phone lines for Internet service, you might be waiting a while to see it as it slowly downloads. The video should begin playing on its own soon after the web page appears.
---if you wish instead to just hear her speech (remember the speech is entirely in Yiddish), you can click on the page's audio-only link.
---her speech has also been well-translated into English and can also be found on the aforementioned web page.

The link to the Majzner page is www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/iayc2008-majzner.htm.

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