Anthology of Yiddish Poetry
of Poland between the two
World Wars (1918 - 1939)

אַנטאָלאָגיע פון דער ײִדישער פּאָעזיע
אין פּוילן צווישן ביידע וועלט מלחמות
(1918 - 1939)

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Isaac Apel
Isaac Apel was born in Belgium in 1947. His parents Motl and Dobke Apelowicz were committed to Yiddish literature and Yiddish culture. The family migrated to Melbourne Australia in 1948. Isaac graduated from the Sholem Aleichem Sunday school where he later taught for 10 years after graduating from the Giligich Yiddish teacher’s course. Isaac has been active in Yiddish by reciting, acting, Directing, Producing and performing as a musician. Isaac is a lawyer.

Danielle Charak
Danielle Charak was born in Belgium in 1939. She grew up in a Yiddish speaking, Yiddish loving home.  Her parents, Polish Jews, had an ideological commitment to Yiddish and Yiddish culture.  The family survived WW2 in hiding in Brussels and migrated to Australia in 1949.

Danielle attended a Yiddish supplementary school ( tsugob shul) in Brussels and later in Melbourne till the age of 16 and then a Yiddish teachers’ course.  After completing University studies and teaching qualifications, she graduated as a Secondary teacher of French and History.  At the age of 18 she began her teaching career and has taught French, History and English at secondary level and Yiddish at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Since the age of 8 she has been reciting publicly and continues to the present day to do public readings and to speak publicly, both in English and Yiddish.  She worked on ethnic radio, on SBS, in the Yiddish program for 10 years.  For six of those she was Head of Group.  She has recorded books in Yiddish for Vision Australia.

Anne Gawenda
Anne Gawenda was born in Poland in 1948. She grew up speaking Yiddish in Melbourne. Her parents were passionate Yiddishists. Anne graduated from Sholem Aleichem Sunday school many years ago and is now teaching Yiddish at Sholem Aleichem College. She has come full circle.

Miriam Koral
Ms. Koral is the CEO of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture & Language (CIYCL), which is internationally known for its winter Yiddish intensive, “The Art of Yiddish” and its Yiddish-into-English Poetry Translation Contest
(; is a Lecturer in Yiddish at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1998; and has published prose and poetry in Yiddish and English. She also lectures widely on modern Yiddish poetry and was one of the contributing translators for the Yisroel Shtern and the Yossel Birstein projects. An American native of Israel, Yiddish is her mameloshn.

Jacob (Janek) Lewin

Jacob (Janek) Lewin was born in Lodz, Poland on April 13, 1927. During World War II he was in the Lodz Ghetto and then in three concentration camps - Birkenau, Trzebinia and finally Auschwitz , from which he was freed on the 27th of January 1945.

After the War he moved to Melbourne, Australia. There he was active in the David Herman Yiddish theatre group, under the direction of such prominent directors as Jacob Waislits from the Vilna Trupe, Rachel Holzer, Zygmunt Turkov and Joseph Shain.

In 1965  he moved to Los Angeles where he remains active in the Yiddish Culture Club and other groups, with various theatrical performances and poetry readings.

Romek Mokotow

Romek was born in Warsaw in 1923, and completed the Bronisław Grosser Yiddish school at 29 Karmelicka Street in 1937.  He survived the war in Russia and came to Melbourne with his wife Rivka in 1949.  In Melbourne he was active in theatre in the SKIF youth movement of the Bund in the 1950’s, and directed performances of “Mr Twister”, “Bontshe the Silent” and “3 Figures”.  This past 20 years he has been active in the Kadimah library.

Henry Joseph Nusbaum
Born in 1948, in Melbourne, the son of Boruch “Motl” Nusbaum, and Mirla Lieblich.Yiddish is my “ mame loshn”. Educated in Melbourne schools and universities. Attended Sholem Aleichem Sunday school, SKIF, and Tsukunft organizations.Now a member of the Bund and Kadimah.

Was a principal of the I.L Peretz Sunday School. Was a co-presenter of Yiddish radio in Melbourne. Acted and produced Yiddish plays in Melbourne as part of the Yiddish Youth Theatre and Kadimah cultural events, among them “The Diary of Anne Frank” and Arthur Miller's “The Price”. Had the pleasure of acting together with his daughter Alya, in Itsik Mangers “Di Megile”.


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