Yiddish historian Eddy Portnoy checks in from Harlem. We get into how he’s managing the work/home setup (his sofa has molded itself to his body), how the Yiddish papers covered the 1918 flu and the analogs that has for our present situation, the Displaced Persons exhibition he’s working on for 2021 at the UN (fingers crossed), his long-gestating project on a pair of Yiddish puppeteers, a 1970s novel he’s reading about the Black Death hitting NYC, why his Jewish tendency to comedy outweighs any tendency to utopian thinking, the soul food restaurant he’d love to visit again, and more. Give it a listen! And go read Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press!
You can listen to all these COVID Check-In episodes at The COVID-19 Sessions.
About our Guest
Eddy Portnoy, the Academic Advisor and Exhibitions Curator at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, is the author of Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press. You can follow him on Twitter.
Credits: The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of XXX by me. It’s on my instagram.