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Join the United Jewish People’s Order in celebrating Pride month with Irena Klepfisz and Zohar Weiman-Kelman! A one-hour intimate online event and poetry reading bringing both poets and activists into conversation across time and language about the politics of Yiddish and more. Grab a glass of wine or coffee and settle in for a fun afternoon! This event is co-sponsored with Independent Jewish Voices - Canada. Register today to celebrate (a-post-pride-month) Pride with us!

About Irena Klepfisz
Poet, activist, and essayist Irena Klepfisz was born in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1941 and spent the first few years

of her life there until her father smuggled her and her mother to the Aryan side in 1943. Her mother had Aryan papers and worked as a maid for a Polish family while Klepfisz was placed in a Catholic orphanage. After her father died what many would term a “heroic death” on the second day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19, 1943, Klepfisz’s mother took her out of the orphanage and they survived the duration of the war in hiding in

the Polish countryside. After liberation, Klepfisz and her mother moved briefly to Łódź before going to Sweden in the spring of 1946. The Klepfisz women then moved to the United States in 1949. Klepfisz was eight and already spoke Polish, some Yiddish, and Swedish when she began to learn English in New York. She began publishing her poems in 1971. Her first two published poems, “Searching for My Father's Body,” and “The Widow and the Daughter,” which come as a pair, speak of the devastating impact of the Holocaust on Klepfisz’s life. Besides Holocaust poetry, Klepfisz has written poetry about many other pieces of her identity as a woman, feminist, lesbian, cultural Jew, and activist against the actions of the Israeli government towards Palestinians. She often writes in Yiddish (her pseudo mother-tongue), and is respected as a Yiddishist. Klepfisz was the
co-founder of Conditions magazine, a feminist magazine emphasizing the writing of lesbians, the co-editor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women’s Anthology, the editorial consultant for Yiddish and Yiddish literature on the Jewish feminist magazine Bridges, and the co-founder of The Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (JWCEO). She has taught at Barnard College while continuing to write, speak out for equality of the alienated, and work for peace.​

About Zohar Weiman-Kelman
Zohar Weiman-Kelman is a senior lecturer in the department of foreign literatures and linguistics and holds the Blechner Career Development Chair in East European Jewish Culture at Ben-Gurion University. They received a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California Berkeley and were a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Zohar was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and an associate scholar at the Humanities Forum on Sex, both at the University of Pennsylvania. Their first book, Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women’s Poetry, was published by SUNY Press in 2018.

Co-Sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices-Canada


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Our Statement on Current Events in Palestine/Israel

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