The Yiddish Book Center’s Coming to America Reading Groups for Public Libraries is a reading and discussion program to engage teens and adults in thinking about immigrants’ experiences encountering America.

Public library workers can apply by August 16, 2019, to be part of the program. Participants will receive training and resources to help them lead a reading group that will explore three books of Yiddish literature in translation, as well as one book related to an immigrant community served by their library.

Up to 30 public libraries will be selected.
Learn more and apply online at

Using Yiddish literature as a portal, the program will feature Yiddish literature in translation that explores questions of identity, assimilation, language, cuisine, and generational change, presenting American identity as an ongoing conversation, a give-and-take-between insiders and outsiders, and will compare these works written in the early 20th century to works by contemporary immigrant writers.

Participating libraries will receive:
* Expenses paid for facilitators to attend a two-day workshop at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
* 15 copies of each of three books on the Yiddish Book Center reading list, as well as one copy each for the discussion facilitator and the library’s collection
Motl the Cantor’s Son, by Sholem Aleichem
Enemies, A Love Story, by Isaac Bashevis Singer
A Jewish Refugee in New York, by Kadya Molodovsky
* 15 copies of one additional book, selected by the library, that relates to the immigrant experiences of their own community
* Plus downloadable discussion guides and reading resources

Applicants may also apply for an additional $500 award to cover the cost of a guest speaker.

The Yiddish Book Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries is made possible by a gift from Sharon Karmazin.