Shanah Tovah 5775
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week we are celebrating Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year, with a Rosh Hashonah story. It’s called “Rosh Hashonah”, and was written by Yente Serdatzky. She was a Yiddish writer, who exemplifies the enormous difficulties experienced by Yiddish women writers in achieving recognition. Serdatzky was born in Lithuania in 1877. In 1905, she left her husband and three children and went to Warsaw to pursue a literary career. Her first story, “Mirl,” was published there in 1905. She emigrated to the United States in 1907 and wrote stories and plays which were published in many Yiddish periodicals. She died in 1962 at the age of 85.
Serdatsky’s fiction and dramatic works focus mainly on women like herself, immigrants who came to America from European, mainly Russian, left-wing political movements, seeking to build an ideal society, together with like-minded male comrades. Instead, they face alienation and loneliness in a society that has little place for radical intellectual women. Serdatsky’s leading characters who are involved in liaisons are inevitably exploited by lovers and husbands. Nevertheless, her narratives abound in lonely women searching for love and faith. This story is taken from the anthology Beautiful as the Moon, Radiant as the Stars. Jewish Women in Yiddish Stories, edited by Sandra Bark and published by Warner Books in 2003.