ייִדיש לעבט/ Yidish Lebt (Yiddish is alive) is "a secular and non-political, international project, that originates in Poland and unites young artists, linguists and scholars of Yiddish, who want to prove that the Yiddish language is still living and fruitful As a group we are not tied to any organization, school or religious community. Currently we are in the process of registering our Foundation, which will enable us to realize our goals. Among us are Jews and Gentiles, Orthodox and atheists. What unites us is a love for art and this language.
Before World War II the Yiddish language was used throughout the world by the vast majority of Jews and reached the apogee of its development on Polish territory, home to its most prominent artists - writers and poets whose achievements are still being translated into all languages of the world. It was the only "language without a land" represented in the PEN Club before the war and in 1978 was symbolically awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for Isaac Bashevis Singer - one of the last great writers in that language.
Yiddish, though inextricably linked and permeating Polish culture and the Polish language is now in our country, unfortunately, forgotten. A few attempts to revitalize Yiddish are taking place but they seem to omit Poland, whereas Jewish milieus in general tend more toward the Hebrew language, thus forgetting the legacy of Yiddish and its cultural heritage.
We do not have anything against the Hebrew language. However, we believe that it is not proper, here in Poland, to marginalize the role of language which is historically associated with this place ... The above-mentioned Isaac Bashevis Singer, when receiving his award, said: "Yiddish is not dead." We, more than 30 years later, are claiming: "Yiddish lives".
Therefore, on the one hand, we want to disseminate knowledge about this language (still a lot of prejudices, stereotypes and false perceptions are circulating), on the other hand, we want to assist in the acquisition of practical skills to use the Yiddish language. However, perhaps the most important mission of the projet is to organize and support cultural initiatives not only inspired by Yiddish, but using Yiddish as its basis and are in Yiddish! So that the language actually will continue to live. In art, and among people, every day and on special occasions, among Jews and non-Jews, if not on the street and in the salons! It must live. Live long! Yidish lebt!"
The following initiatives have resulted from the project so far: