Zelda Kahan Newman

Zelda Kahan Newman is a linguist whose specialty is Yiddish language and culture. She has translated the poems of Rivke Basman Ben-Hayim and written about the interface of Yiddish and Hebrew in language as well as in literature. Her most important paper was a demonstration that modern Yiddish intonation derives from the way the original settlers of Ashkenaz chanted the Jerusalem Talmud.

Kahan Newman lived in Beer Sheva, where she taught at the University of the Negev and was active in MASLAN, a Negev-based women’s organization that helps victims of violence. She is currently living in New York and teaching at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

Articles by this author

Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim

To encourage her fellow prisoners in the Kaiserwald concentration camp, the young Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim recited a poem of her own composition to them every day for two years. After her arrival in Israel in 1947, she went on to publish nine books of Yiddish poetry, lyrical pieces which hint at the pain of the Holocaust yet are full of calm and comfort: the calm to be found within the natural world, the comfort to be found within friendship and love.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Zelda Kahan Newman." (Viewed on November 14, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/newman-zelda>.


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