Born in 1920, Beyle was raised in Czernowitz by her father, a proud Yiddishist, and her mother, an admired folk singer. She inherited a love of song and poetry, a vast memory for words and stories, and a unique, protective love of Yiddish.
After surviving the Holocaust in Europe, she sought to build a secular Yiddish-speaking community that would continue for generations. She raised her children in Yiddish in a small pocket of New York City—which became known as “Bainbridgivke”—alongside other families committed to passing the language and culture down to their children.
Beyle was an influential teacher and writer in her community. She first began to write songs, plays, and poems so her children would have materials to read in Yiddish. Once her children outgrew children’s literature, she began to write for herself and a general audience. She published her debut poetry book Steshkes tsvishn moyern (Footpaths amid Stone Walls) in 1972. She published several collections of poems and artwork as well as CDs of her songs performed by herself and other Yiddish singers and performers. In 2005 she received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for her vast and vibrant artistic contributions.
We’ve been working on this short film for several years already, but your donations will enable us to complete it. Here is a rough estimate of how we plan to spend the money from this Kickstarter campaign:
Editor’s time: $2,800–$4,000
Directors’ time: $3,200–$5,000
Staff time: $2,000–$5,000
Daylong art shoot in NYC: $1,000–$2,000
Interview shoots (U.S., Scotland, and Germany): $3,000–$6,000
Sound and color mix: $1,000
Translation and subtitling: $800
DVD and swag production and shipping: $1,500+
Marketing and distribution: $2,000+
Kickstarter fees: $1,500+
Your pledge is tax deductible for US residents! The amount of your contribution that is deductible for federal income tax purposes is limited to the difference between your pledge minus the fair market value of the reward. If our project is completed and the goal is met, you will be asked to fill out a survey so that we can send you your reward and/or donation receipt. The Yiddish Book Center is unable to recognize your gift unless the informational survey is completed. Please allow an additional 4–6 weeks for your reward to ship internationally. Note: we are not responsible for international customs fees.
The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization working to recover, celebrate, and regenerate Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture.
The Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project is a growing collection of more than 750 in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity. Our oral history and short film series Beyond the Books: Yiddish Writers and Their Descendants examines the lives and legacies of Yiddish writers through an intimate lens.
All photographs and artwork by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, and courtesy of Itzik Gottesman.
Risks and challenges
No matter the outcome of this Kickstarter fundraising campaign, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project will continue to record high-quality video oral history interviews with people of all ages about the changing nature and legacy of Yiddish language and culture and make them available to the public online. We will continue to edit engaging videos that will inform and engage discussion about modern Jewish culture.
The Yiddish Book Center will seek funding to complete BEYLE, but we will not be able to finish and release it until we have the funding in place.
Regarding rewards: Delivery dates for the film are tentative. Depending on how our plans develop in terms of film festival submissions, the film may not be released to the general public right away. We will keep all backers updated on our plans and timeline as they develop.
As with any product, it’s possible to encounter production delays. We are confident that we’ll be able to deliver the rewards within the estimated timeline. Should any issues arise, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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