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Aliza Greenblatt

Aliza Greenblatt  Biography

Born in Bessarabia, Romania in 1885, Greenblatt settled in Philadelphia in 1900, where she worked in the garment industry. In 1900, she married fellow immigrant Isidore Greenblatt; the couple’s daughter Marjorie later married Woody Guthrie. While raising her five children, Greenblatt also became active in Zionist causes. After the 1917 Balfour Declaration, she founded the Atlantic City branch of the Zionist Organization of America; later she was active in Hadassah and the Jewish National Fund. She also served as national president of Pioneer Women (now Na’amat).

Between 1935 and 1966, Greenblatt published five volumes of Yiddish poetry and an autobiography, Baym Fentster fun a Lebn [At the Window of a Life]. She died in New York in 1975. Although European Yiddish culture was all but destroyed by the Second World War, Greenblatt’s work was widely published during her lifetime in Yiddish newspapers across the United States and in Israel.

In her later years, Greenblatt lived across the street from the Guthries in the heart of Brooklyn’s Jewish community. In an attempt to make peace with Isidore, who was unhappy that Marjorie had married a non-Jew, Woody Guthrie began studying Judaism and sent his son Arlo to a Hebrew tutor. Arlo later set some of Greenblatt’s works to music. These, along with Jewish-themed songs written by Woody Guthrie, were performed for the first time by the Klezmatics in a December 20, 2003, performance at New York City’s 92nd Street Y entitled “Holy Ground: The Jewish Songs of Woody Guthrie.” The songs were released on a CD, Happy Joyous Hanukkah, the following year.

4 thoughts on “Four Divine States of Mind”

  1. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Saiph Stars, a non-profit organization developed for children battling illnesses, providing them with resources such as videos, songs, games, magazines, etc. to entertain and inspire them while undergoing treatments during their long hospitalizations.
    BH, we have a wide range of performers, singers, storytellers such as Yakov Shwekey, Mordechai Shapiro, Ari Goldwag, Baruch Levine, YBC, Uri Davidi, Rabbi Ashear, Rabbi Lish, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Rabbi Erps, Rebbee Hill, Rabbi Pesach Krohn, and many more who have joined our project by allowing us to use their material. In addition, subscriptions such as Mishpacha, Binah, The Circle, Spotlight, JWOW have all joined our project as well BH. All the material will be uploaded to locked iPads and is streamed thru the Saiph Stars App designated to be used by these children.
    We would love to include your material as it would mean a lot to the children.
    Please check out our website for more info at http://www.saiphstars.com.
    It should be a tremendous zechus for you! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
    Shulamit

  2. Felice Glazer says:

    I was just sitting at my piano looking over a very old book of songs called the songs we sing by Harry Cooper Smith. I got this book when I went to Anshe emet Sunday school in Chicago. That was in the late forties and fifties. This book is falling apart but I love it and will never part with it until I pass away. Something today just made me decide to look up the name of Harry Coopersmith and that’s how I found this site.

  3. Philip Joseph Brody says:

    Joseph Brody was my great grandfather. Murray Brody was my grandfather and Joseph Brody was my father. I am Philip Joseph Brody born in Queens N.Y. My halfbrother Brian is a saxophone player. Unfortunately I think musical talent skipped me. My great grandfather died before my father was born. Unfortunately my father died around 59 years old. I’m about to be 52 so hopefully I won’t pass before my time.

  4. MARTY KUGLER says:

    Is there any way that I can get the lyrics to Semour Rockoff’s song “Der moiled vet zein.” I know about half the words, but I no longer have the record. I’ve been searching for the lyrics for over 40 years. Thanks, Marty Kugler maak68@gmail.com

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