Dr. Khane-Faygl (Anita) Turtletaub spoke only Yiddish until she was five-years old. Her family came to the United States from Russia, and her father’s deep love of Yiddish was contagious, as he brought Yiddish newspapers and radio programs into their home.
People were always amazed that she spoke Yiddish, and soon, she also began to think it was wonderful. While going to graduate school, she taught English at Cuyahoga Community College. One day she offered to also teach a Yiddish class, and a new career was born!
She found that although she liked teaching English, she LOVED teaching Yiddish. Upon receiving her sabbatical, Dr. Turtletaub decided to make teaching Yiddish her full-time career. She feels very blessed to have found her passion in life so early.
Dr. Turtletaub teaches Yiddish at Northwestern University. She has been on the faculty of the Teachers Institute for Women at Hebrew Theological College; Oakton Community College; Harry S. Truman, City Colleges of Chicago; Harold Washington College; Spertus Institute (originally Chicago’s College of Jewish Studies); and the Community Foundation for Jewish Education.
She is co-author of the musical comedy Love in the Catskills, and has edited and been featured in Breaking Ground: the Careers of 20 Chicago Jewish Women by Beatrice Shapiro.
Dr. Turtletaub has had five humorous stories published in Yiddish, one of which was the feature story in a recent anthology of modern Yiddish writers, entitled Vidervuks.
She holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, a post-doctoral National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, and is the founding and directing the Society for Yiddish Culture, and the President of the the Chicago G.E.T. organization
“Hans Christian Andersen’s Stories in Yiddish,” which she edited and updated, is soon to be released.
Her book Yiddish Songs for Children is now available for purchase online, alongside individual MP3 tracks of original Yiddish music.
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