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Judaic Studies Program to host author Michael Wex
Judaic Studies Program to host author Michael Wex September 06, 2006Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The Judaic Studies Program in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Arnold and Miriam Weiner Yiddish Culture Fund of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will host two local appearances by Michael Wex, author of “Born to Kvetch” (St. Martin’s Press, 2005).
Wex will lecture and sign copies of his book Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, 18 Patsy Lane, DeWitt. Wex will also speak Thursday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. in Room 214 of the Hall of Languages. Both events are free and open to the public. Paid parking for Wex’s campus appearance is available in the University’s visitor pay lots.
Wex speaks on the history and usage of the Yiddish language, but his lectures become stand-up comic routines with the audience trying to write down notes between explosions of laughter.
Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Wex is the last member of a rabbinic family tree tracing back to the rebbes of Ciechanow and Strykow. He has taught at the University of Michigan and as a fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto. His previous novel, “Schlepping the Exile” (1992), discusses the world of a small, immigrant Jewish community in Alberta between 1956 and 1959. It is concerned with the coming of age of the religious and conflicted Yoine, trying to make sense of his traditions and the realities of a 20th-century Canadian community.
Wex has lectured and performed in venues ranging from Borscht Belt hotels to recreation centers in what was once East Germany. Some of his Yiddish songs have been recorded by the The Klezmatics, Sukke and the Flying Bulgars. His Yiddish translation of Kurt Weill’s “Threepenny Opera” premiered in June 2001. He teaches a popular annual class, called Wexology, at Klezkamp, the Yiddish Folk Arts Festival.
For more information on Wex’s visit, contact the Judaic Studies Program at 443-5671.