Department of Germanic Languages
414 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2812
1130 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027
Miriam Hoffman, lecturer of Yiddish language at Columbia University since 1993.
Born in Lodz, Poland. Came to America in 1950 at the age of 13. In 1957 finished the Jewish Teacher's Seminary with a BA in pedagogy. In the 1970's taught Yiddish at the University of Tel-Aviv, Israel. Received a B.A. from the University of Miami, cum laude in 1981. An M.A. from Columbia University in 1983. From 1991-1994 taught Yiddish and Yiddish Dramatic Arts at Oxford University Summer Program.
For the last 20 years, columnist and feature writer for the Jewish Forward, where she has published over two thousand articles. Also edited a monthly literary supplement for the Jewish Forward. Playwright, with ten Yiddish plays to her name, produced and performed both at the N. Y. Shakespeare Festival and the Joseph Papp Theater, off-Broadway at the Astor Theater, the John Houseman Theater, the 92nd St. Y, with productions in major American and European cities, among them: Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Dresden, Regensburg and Warsaw, Poland. Original plays staged at The Folksbiene Yiddish Theater in New York, the Jewish Repertory Theater-Playhouse 91, Center for Jewish History, the Sadye Bronfman Theater in Montreal, Canada, Akzent Theater in Vienna, Austria and the Yiddishpiel Theater in Tel-Aviv, Israel. 1992 Tony Award for translation into Yiddish of Neil Simon's Sunshine Boys.
The Congress for Jewish Culture published a series of Hoffman's Yiddish children's books. Fellowship award from the Holocaust memorial Foundation, literary awards from the National Foundation for Jewish culture and the New School for Social Research. Published in "Di Goldene Keyt," literary magazine in Israel - a scholarly work on - "Lodz - Yiddish dialect." Winner of the Dora Teitelbaum Foundation for a literary work, published "Memory and Memorial," in the Yivo Bleter Publication. Entry on the History of the Yiddish Theater in the Encyclopedia Americana (pp. 678-679), published the History of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theater in the "Oxforder Yiddish," volume two, "Women in the novels of A. M. Fuks," "Oxforder Yiddish," volume three.
Miriam Hoffman has lectured all over the world, topics include: "Yiddish language and Folklore, Yiddish Theater and Film", "The unpublished diary of a Jewish Soldier in the First World War," "Hebrew vs Yiddish," Chaim Grade's "Deciphering a Seminal Masterpiece," "Life in a D.P. Camp in Germany (displaced persons - saving remnants of the Holocaust)" (1946-1949), also a collection of Songs in four languages, (Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and Polish) which was written down in the D.P. Camp in Ulm, Germany by the then ten year old Miriam, and brought to America in 1950, now at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. She is fluent in Yiddish and Hebrew, and has a speaking knowledge of Russian, Polish and some German.