The Art of the Yiddish Book

Cover of Freyd Joy Magazine, no 8 (Kiev, 1923) Kultur Lige

Event Info

This in-person workshop takes place at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and at Center for Book Arts on July 11–14 from 10–5pm ET.

  • Monday, July 11, 10am–12 pm at YIVO and 2–5pm at Center for Book Arts.
  • Tuesday, July 12, 10am–12 pm at YIVO and 2–5pm at Center for Book Arts.
  • Thursday, July 14, 10am–4pm at Center for Book Arts.

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on Monday, July 4, at 11:59pm.

About the Workshop:

Working with literary scholar Barbara Mann and book artist Roni Gross, students will draw on the unique resources of two downtown institutions (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Center for Book Arts) for an immersive experience in modern Jewish creativity. 

The YIVO archives contain a multitude of artifacts, manuscripts, and books about Yiddish culture. Using objects and books from this world-renowned collection as inspiration, workshop participants will attend hands-on sessions at YIVO about the emergence and flourishing of modern Yiddish culture, in Eastern Europe and in the United States, and then create a collaborative print at the Center for Book Arts. 

Students will have two morning sessions in the YIVO archives, and two afternoon sessions at the Center for Book Arts in the printshop, learning techniques related to the artworks we have seen and working on a collaborative print. The last day will be a six-hour session at the Center for Book Arts on the press.

Students will get experience printing on the Vandercook proof press, using wood type, cutting linoleum blocks, pressure printing and making multicolor collaborative prints.


Required Materials:

All staff, artists, students, and guests are required to show proof of vaccination upon entering CBA and must wear a mask covering the nose and mouth at all times. If you have a medical or religious exemption, please email

  • Students can purchase a small mounted linoleum block (it is on wood) – no larger than 4 x 6 – if they wish to have the option of carving one. Other materials will be provided

About the Instructor

Barbara Mann (she/her) is a Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and the author of Space and Place in Jewish Studies (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space (Stanford University Press, 2005), and The Object of Jewish Literature: A Material History (Yale University Press, 2022)—which was supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Her areas of expertise include literary studies, critical theory, and modern Jewish cultures; her interdisciplinary scholarship has analyzed the relation between space, memory, and cultural representation. Mann has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Israel.

She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and has previously taught in the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University.


Roni Gross is a book artist whose work is in the collections of The Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, and many other public and private collections. She runs Z’roah Press which produces limited edition sculptural books.

Gross has been an instructor at Center for Book Arts teaching letterpress technique and much more for a number of years. In 2019 she initiated the Book Talk series that continues to feature a diverse range of artists and scholars.


All images courtesy of the instructors. 

Class size is limited to ensure an optimal participant to Instructor ratio. Register now before spots fill up! Registration for this workshop closes on Monday, July 4 at 11:59pm. Participants are required to comply with CBA’s Covid-19 health and safety measures.

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