What’s New?

Ellen Cassedy 2 (truly cropped)NOVA Science Show: Holocaust Escape Tunnel

Archaeologists probe a Nazi execution site to uncover the secrets of a hidden escape tunnel.  I contributed historical background to the show. Stream the show online.

 

 

 

Ellen and Fania at RudnikiMy Yiddish Month

Why study Yiddish?  To touch the lives of our ancestors. To honor ordinary people. To learn the language of passionate debates and fiery speeches in the struggle for a better world. Read my article in Na’amat Magazine.

 

 

 

holocaust-memorial-rokiskisHolocaust Remembrance in Lithuania

75 years after the Holocaust, Lithuania engages with a painful history.  Read my article in Bridges, the Lithuanian-American News Journal.

 

 

 

Vilnius-trip-cassedy

National Geographic says: 

Vilnius is the #1 winter trip destination — and We Are Here is the book to read before you go!

 

 

 

jewish-women-in-lithuania

Keeping the Faith

Three wonderful women in Vilnius are keeping their faith and sharing it with others. Read my article in Hadassah Magazine.

 

 

 


Suzanne Toren Ellen Cassedy we are here lithuanian holocaustAudiobook 

The magnificent Suzanne Toren, one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators, narrates my new audiobook, available here.  A new review from Bay State Reader’s Advisory calls it “a very well produced audiobook with an excellent narrator..”  And: “It was great to hear how all of the Yiddish words in the book actually sound.”

yiddish-zoo-bookWhat goes on in a Yiddish zoo?

Klezmer bears, lazy hippos, proud peacocks and loud parrots can all be admired in Yiddish Zoo, a splendid new children’s book for which I did the English translations.

lithuanian-rescuerHolocaust Remembrance Day: A New Generation of Rescuers?

Lithuanians have the opportunity to become a new generation of rescuers – rescuers of their nation’s memory, rescuers of moral conscience. Read my essay in Huffington Post. Read it in Lithuanian here, in Bernardinai.lt.

sigitas-parulskisDarkness & Co.

I talked with Sigitas Parulskis, author of the controversial Darkness & Co., considered the first major novel by an ethnic Lithuanian to examine the Holocaust. Read my interview in Cosmonauts Avenue.

jewish-names-lithuaniaRemembering Names in Lithuania

On the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto, Lithuanians find a personal way to remember Jews and Jewish heritage. Read my essay in Huffington Post.  Read it in Lithuanian here, in Bernardinai.lt.

dreiersmFavorite Books

I’m honored to be listed on Peter Dreier’s list of 50 Favorite Books of 2014 on Huffington Post.

vilna ghetto library

Facing History in Lithuania

My essay in Na’amat Woman (Winter 2014/2015) reflects on Lithuania’s encounter with its Jewish heritage. Will the people of this country take Holocaust remembrance seriously and dedicate themselves to ensuring that such a tragedy cannot happen again?

walkercrop[TIPS OF THE TRADE:] Stuck?  Go for a walk!

New research shows that walking boosts creative thinking.

bread

Bread and Jam on Holocaust Memorial Day

During the Lithuanian Holocaust, the penalty for hiding Jews was death.  Nonetheless, Jurate’s family extended a helping hand to mine.  Read my article in Huffington Post. Read it in Lithuanian here.

vilnius-yiddish-institute-cookbook

Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook

At the Vilnius Yiddish Institute Summer Program, we students shared recipes — in Yiddish — from the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook, beautifully translated and updated by Eve Jochnowitz.  Read my article in Hadassah Magazine.

 

More News:

My translation of luminous short stories by Yenta Mash won a PEN/Heim grant — the first ever awarded to a translation from Yiddish.  I worked on the translation as a translation fellow at the Yiddish Book Center.

“We Are Here” was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing announced by Stanford University Libraries.

I was honored to receive a Best Book Prize from the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.

We Are Here is now in its third printing. Help spread the word!  Please share your comments on Amazon and/or Goodreads, and ask for the book at your local library.

Articles

Stones of Remembrance
Huffington Post
Lithuania joins the world’s largest open-air memorial: the Stolpersteine.

Stones of Remembrance Honor Holocaust Victims
ReformJudaism.org
“Now it’s our turn,” a young Lithuanian says. “The time has come.”

Keeping the Faith
Hadassah Magazine
Three wonderful women in Vilnius are keeping their faith and sharing it with others.

Holocaust Remembrance in Lithuania
Bridges, the Lithuanian-American News Journal
75 years after the Holocaust, Lithuania engages with a painful history.

Vilna’s Yiddish Kitchen Reborn
Hadassah Magazine
Discover the flavor of old Vilna.

Learning Yiddish in Lithuania
Huffington Post
“You must study Yiddish not only with your eyes,” my teacher said, “but also with your nose.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day: A New Generation of Rescuers?
Huffington Post
Lithuanians have the opportunity to become a new generation of rescuers – rescuers of their nation’s memory, rescuers of moral conscience. Read it in Lithuanian here, in Bernardinai.lt.

Interview: Sigitas Parulskis
Cosmonauts Alley
Parulskis’s controversial novel, Darkness & Co., examines the Holocaust in Lithuania

Remembering Jewish Names in Lithuania
Huffington Post
On the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto, Lithuanians find a personal way to remember Jews and Jewish heritage.  Read it in Lithuanian here, in Bernardinai.lt.

Great Women of Yiddish Poetry
Jewish Currents
Two wonderful new books explore the work of Jewish women poets.

For Yom HaShoah: Reaching Out to “The Other”
Huffington Post
Talking about the Holocaust with a group of nuns in Lithuania gave me hope for the future.   Read it in Lithuanian, on Bernardinai.lt, here.

We Were Neighbors: Women of 19th-Century Lithuania
Bridges
In the days of our foremothers, women of different cultures lived side by side in relative harmony.  What can we learn from them?

Bread and Jam:  A Story of Rescue
Huffington Post
During the Lithuanian Holocaust, the penalty for hiding Jews was death.  Nonetheless, Jurate’s family extended a helping hand to mine.  Bernardinai.lt published the article in Lithuanian.

Facing History in Lithuania
Na’amat Woman Magazine 
Reflections on Lithuania’s encounter with its Jewish heritage. Will the people of this country take Holocaust remembrance seriously and dedicate themselves to ensuring that such a tragedy cannot happen again?

New Life for an Old Library: Report from the Vilna Ghetto
Association for Jewish Libraries News, pages 3-5
If a determined group of Lithuanians achieve their goal, an old library in Vilnius may have a new future.

Out of the Vilna Ghetto:  Dust – and Determination
Huffington Post
“Young Lithuanians cleaning up the old Vilna ghetto library are hoping that, in time, a building that once offered a wider world to trapped ghetto residents will become a place that opens minds and hearts.” Bernardinai.lt, the Lithuanian web portal, carried the article in Lithuanian:  Iš Vilniaus geto: dulkės ir ryžtas.

“Lithuania’s Difficult Journey”
Jewish Currents

Honoring Lithuania’s Jewish Heritage,
Bridges Lithuanian-American News Journal, July/August 2014

My article, For Yom HaShoah: A Search for Bones in Lithuania, appears on Huffington Post.  “They have not yet found the bones, and perhaps they never will. But by joining together to look, they are doing something very important.”  Delfi.lt ran the article in Lithuanian: Palaikų paieškos Rokiškyje.

“Lithuanian High School Covered with Butterflies”, my account of Holocaust education at a high school in the town of Kedainiai, appeared in Lithuanian in the Chicago paper “Draugas” and on 15min.lt.  Click on the title to read it in English.

Can Vilnius Remember Vilna?
Huffington Post
On the 70th anniversary of the ghetto liquidation, who will remember, and how?

A Summer at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute (in Yiddish!)
Afn Shvel
In the magazine of the League for Yiddish, my essay about studying Yiddish in Vilnius.

I Am Here!
Na’amat Woman Magazine
A Jewish woman’s journey to Lithuania gives her a new perspective on the Holocaust and today’s world. “I wanted to judge, once and for all, but my visit to the Old World changed me.”

My translation of “A Single Oy,” from Levi Shalit’s eloquent memoir of the Shavl ghetto in Lithuania, is included in the new “Anthology of Newly Translated Yiddish Works” published by the Yiddish Book Center.  “All the way to the German border, people pressed toward the doors. Everyone wanted to gaze out at the countryside, to catch one last glimpse…”

Interviews & Features

“Across Divides: Ellen Cassedy and the Art of Cross-Cultural Communication”
An interview by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub
Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, February-March 2014

Deborah Kalb interviews Ellen Cassedy
A lead-up to Temple Sinai’s Author Roundtable, Washington, DC, April 27, 2013.  For more information, click here.

Ramune Kubilius talks with Ellen about Lithuania and the Holocaust
November 17, 2012, Draugas

Memoir Explores Lithuanian Holocaust From All Vantage Points
October 18, 2012, Baltimore Jewish Times

Chicago Lithuanians remember role in Holocaust
April 19, 2012, Chicago Tribune
“There’s a lot of difficult history to go around in Lithuania….But it’s important for us to sit down together and talk across cultures and consider that history together.”

Author’s Notebook | Ellen Cassedy
April 19, 2012, The Whole Megillah
“Can we honor the memory of the Holocaust without perpetuating the hatreds of the past? Can American Jews forge a connection with a land where Jewish culture was annihilated? Can we appeal to others not as victims, bystanders, or perpetrators, but as fellow beings with the capacity for moral choice?”

More Interviews & Features 

Older Articles

“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Questions for the Holocaust Museum”
January 2014, on Huffington Post and ReformJudaism.org
To prevent genocide, we must do more than appeal to individual conscience. We must also nurture habits of civic and social activism.

A Summer at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute (in Yiddish!)
Summer/fall 2013, Afn Shvel
In the magazine of the League for Yiddish, my essay about studying Yiddish in Vilnius. It was a mekhaye — a joy!

Can Vilnius Remember Vilna?
September 2013, Huffington Post
On the 70th anniversary of the ghetto liquidation during the Lithuanian Holocaust, who will remember, and how?

Remembering the Holocaust in Lithuania
April 2013, ReformJudaism.org
A neo-Nazi march — and brave people working for tolerance.

Remembering the Holocaust in Lithuania
April 2013, The Jewish Magazine
Education and commemoration in a country struggling with a horrific past.

Remembering the Holocaust, as a nation struggles with its own history
January 26, 2013, Detroit Free Press

I Am Here!  A Jewish woman’s journey to Lithuania
Na’amat Woman magazine, Winter 2012/2013
“I ended up exploring how a country scarred by genocide is engaging with its past — and that exploration changed me.”

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Vol. 25, November 2012
edited by Sarunas Liekis, Antony Polonsky & ChaeRan Freeze
Contains Ellen’s essay,“To Transform Ourselves: Lithuania Looks at the Holocaust.”

Samuel Bak: Painter of the Vilna Ghetto
October 2012, VilNews
Holocaust survivor is from Vilna, of Vilna – and so is his abundant body of work.

Visiting Vilna
August 2012, The Jewish Magazine
Cross-cultural dialogue in the former Jerusalem of the North

Yom HaShoah Reflections on Eva Hoffman’s AFTER SUCH KNOWLEDGE
April 18, 2012, My Machberet
“I found myself inspired by the educators, activists, and ordinary citizens I met.”

Remembering the Holocaust – With Steponas
April 17, 2012, Huffington Post
“On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, I will remember the six million who perished — and I’ll also remember a man I met in Lithuania, a man I’ll call Steponas.”

What Lithuania can teach us about dealing with the Holocaust
April 12, 2012, Haaretz
“The restitution initiative is welcome. Symbolically, it serves to underscore Lithuania’s moral burden. Practically, it will support Jewish life.”

More articles