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Grant number like: FT-56853-09

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Olga Litvak
Clark University (Worcester, MA 01610-1477)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 8/31/2009

Toward a Critical Biography of Sholem-aleichem (1859-1916)

I am requesting summer funding (07-08/2009) to investigate the I. D. Berkovich archive, located at the Sholem-aleichem House at Tel Aviv University. With this research trip, I begin work on the first critical biography of S. N. Rabinovich, Russia's most famous Jewish writer, the creator of Tevye the Dairyman and a host of other familiar and beloved characters who have entered into Eastern European Jewish vernacular culture in Russia, America and Israel. One of three principal archival holdings of material related to the life and work of Sholem-aleichem, the Berkovich archive contains letters, manuscripts and other documents collected by the writer's son-in-law, the Hebrew writer I. D. Berkovich. This collection represents an indispensable starting point for Sholem-aleichem scholarship. This summer, I plan to assess its holdings and write a preliminary study of its place in the historical revision of the various mythologies that attend the contemporary image of Sholem-aleichem.