January 23, 2018 @ 8:00 pm
Dr. Miriam Hoffman
A BREED APART: Reflections of a Young Refugee
From Siberia to Columbia University, this epic tale of war and survival is seen through the eyes of a young Miriam and her father. This highly personal and historic book brings to light the often ignored five-year history of the D.P. (Displaced Persons) Refugee Camps in Europe from 1946-1951, the struggles of post-war anti-Semitism and Professor Hoffman’s coming of age in America.
The founding statute of I.R.O. (International Refugee Organization) defines a D.P. as a “Displaced Person”, a person who as a result of acts of brutality, racism, bigotry and atrocities is uprooted from his homeland or permanent dwelling – place, or an individual who was forced into slave labor, or one who, as a result of religious or political discrimination was driven out of their permanent dwelling place.
About the Author:
Professor Miriam Hoffman earned her first Baccalaureate degree in 1957 from the Jewish Teachers Seminary in New York. She earned her second B.A. at the University of Miami and her Masters at Columbia University where she majored in Yiddish folklore and literature. As professor of Yiddish language, literature, Jewish culture, Yiddish humor, classical and minor Yiddish writers, and a course called 20th Century Yiddish Literature and Film, she taught at Columbia University from 1992 to 2015. Miriam wrote the preeminent 700-page Yiddish textbook Key to Yiddish, which includes scholarly research, conversation, folklore, folktales, songs, and literary works by the most acclaimed Yiddish writers and poets. Key to Yiddish is now taught in many universities. She is a successful Yiddish playwright and the recipient of the Israeli Tony Award for her Yiddish translation of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. Miriam became the founder of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre when famed Broadway impresario Joseph Papp produced her Yiddish/English musical Songs of Paradise. Her plays and translations have been produced to high acclaim worldwide. Miriam has published thousands of articles as a feature writer for the Yiddish Forward since 1982. Since her retirement from Columbia, Professor Hoffman has stayed busy writing and lecturing worldwide.