Saturday, March 12, 2011

My First Blog (Ever), By: Hy Wolfe

Sholem Aleichem!  I am thrilled to welcome you all to our new homepage.  With the successful transition of the Yiddish community online over the past several years, and now, the grand unveiling of CYCO’s new homepage, I can declare that the future of Yiddish books is not in danger.  Through our site, a vast collection of Yiddish books is available to anyone with internet access. Books will always be with us, and Yiddish books are no exception. That is where we come in.  The CYCO – The Central Yiddish Culture Organization, is one of the oldest Yiddish book publishers in existence.  Although we strongly support efforts to make Yiddish texts available for download online, Yiddish books, like all books, have an aesthetic.  Physical texts will always appeal to the reader because their art, color, texture and more.  These books capture a spirit not present in electronic texts.  Our job is to find these wonderful books a loving home, where they will be read and taken care of.
These are exciting times for CYCO. As many of you may know, CYCO’s future was uncertain until recently.
  Our long time home, on 21st and Broadway, Manhattan, was sold and we are on the market for a new location.  With our initial finances in a shaky position, we embarked on a fund raising effort that has been successful and allowed us to continue operating.  We have found several potential new spaces that we are currently exploring and hope to have a beautiful new home with a reading room and a performance space. In our new space, we plan to have bi-annual book sales and a yearly party.  We also plan to have public readings for new releases, as well as from older books.  In addition to progress with our new physical home, we are also very pleased with our new virtual home.  I would like to thank members of CYCO who have taken an active role in expanding our web presence. They have given generously of their time, resources and ideas.
Our near-death experience has opened our eyes to the importance of being active in nurturing our role in promoting the Yiddish language.  We now have the wherewithal to live happily in a new home.  However, we have learned that we cannot stop with this goal in our sight.  CYCO must encourage the spread of the Yiddish language.  Without engaging the new generation and facilitating the study of Yiddish, our books will not find welcoming homes in the years to come.  We have a long road ahead of us, and there are many exciting projects we would like to embark on to promote the study of Yiddish.  We are an organization of modest means – our operating budget is $3,000 a month! What a relatively small price to pay to maintain a thriving Yiddish literary culture and publishing house.  Please take a moment to visit our donation page, .  Every dollar will be put towards promoting Yiddish language and culture.  If you would like to adopt a special project, we have many exciting ideas that we would love to partner with you on.
Adopt a title
One special project that is near and dear to us is our “Adopt a Title” initiative.  We would love to reprint titles that are out of print and bring the wonderful writings of old masters to a new generation. In the case of Chaim Grade, our vision, which we need your help to make a reality, is to reissue all of his books in Yiddish. We would also like to explore the possibility of reissuing a number of texts by Isaac Bashevis Singer.  Those who adopt a title have the option of including a dedication page in the front of the adopted book to dedicate the title to a parent, grandparent, Bat or Bar – Mitzvah, etc.
CYCO wants to attract members, contributors and new Yiddish readers.  To anyone who would like to read books in Yiddish: we want to hear from you! 
Volunteer today!
  CYCO’s existence depends on the kindness of volunteers, and we have dozens of projects that can help promote the Yiddish language and extend its reaches to a new generation.  Play an important role in this mission and contact us today.