The Czernowitz Conference (1908)

This page, from the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, discusses the famous Czernowitz conference.

The first international conference in support of the Yiddish language. An international conference on Yiddish language and its role in Jewish life was convened from 30 August to 4 September 1908 in Czernowitz, then capital of the Austrian crown province of Bukowina (now Chernivtsi in Ukraine). (Czernowitz was the German form of the city’s name used at that time; the Yiddish Tshernovits is increasingly used in scholarly literature on the conference.) Occurring at a time when more than a dozen other languages on three continents were also organizing their own “first” conferences (usually under non- or even antigovernmental auspices), the Czernowitz Conference was the brainchild of Nathan Birnbaum (1864–1937), a prolific, innovative, and peripatetic Jewish educator, essayist, philosopher, politician, and social organizer. Click here to read more …

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