This Yiddish book center in Queens lives on, just like the language it celebrates


April 15, 2022

Julia Gergely

Yiddish actor Hy Wolfe runs CYCO, the Yiddish Book Center in Long Island City, Queens.

(New York Jewish Week) - In a rickety warehouse in Long Island City, reached only by a footbridge that crosses underneath the Long Island Expressway, some 80,000 Yiddish books are stacked on shelves in a large, sunlight-filled room that overlooks the Pulaski Bridge, Midtown Manhattan to the west, and Downtown Brooklyn in the distance.

This is the CYCO Yiddish Book Center, whose roots date back to 1938, when it began as a space in Manhattan to give Yiddish writers and readers a safe haven just as antisemitism was rising in Europe and the future of the language was being altered forever. 


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