University City: Local Group Acknowledges Unsung Jewish Writers

Philadelphia Neighbors
February 13, 2012

Kelly Writers House, located on University of Pennsylvania’s campus, was packed for an appreciation of little-known Jewish authors, poets and playwrights.

Alexa Bryn, a former intern for the group, organized last week’s presentation that featured student, faculty and alumni speakers. Each presenter read aloud a passage and shared thoughts about their most revered Jewish writer.

"When I came to college, students would talk about their favorite authors like Hemingway or Faulkner in many of my English classes. For me it was Philip Roth, Saul Bellow and a whole younger generation of contemporary Jewish authors," Bryn said.

The speakers presented a mix of the old and new Jewish musings. Some of the passages came from books about the tragedies of the Holocaust, as well as a modern-day take on younger Jews attempting to define their faith while growing up in New York City.

During the reading of Raisins and Almonds by Yiddish playwright and poet Avrom Goldfaden, older members of the audience began to sing the classic lullaby in German. A round of applause filled the living room immediately after the last note was sung.

"I felt like I was always reading these works that no one else was reading," Bryn said. "I always just wanted to tell everyone that these writers are amazing! That's what this event is all about."