Yiddish Book Center and Writers Garden

Photos and Notes by Sandy Ward
The National Yiddish Book Center, built in style of a "shtetl", on edge of Hampshire College.
This scene, with its inviting path, drew me into a delightful lunchtime walk.
After a library meeting at Hampshire College, I strolled down this path and discovered the Yiddish Writers Garden. Nov 12, 2003.
The apples against the sky...
and a woodpecker darting to the suet
caught my eye.
Attempted close-up of the woodpecker
I loved the muted colors of the plants.
More apples, and rock garden
More apple tree "sculpture" against the sky...
Patterns of Bittersweet beside the path
Next I found the displays of Yiddish Writers, with names, dates, and selected quotations. 120 of the greatest Yiddish writers are commemorated here.
Inside the Book Center, huge shipments of Yiddish books come and go.
A huge collection of Yiddish literature is stored, catalogued, and displayed.
Processing area below; exhibit rooms above
Exhibit of Linotype machines that printed newspapers in Yiddish
"The surpising legacy of Yiddish in America"
Yiddish books on demand, through the wonders of digitization.
more displays
The center has many windows and vistas.
The exit. You can see the beginning of the garden path ahead on left.
The message on this sign along the path moved me to capture it (see text below). I had recently hiked over Bare Mountain and along the Holyoke Range to Mount Holyoke, but not imagined its connection to this Yiddish center.

Holyoke Range Panorama: You are looking at the Holyoke Range, the only east-west mountain range in New England. The highest peak, Mount Norwottock, is straight ahead. But perhaps more notable is Bare Mountain, just to your right. Although you can't tell from here, the inside of this mountain is hollow. It was excavated in the late 1950's to serve as a top-secret command center in the case of nuclear war. Today, it serves a more peaceful purpose, providing secure storage for historical documents owned by Amherst College - and for the electronic masters of our Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish library. Come what may, Yiddish literature will survive.
For more information, visit the website of the National Yiddish Book Center. I particularly recommend the page About the Center because it tells the story of how a 23-yr-old student started rescuing books. I've been inspired for years by his story. Now I find his Center and its garden also inspiring. -- Sandy Ward