Jewish Folklore and Ethnology


A Besere Velt, the Boston Worker’s Circle community chorus, performs for a modern audience the music of Yiddish-speaking Jewish partisans and ghetto resisters. Through active transmission and re-interpretation of partisan and ghetto songs, A Besere Velt invokes East-European Jewish tradition and creates a liminal space ripe with new possibility. In the process, the chorus gives these old songs life for contemporary Jews. The analysis situates the songs within the genre of Yiddish music and investigates through interviews ways that members build meaning through the performance of partisan music, the construction of Jewish space, and the promise of Jewish futures.