The Ruth Rubin Legacy
Archive of Yiddish Folksongs

New Recording Projects

In December 2018 the YIVO Sound Archive curated a concert at the Center for Jewish History celebrating the launch of the online exhibition and the legacy of Ruth Rubin.

Co-sponsored by Yiddish New York and the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and Yiddish New York, the two-hour event featured an all-star line-up of international performers of Yiddish folksongs paying tribute to their teacher and mentor. The auditorium seating was sold-out; some 120 additional attendees viewed the concert via video relay in the Center’s Great Hall

Excerpts from the concert "Ruth Rubin's Legacy of Yiddish Song" Dec 23rd, 2018 

The work of Ruth Rubin has inspired musicians to draw from this immense source of largely unexplored repertoire to create new albums and projects...

New videos being shared online of songs from the collection

Vos shloft ir, ir shlefer? Performed by Sasha Lurje and YIVO Sound Archivist Lorin Sklamberg. May 8th, 2020.

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation from European Fascism, Sasha Lurje and YIVO Sound Archivist Lorin Sklamberg share this song with you, which calls for us to rise up and fight for equality. Celebrating the fall of one of the most terrible nationalist regimes, we should remember that the work is not finished and there are still many people being treated unjustly because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and more. Many songs of social justice call us to take to the streets. This song goes even deeper, telling us to open the shutters and let the light both in and out. In these times, when we are forced to develop new ways of connecting, let this be an inspiration to keep the fire burning.

This song, originally performed by Feygl Sultan, was collected by Ruth Rubin in 1948 in New York, and can be found on the Ruth Rubin Legacy online exhibition,

Book of J, Jeremiah Lockood and Jewlia Eisenberg, bring you distance collaboration Vi a sheyne blum, a gem from the Ruth Rubin Archive with a little help from the 1932 British Instructional Films production "Dream Flowers," courtesy of the National Archives Catalog. April 24th, 2020
Hear Ruth Rubin sing:
And watch the whole trippy movie:

Zeke Levin performs "Geyen mir shpatsirn" (We're going walking) 
Hear Ruth Rubin sing it

On April 22th, 2020, when he first posted it on facebook, Zeke wrote: "thank you to the YIVO sound folks-- I only knew the first two verses until I heard the third (geyen mir in dem feld dem grinen) in your collection. It really makes the song!"


YIVO Associate Sound Archivist Eleonore Biezunski recorded another two songs from YIVO's collections. April 15th, 2020.

The first is a song of spring from the Ruth Rubin collection, "Kum aroys tsu mir mayn libste." This song was originally recorded by Ruth Rubin from Anna Berkowitz: 

The second is "Volich," collected by Zusman Kiselgof as part of An-Ski Ethnographic Expedition between 1911 and 1914.