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Yiddish Music: What's Not To Like?

Yiddish has been called a dying language, but the number of Yiddish speakers is actually on the rise. Just over a thousand years old, Yiddish developed among Jews who had come to Germany from other parts of Europe. Over time it has found its way to every corner of the globe. When most Americans think of Yiddish, they think of music, like the popular songs of “Fiddler on the Roof” or the pervasive party favorite “Hava Nagila.” This Sunday at Congregation Beth El in Durham, people can hear Yiddish music of all sorts at "What's Not To Like?," a Yiddish songfest that will raise money to support Urban Ministries of Durham. Host Frank Stasio talks about the history and joys of Yiddish music with Sheva Zucker, a Yiddish teacher and the author of two Yiddish textbooks; and Jane Peppler, a traditional Yiddish music performer.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.