Welcome to the Paris Yiddish Center—Medem Library!

The Medem Library was founded in 1929 in Paris, France, by Eastern European immigrants and members of the Medem Union, a league of Yiddish writers and political activists. Today, the Medem Library houses nearly 21,000 works in Yiddish and 9,000 in other languages. During World War II, portions of the Library were miraculously saved from destruction by Medem Union members and hidden in the basement of the orginal building at 110, Rue Vieille-du-Temple, Paris. After the war, the Library was overseen by various Yiddish groups intent upon preserving the Library for scholarly reserach. During the 1990s, holdings of other French Yiddish libraries were incorporated into the Medem collections. Finally, in 2002, the Paris Yiddish Center-Medem Library was formed with the merger with the Association for Yiddish Studies (AEDCY), crowning the Medem Library as the foremost Yiddish center in Europe.

Since its opening, the Paris Yiddish Center—Medem Library has published a number of important new Yiddish dictionaries and Yiddish books. The Center is also host to numerous cultural activities and language courses throughout the year. 

If you’re not in the Paris area:

  • If you would like to learn Yiddish, you can take a Yiddish online course (available in English).
  • You can also subscribe to the Yiddish Tam-tam, our bi-monthly magazine for Yiddish learners including footnotes in English for difficult words and idioms.
  • If you would like to support us, please consider making a donation through the American Friends of the Medem Library (tax deductible in the USA).

If you are in the Paris area:

  • This year (2014/15) the Paris Yiddish Center—Medem Library offers twenty Yiddish courses and workshops for students of all levels (from complete beginners to the most advanced). Most of our courses are conducted in Yiddish, so students do not have to know French in order to participate. We also offer scholarships for university students under 30. Just come to our address (29, rue du Château-d’eau 75010 Paris) on September 9 or 16 between 4 and 8 pm, or on September 13 between 3 and 6 pm. We will be there to welcome you and help you choose a course suitable for you. You can also call us: +33 (0)1 47 00 14 00.