(Revised, December 2015)

Welcome. I’m David Forman

Like many bloggers, I began with my friends as my audience. Now that some new folks are turning up, I need a different and fuller introduction.

About me: Before I was a blogger, I was a child, then a young man, then a less young man. I grew up on Long Island in the 1960s and 70s, and went to college in the Midwest. After college I lived in Boston for 13 years. I have worked as a calligrapher, then a psychology researcher and college professor, now as a poet. My academic career took me from Boston to Iowa to Minnesota to Montreal to Connecticut, to Western New York. I recently moved from Rochester to Ithaca, NY. I’m widowed and have two children, who are currently college seniors.

About the blog: When I started in the fall of 2015, I had been studying Yiddish for almost a year, with another intensive year of study planned. More than one friend suggested that the process of learning, exploring and developing a new relationship to this amazing language and, through it, to my heritage, could be of wider interest than just my friends. I had long wanted to blog, first about grief and recovery, then about poetry, but it was the Yiddish that took.

My original plan had been to write equally about all three. At this point, in the interest of sticking to the subject, I will mostly talk about poetry and grief when they intersect with or speak to the Yiddish. But they will make their way in more than occasionally, as will the odd political rant. I could try to describe my learning process in a more linear and focused way, but as Glatshteyn and Leyeles argue in their Introspectivist Manifesto, distillation always distorts the truth, because our true experience of the world is broad and kaleidoscopic.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Solomon Simon, whose delight in children and in storytelling made him the perfect Zeidy, and whose books inspired me to learn Yiddish in the first place.

Note: If you like what you read, please help spread the word. Also feel free to chime in, using the comments section.  I welcome reactions of all kinds, from corrections of my transliterations, to suggestions for related links or future topics.

PS. One quirk I should tell you about: Comments are very welcome, but please know I routinely strip all blog comments of any personal identifying information before approving them. I do not edit in any other way. I have many elderly friends who sometimes have a strong sense of privacy but who are not always clear on how the public comment page of a blog works. Also, if you have something private to communicate, please do it privately. I have made the usual speech… “Please think of comments as the public comment or Q&A following a public lecture. Except that they are permanent.” But it doesn’t work, so I find myself routinely ‘anonymizing’ comments. If sharing your identity is important for a point you want to make, please let me know and I will keep it in.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello – I saw a quote that was attributed to you. At least, I think it was you. It is on this page: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thezenpagan/2015/09/there-is-no-such-thing-as-cultural-appropriation/ and your last name is spelled “Foreman.” The quote is “NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE… are deliberately racist. All white people benefit from institutionalized racism. Not all white people care to do anything about that.” Is that you? I teach, and I’m planning to use the quote in my class. I want to be able to credit you if I can. Thanks!


    • If Cat says I said that, then I did. Sounds like me, circa one year ago.
      “Forman” is the correct spelling of my last name.
      If I used all caps it must have been in direct reply to a “Not all…” argument that either attempted to deny the existence of structural racism in our society, or to deny the responsibility to do something about it.
      Of course, the topic has only gotten hotter since then. Now it takes the form of “Not all Republicans…” But this particular blog space is devoted to the discussion of the Yiddish language and Ashkenazi culture. So I will leave it at that.


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