Our mission is crystal clear:

to curate an exceptional collection of poems, the true gems of Yiddish literature, and imbue them with the very essence of music.

Our team of gifted artists is pouring their hearts into this creative masterpiece, while a dedicated group of Yiddishists, specialists, and historians are weaving narratives that breathe life into the stories behind each poet. These stories are made accessible to all through our captivating podcasts.
Through the creation of songs, a dynamic website, films, and podcasts, our efforts extend beyond the mere production of a treasure trove of materials. We are illuminating Yiddish culture and literature, while simultaneously paving the way for its continued teaching and preservation.

Promote awareness of Yiddish culture and literature, with a specific focus on the works of Yiddish women writers.

Provide online resources that showcase the diverse and rich aspects of Yiddish culture.

Enhance the visibility and recognition of Yiddish language literature.

Establish an engaging platform for learning about Yiddish culture, featuring Yiddish poems and their translations.

Support Yiddish language education by offering valuable resources to teachers and students of all levels.

Engage a wider audience interested in Yiddish culture, beyond those primarily focused on language learning.

Generate interest and foster engagement among adults, young adults, and teenagers through accessible and captivating materials.

About us

“Lider: Musical Tributes” is a collaborative project that unfolds in various teams and distinct phases. Our journey began with a conversation between Ivana Koutnikova and Erik Gribbe at the Paideia Folkhögskola. During this initial phase, we explored crafting a musical representation of Yiddish poems for use within the Yiddish Women’s Writer course. The enthusiasm for this endeavor was contagious. As our vision evolved, Ula and Jan expressed their eagerness to join forces, recognizing the potential for something extraordinary. Together, we extended an invitation to Anne, whom Ula had encountered during the Yiddish weekend in August in Stockholm. Anne’s expertise and passion added depth to our team. This collaboration marks a wonderful beginning, marked by creativity, dedication, and the joy of working together. We are elated to introduce our debut creation, the song titled ‘A Live Briv and Shikhelekh.’

Photo: Dawid Garwol

Ula Urszula Chowaniec

Photo: Nadim Elazzeh

Ida Gillner

Ida Gillner is a musician, artist and composer from Gothenburg, Sweden. As a composer, the piano makes the foundation and she performs on soprano sax, piano and voice. She has a bachelor from the world music department at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, with soprano saxophone as her major instrument focusing on traditional Swedish music and later on klezmer. She has also studied with Christian David and Sanne Möricke during a half year residence in Berlin in 2012, and attended several venues for further studies, such as KlezKanada, Shtetl Neuköln and the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. The past couple of years she has focused on composing music to poetry in Yiddish by women writers from the early 20th century, resulting in the release of the album Shtoltse lider in 2019 and several concerts with her duo Ida&Louise. She began her studies in Yiddish at the Jewish congregation in Gothenburg in 2018. Since 2022 she performs together with violinist Livet Nord in the project Shtoltse lider where her original music to yiddish women writers along with engaging storytelling make up the core to their valued and captivating concerts. In 2019 playwright Vera Berzak and Ida initiated the work with an original play about poet Anna Margolin, where Ida composed the music and also performed in it. Her various work with original music to yiddish poetry has become significant for spreading the knowledge of these poets in Sweden. Among her work with Yiddish music and culture, she also performs and writes music for theatre, such as playing sax with several groups; Anna Heikkinen & Längtans Kapell (finnish tango), Ida&Louise (yiddish music) and Flocken (folk/jazz). In 2020 she released her first solo album on piano, containing her original music within the modern classical music field. For more info, please visit: idagillner.se

Photo: Carolin Platzek

Anne Kalmering

Ula: I’ve had this project brewing in my mind for ages. Countless times, while diving into poems during class, the idea struck me—why not fuse them with music to ignite a fiery passion? There’s an abundance of magnificent Yiddish poems just waiting to be transformed into soul-stirring songs. (One that I hold dear is Chava Albertein’s rendition of “A Golden Pave,” a poem by Anna Margolin, pure magic!)

After numerous discussions with fellow enthusiasts, last year, I garnered the backing from ISOF, and that’s when the wheels started turning. The time had come to bring this project to life, to infuse these verses with melodies that resonate with the heart and soul. Let the symphony of Yiddish poetry begin!

Our project’s primary objective is to create a captivating collection of songs based on poems, bringing together a talented team of artists to contribute to the creation of this unique musical experience. In addition, we have collaborated with Yiddishists, specialists, and historians to delve into the stories behind the poems, crafting valuable materials that enrich the teaching of Yiddish culture and literature. I am delighted to share that we successfully achieved all the project objectives between January 16 and April 30 2023.

Throughout this period, I had the privilege of conducting exceptional interviews with remarkable individuals, including Sheva Zucker, Faith Jones, Beila Engelhardt Titelman, Eliezer Niborski and Amanda Miriam Seigel. Moreover, I engaged in insightful discussions with esteemed specialists such as Simo Muir, Joanna Lisek, and Jan Schwarz. Inspired by the collected material, the project will feature an engaging series of podcasts, offering an immersive experience for our audience.

This project is based at Paideia, The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, the organization that is devoted to spreading the knowledge of Jewish culture and heritage.

The Institute for Language and Folklore (Isof) is a Swedish government authority that builds, collects and disseminates knowledge about Sweden’s languages and culture.