American Friends of the Medem Library, Inc.

supporting and promoting the activities of the Paris Yiddish Center and the Medem Library (Bibliothèque Medem, Maison de la Culture Yiddish), the oldest and largest Yiddish library in Europe.


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.  

Vladimir Medem, political activist who insprired the formation in 1929 of the Medem Libary

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


Solon Beinfeld voted  as the Forwards TOP 50 for 2013.


Order your copy of the
Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary by Solon Beinfeld and Harry Bochner at Indiana University Press

Read about the 10 year project in the article in Pakn Treger, the magazine of the Yiddish Book Center called Best Words, Best Order 

News:  Now in its third (!) printing (first printing, January 8, 2013)

The English edition of Medem's widely praised  Dictionaire Yiddish-Francais is now in its third printing since its first appearance in January, 2013 
Click here for more details or go to the Yiddish edition's website for details and frequently updated information www.verterbukh.org.
See what the critics are saying:

http://forward.com/specials/forward-50-2013/solon-beinfeld/"Drs. Beinfeld and Bochner are about to rock the world of Yiddish Lexicography ...
Anyone who has ever struggled through a Yiddish text... will be  singing (your) praises for years to come..." Aaron Lansky
Listen to the

"... the “Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary” is a masterpiece, an essential resource for anyone who wants to know more about Yiddish. ...No dictionary has ever opened up Yiddish as spectacularly for the English-speaking audience as Beinfeld and Bochner’s “Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary.” 

Eitan Kensky is the preceptor in Yiddish at Harvard University.


Barry (Berish), one of the associate editors of the Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary has just published The Hobbit in Yiddish. Order from the Harvard Book Store
der yidisher hobbit