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Irena Klepfisz


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Irena Klepfisz (born April 17, 1941) is a Jewish Lesbian author, academic and activist.

Klepfisz was born in the Warsaw Ghetto on April 17, 1941 and was 2 years old during the "varshever geto oyfshtand", (Yiddish for 'the Warsaw ghetto uprising'). Her father, Michał Klepfisz, a member of "der algemeynernyidisher arbeter bund", (the Jewish Labour Bund), was killed on the second day of ... more »

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  • ... she learned survival
    depends on complete distrust. Even today she is still
    fierce in her refusal to rely on others. Some would call
    it alienation. Others pride. I think it's o...
    Irena Klepfisz (b. 1941), U.S. Jewish poet and essayist; born in Poland. "A Visit," lines 29-33 (1981). Of her mother, a Polish Jew and widow of a...
  • These words are dedicated to those who survived
    because life is a wilderness and they were savage
    because life is an awakening and they were alert
    because life is a flowering and ...
    Irena Klepfisz (b. 1941), U.S. Jewish poet and essayist; born in Poland. "Bashert: These Words are Dedicated to Those Who Survived," lines 26-31 (1981...
  • Yiddish acted as the cement that bound the Jewish community together on a socialist foundation. What language we spoke was critical. It reflected our identity, our loyalty, our distinctness not only f...
    Irena Klepfisz (b. 1941), U.S. Jewish lesbian author; born in Poland. "Secular Jewish Identity," 1986. Dreams of an Insomniac, part 4 (1990). Klep...
  • Most Jewish feminists and gays that I know remain angry and frustrated by Jewish progressives. Deeply committed to progressive causes, frequently in the vanguard of political action, Jewish feminist a...
    Irena Klepfisz (b. 1941), Jewish-American lesbian author; born in Poland. "Jewish Progressives and the Jewish Community," 1988. Dreams of an Insomniac...
  • ...I ... know the bitter fact that most lives are incredibly wasted, that opportunities for developing identity, for receiving pleasure, for achieving a sense of self-worth are limited and, not only u...
    Irena Klepfisz (b. 1941), U.S. Jewish lesbian author; born in Poland. "The Distances Between Us," 1985. Dreams of an Insomniac, part 1 (1990).
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