National Yiddish Book Center alters focus, cuts staff

Source: JTA, 1-3-11

The National Yiddish Book Center, amid a change in focus, has laid off four employees and closed its bookstore.

As part of its strategic change from saving and restoring ancient Yiddish texts to educating people about them, the center in Amherst, Mass., made the layoffs in December, the Amherst Bulletin reported.

The cut positions include the director’s personal assistant, a major gifts officer, the bookstore manager and a designer of the center’s magazine, according to the newspaper. The center’s vice president and program director also resigned, leaving the center with 16 employees.

A rise in administrative costs was a part of the reason for the layoffs, center president Aaron Lansky told the Bulletin.

The center, in operation since 1980, has collected more than 1 million Yiddish volumes.

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