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AMHERST — Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center, announced he plans to retire in June 2025.

Lansky founded the Yiddish Book Center in 1980 as a 24-year-old graduate student, and since then, the organization has rescued more than 1.5 million Yiddish books, created educational programs that bring the language and culture to new audiences, documented the oral histories of more than 1,300 narrators, created a publishing imprint devoted to Yiddish translation, and much more.

Susan Bronson, who has been the center’s executive director for 14 years and holds a doctorate in Russian and Jewish history, will succeed Lansky as president.

Daily News

AMHERST — The Yiddish Book Center announced it has been awarded a capital grant in the amount of $100,000 from MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund. This grant will support the center’s crucial infrastructure project to replace its aging boilers and heating system.

Founded in 1980, the Yiddish Book Center has been preserving and promoting Yiddish language and culture for more than four decades. Located on a picturesque, 10-acre apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, the center opened its current facility in 1997.

The replacement of the original boilers, which have been in service since 1996, is essential to ensure the ongoing safety and functioning of the facility. The project will involve installing high-condensing, low-fire, energy-efficient boilers; updating piping, valves, and controls; and integrating the system with the existing geothermal HVAC controls. Additionally, the project will include the replacement of circulating pumps and pneumatic control systems with more efficient Ecocirc pumps, as well as the elimination of the compressor, reducing the need for regular service and inspections. The replacement of the boilers will significantly enhance energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and support the center’s ongoing efforts to maintain an environmentally responsible facility.

“We are immensely grateful to MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their generous support of this project,” said Susan Bronson, executive director of the Yiddish Book Center. “Capital improvements and major maintenance projects pose significant challenges in terms of funding. It is not easy to raise funds for behind-the-scenes projects like boiler replacements. This grant will ensure the continued functionality and sustainability of our facility, allowing us to serve our community and fulfill our mission for years to come.”

Funded annually through the governor’s capital spending plan, this round of cultural facilities grants is supported by a $10 million capital bond appropriation approved in 2022. The Healey-Driscoll administration has also proposed a $10 million appropriation in its second supplemental budget to support an additional round of the program.