Among researchers and collectors of Yiddish folksongs, Ruth Rubin was unmatched in both her expertise and enthusiasm. Over the course of her career, Rubin collected some 2,000 songs from generations of people who had grown up in a flourishing Yiddish-speaking environment, an environment which was mostly ruined by Nazi annihilation and Stalinist repression. This collection is based on a manuscript that Rubin was unable to publish before her death, with additional annotation and commentary provided throughout by noted music scholars Chana Mlotek and Mark Slobin.
Chana Mlotek (1922-2013) was the music archivist for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and is a leading scholar of Yiddish song. She wrote numerous articles on the topic and, together with her husband Yosl, compiled three major anthologies of Yiddish songs. Chana and Yosl also wrote a research column on Yiddish song in the Yiddish-language newspaper Forverts.
Mark Slobin is professor of music at Wesleyan University and a scholar of Jewish and Central European music. He is the author of Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants and Exploring the Klezmer World.