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CYCO Books, The World's Oldest Yiddish Bookstore

Yiddish Bookstore and Publishing House, Est. 1938

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Hear CYCO Director Hy Wolfe interviewed on the BBC!

The CYCO (pronounced "Tsiko") - Tsentrale yidishe kultur-organizatsye [Central Yiddish Cultural Organization] was founded by leading Yiddish authors and cultural activists in 1938 as a non-partisan Yiddish cultural organization; branches were organized throughout the U.S. and as far away as Argentina.

By the middle of the 1940s, the publishing initiative of CYCO became its most visible enterprise, and the organization developed into the leading publisher of Yiddish books. Among the authors on its roster were the best Yiddish writers in the world at the time:I. B. Singer, Chaim Grade, David Opatoshu, H. Leivick. Important critical editions of classic authors such as Y. L Peretz were also published. Essential reference works such as the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur [ Biographical Dictionary of Modern Yiddish Literature] are found in every research library.

After the founding of the umbrella Yiddish organization The Congress for Jewish Culture [Yidisher kultur kongres] in 1948, CYCO became its publishing wing and continued to be the leading publisher of Yiddish books in America. The CYCO bookstore on 78th Street and then on 21st Street in Manhattan became the main source of buying new and used Yiddish books.CYCO continues today to publish Yiddish books, including the soon-to-be-released new Leksikon volume, which will include the neglected writers of the Soviet Union.

Visitors from around the globe stop into the bookstore to find treasures of Yiddish literature of the past 100 years as CYCO continues its important and unique mission to disseminate Yiddish literature and culture into the 21st century.

© CYCO 2011