Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman was born in Vienna, Austria, but she was raised in pre-war Chernovitz, Romania, one of the centers of Yiddish intellectual culture. She survived the Holocaust in the ghetto in Chernovitz and came to the United States in 1951. Active as a teacher and songwriter, she also began to write poetry and gained a reputation as one of America's premier Yiddish poets. Many of her songs cover a wide range of subjects from subway musicians, to personal reminiscences, to descriptions of street life in her hometown, the Bronx. The renaissance of klezmer music in the United States allowed her large repertoire of traditional and original material to be performed by many artists including Theodore Bikel, Adrienne Cooper, and Michael Alpert.
Schaechter-Gottesman has been acclaimed as one of the great living unaccompanied ballad singers as well. She takes great pride in her work with children, writing songs especially for them and performing frequently for young audiences. In 1998, she was inducted into the People's Hall of Fame by the organization City Lore based in New York City.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
Sample: "Oy Vey, Mame, Ikh Lib a Sheyn Yingl (Oh, Mother, I Love a Handsome Young Man)"
Sample: "Zumerteg (Summer Days)"