Montreal-based journalist Tamara Kramer is the creator and producer of Shtetl. You can reach her at tamara@shtetlmontreal.com.

Shtetl gathers stories from the streets of the urban village. We’re an online magazine. A radio show. A podcast. We host live events and do international reporting. A virtual and a real community.  Shtetl actually means small city or village in Yiddish.  Despite the Yiddish name, the content knows no ethnic, racial or linguistic boundaries. We dig Arabic music, we interview Black Jews, queer Jews….non-Jews.

Shtetl aspires to a highly inclusive vision of Judaism. Never nasty in tone, Shtetl is a place with porous boundaries, open and accepting of guests and contributors from all communities.

Shtetl on the Shortwave (S.O.S.) is a radio show and podcast about Jewish Arts & Culture that has been airing on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal for seven years.  Guests have included journalist Amy Goodman, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, electro-pop star Peaches, radio celebrity Jonathan Goldstein, post-porn feminist Annie Sprinkle, musicians from the local and international Jewish music scene, Yiddish drag kings, rabbis, politicians, cantors, thinkers, and circus performers.  And it goes without saying- we play you lots of kick-ass music- from the newly released to the old well-worn classics.  Listen to shows live on the air every second Friday of each month at 11 am on CKUT, or stream them right here on the site, or, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Here at Shtetl Magazine we  want to know what the artists are up to.  What  the social activists are struggling with.  What’s trendy and why?  Where do faith and ritual fit into a contemporary Jewish life?  Where are all the funky places that Judaism intersects with other cultures?  No topic is too sensitive or taboo.  Jews ask questions. Shtetl asks questions that even some Jews don’t ask! From memoir to essays to reviews, lots of good reading in the shtetl.

Yiddish & Danish (Y & D) is a video dictionary of Yiddish words and expressions. Pull up a seat and meet some Yiddish speakers.  Shtetl brings yummy danish into their homes, and they bring classic Yiddish words and expressions into yours.


Many people contribute to making Shtetl happen.  Thanks especially to all the writers and artists.  You are Shtetl!

Thank you:  Lainie Basman– producer and overall Shtetl radio beshert. Aron Black, the ever-patient, talented and dedicated web designer. Jean-Michel Pollak for making Yiddish & Danish so much fun. To Magda Koralewska– graphic designer who makes us look so hot!  To Mike Savatovsky  whose support has been invaluable.  To CKUT for asking me to do a radio show on “Jewish stuff”, and for all their support.  To The Jewish Community Foundation for believing in the alternative Jewish pigeon that could.

Enjoy the site and come back often! Contribute, connect to us on Twitter and Facebook.  Let us  know what you think!

Shtetl on!


Tamara Kramer
Editor and Host of Shtetl on the Shortwave.