Shtetl Magazine | Welcome to Shtetl

Wherever the action is, that’s where you’ll find Pigeon. With ears to the ground, Shtetl’s intrepid bird gathers up stories from the streets of the urban village. From the shtetl to the city, from the shortwave to broadband, our journey begins.

Shtetl aspires to a highly inclusive vision of Judaism. Never nasty in tone, Shtetl is an open place to dialogue and share. Ours is a shtetl with pourous boundaries, open and accepting of guests and contributors from all communities. is where you can listen to Shtetl on the Shortwave, read Shtetl Magazine, watch the video dictionary Yiddish & Danish, and find out what’s new in the What’s Nu? section.

Shtetl on the Shortwave is a radio show and podcast that has been airing on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal for three years and is the creation of Tamara Kramer.   Shortwave guests have included journalist Amy Goodman, electro-pop star Peaches, radio celebrity and author Jonathan Goldstein, performance artist Annie Sprinkle, musicians from the local and international Jewish music scene, Yiddish drag kings, rabbis, cantors, thinkers and circus performers.  Shortwave also prides itself on providing listeners of the show with great music, both new and (very) old.  Listen to shows live on the air on every second Friday of each month at 11 am on CKUT, or right here on the site.

Shtetl Magazine is an online, arts & culture publication that seeks to provide an alternative point of entry into Judaism.  The magazine is  designed to be a platform for talented contributors to publish their work, and like the radio show, Shtetl Magazine’s inclusive, honest and entertaining brand of journalism seeks to provide multiple points of view on issues of faith, tradition, arts, activism and current events.  No topic is too sensitive for Shtetl Magazine. If you disagree with an article, get some healthy discussion going in the comment section! Check out the Submit to Shtetl section to find out how you can be seen and/or heard on Shtetl Magazine.

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. Yiddish takes most of its vocabulary from German, but borrows words liberally from Hebrew and many other languages from the many lands where Ashkenazic Jews have lived through the centuries.

Acknowledgements. So many people have contributed to making Shtetl happen.  Thanks especially to all the writers and artists in this very first issue.

 Thank you: Aron Black, the ever-patient, talented and dedicated web designer. Jean-Michel Pollak for making Yiddish & Danish so much fun to do. To Mike Savatovsky at  for bringing me into the  fold and for promoting all that Shtetl does.  His support has been invaluable.  Thanks also to The Jewish Federation of Montreal.  To Lainie Basman, Sara Israel, Robyn Diner and Deborah Kramer for their help with editing.   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.  Without their financial support, Pigeon might still be hanging out at dingy bars living on poutine and busking in the Metro for pocket money.  Now she gets to hang out with all of you.  So much more fun!!

I hope you will enjoy the site and come back often,

Tamara Kramer, Editor