Helen Mintz

Helen Mintz preserves and shares the experience of eastern European Jewry through her work as a translator, storytelling performer, and writer.

Mintz’s translation of the work of Yiddish writer Abraham Karpinowitz, Vilna My Vilna, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2016. According to Samuel D. Kassow, Northam Professor of History, Trinity College, “Thanks to this wonderful volume, expertly translated by Helen Mintz, Abraham Karpinowitz will finally get the attention he deserves.” Mintz’s translations have appeared in Pakn Treger and She was a Translation Fellow with the Yiddish Book Centre in 2014.

Helen began performing to share Eastern European Jewish experience, telling family stories she learned as a child. She then set out in search of the stories she was never told, studying the Yiddish language, doing extensive research, and working with Jewish seniors. Bridging traditional storytelling and contemporary solo performance, Helen created four one-woman storytelling plays of Jewish women’s experience which she has performed in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Lithuania. At the Vancouver Women in View festival, Barbara Crook, the Vancouver Sun theatre critic wrote, “Helen Mintz’ solo show is a beautifully written tribute to human survival in general and to the strength of women in particular. Mintz blends moments of humour with images of unity and empowerment.” Helen’s versions of traditional Jewish stories have been published, recorded, and are told my many other tellers.

 Mintz teaches storytelling workshops to children, youth, and adults. 

Helen Mintz enjoys doing readings and talks about Vilna My Vilna: Stories by Abraham Karpinowitz. She would be happy to speak to your Book Club, either in person or online.