About Ellen

Ellen CassedyEllen Cassedy, the author of We Are Here, has explored Lithuania’s encounter with its Jewish heritage, including the Holocaust, for ten years. Her book is the winner of numerous awards. She is a frequent speaker about the Holocaust, Lithuania, and Jewish culture. Her tips for writers offer advice on writing and being a writer.

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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Ellen Cassedy speaks to a variety of audiences about the Holocaust, Lithuania, Jewish culture, and Yiddish language and literature.

See all of Ellen's speaking engagements or invite Ellen to speak to your community.

Recent Publications

Ellen writes frequently about the Holocaust, Lithuania, Jewish culture, and Yiddish literature.

Read her most recent publications:

My Yiddish Month, Na’amat Magazine

Stones of Remembrance, Huffington Post

Keeping the Faith, Hadassah Magazine

Holocaust Remembrance in Lithuania, Bridges, the Lithuanian American News Journal

Vilna’s Yiddish Kitchen Reborn , Hadassah Magazine

Atsimenant Lietuvos žydų vardus, Bernardinai.lt

A Summer at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute (in Yiddish!) Afn Shvel

Samuel Bak: Painter of the Vilna Ghetto, VilNews

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On the Landing

Stories by Yenta Mash

Translated by Ellen Cassedy

Northern Illinois University Press, 2018

A Yiddish Book Center Translation

“Inspiring” – Ruta Sepetys
“Rich” – Irena Klepfisz


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Oedipus in Brooklyn

and other stories by Blume Lempel

Winner, Modern Language Assn.
Fenia & Yaakov Leviant Memorial
Prize in Yiddish Studies

Translated by
Ellen Cassedy &
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub

Mandel Vilar Press & Dryad Press


“A splendid surprise.” – Cynthia Ozick

“…a remarkable achievement…” – Kirkus Reviews

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Awards and Reviews

• MLA Fenia & Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize
in Yiddish Studies
• Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction
• Towson Prize for Literature
• Prakhin International Literary Foundation Award
• Silver Medal in History, ForeWord Reviews
• Best Book Award, Assoc. for the Advancement of Baltic Studies
• Shortlist, William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
• Yiddish Book Center Translation Prize
• PEN/Heim Translation Award

National Geographic says: Visit Vilnius, and read We Are Here before you go!

"In the Cauldron," a review by Christopher R. Browning
New York Review of Books
"Cassedy resists Lithuanian attempts to place Jewish and Lithuanian suffering 'side by side'....She attempts to know and comprehend rather than judge."

Book Review: We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, by Philip K. Jason
Jewish Book Council
"Brilliantly balanced, totally engaging, and constantly penetrating."

Book Review: We Are Here, by Sean Martin
American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies
“Unusually engaging…a model for the study of interethnic relations.”

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Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn

Ellen’s award-winning play, Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn, celebrates the spare beauty of a small but important life. It was adapted into a short film that won 18 festival awards and qualified for an Academy Award nomination.

"After my great-aunt Jessie died," Ellen writes, "I discovered a diary she’d kept and found myself mesmerized. I wanted her voice to be heard."

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