The Oy Way cover

The author has spoken to many groups; here’s what group leaders have said. Contact him now, to speak to your group.

What's Nu?

(On The Oy Way and Yiddish, unless otherwise indicated)

December 2014

December 4, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.

November 2014

November 2, Participated at the annual Yiddish Cultural Festival in Palo Alto, California where The Oy Way was on display.

March 2014

March 29, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.

December 2013

December 4, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.

November 2013

November 10, Invited to speak at the 62nd Jewish Book Fair in W. Bloomfield, Michigan: was unable to attend.
November 2, 2013. Invited to speak at the Author Faire 2013, at the San Jose Public Library.

August 2013

August 7, Spoke at the Jewish Community Center, San Francisco.

March 2013

March 23, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.
March 5, Spoke at Temple Beth Israel, Carmel.

February 2013

February 25, Spoke at Senior Connections, Temple Beth El, Aptos.

December 2012

December 15, Spoke and signed books at Inklings Books, Capitola.
December 2, Spoke and signed books at The Greek Restaurant, Santa Cruz.

November 2012

November 28, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.
November 15, Spoke to the Beth El Senior Friendship Club, San Mateo.
November 13, Spoke at the Alef Bet Judaica Bookstore, Los Gatos.
November 11, Spoke to the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association, San Jose.

October 2012

October 30, Spoke at Congregation Beth David, Saratoga, California.

October 28, Spoke at BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco.

October 21, Spoke at Bird & Beckett Bookstore, San Francisco.

June 2012

June 22, Participated in an Authors Reception Fundraiser at the Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Avenue, Capitola.

May 2012

May 17, Spoke at Jewish Family and Children Services, San Francisco.
May 9, Spoke to the Café by the Bay Holocaust Survivors, San Francisco.

April 2012

April 27, Spoke at Hillel of Silicon Valley, San Jose.
April 9, Spoke and signed books at the Capitola Book Café, Capitola.

March 2012

March 23, Presentation made at Tai Ji workshop, Esalen, Big Sur, California.
March 15, Participated in a Book Authors’ Reception in the Main Library, San Jose.
March 11, Spoke to the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association, San Jose.
March 8, Spoke at Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos.

August 2011

August 28, Made a presentation on Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors and The Oy Way, at the International Association of Yiddish Clubs annual conference in Michigan.

From 1984 to 2011

Have made more than forty presentations at numerous venues throughout the United States, Israel, Great Britain and Australia on a variety of topics including:

“The Jewish Press in America,” based on the chapter I wrote for the Encyclopaedia Judaica.

“Gathering of Friends,” the relationship between Holocaust survivors and former Japanese American internees based on working with both groups.

“The Jews of Lithuania,” based on travels through Eastern Europe and articles written on the cities of Vilnius (Vilna) Kaunas (Kovno) and Klaipeda for Hadassah magazine.

“Holocaust denial advertising in college and university newspapers,” based on ten years of research and more than 200 interviews.  Original research is archived in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

“An Incredible Odyssey,” based on travels searching for family after both of my parents died seven weeks apart in 1981. In the process, met and learned about my family in cities and villages throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, Great Britain, Hungary, Romania, and Australia. I have published articles on the journey, and these stories are the basis of an upcoming book.


January 2012

The Oy Way is published and ready for distribution.

November/December 2011

Design and layout are completed.
The Oy Way writing is completed and edited.
A Tai Ji group at Esalen in Big Sur, California successfully tests movements.

November 2011

Amy Gotliffe completes all photography at various locations.
Website is updated to include “What’s Nu?” “What’s Being Said?”, and “Who Is Who?”.

October 2011

All movements are written and approved by Yiddish advisor, Philip “Fishl” Kutner.

September 2011

Web site notification is sent to more than 1500 email addresses.

August 2011

Promotional brochure is printed.
International Association of Yiddish Clubs Annual Conference, Novi, Michigan.
Introduction of The Oy Way at our display booth for test marketing.
Presentation session made with audience doing movements.
The next day, approached by an 84-year-old man in the hall. He goes into an Oy Way movement stance, says “gey avek,” laughs, and walks away.

July 2011

Stephen Pollard creates the web site, and the promotional brochure is written.

January 1999

Original, 12-page, version of The Oy Way is produced in limited numbers and  Copyrighted on January 1st.

The Oy Way Is Found in These Libraries

San Francisco Jewish Library
San Francisco Public Library
San Jose Public Library
San Jose State University — Hillel Library
Cong. Beth David Library, Saratoga
Santa Cruz Public Library
Cabrillo College Library — Aptos
Palo Alto Public Library
Berkeley Public Library
U. California, Berkeley, Jewish Studies Library
Henry Miller Library — Big Sur
Harrison Memorial Library — Carmel
Marin County Free Library — San Rafael
Hebrew Union College Library — Los Angeles
Riordan Main Library — Los Angeles
Simon Wiesenthal Center Archives — Los Angeles
Charles Young Research Library, UCLA — Los Angeles

Broward County Library — Ft. Lauderdale
Collier County Library — Naples
Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Southwest Florida  — Naples
West Palm Beach Library
Miami-Dade County Public Library — Miami

Brandeis University Library — Waltham
Yiddish Book Center Library — Amherst

Detroit Public Library
Wayne State University — David Adamany Library
Michigan Holocaust Center Library — Farmington Hills
Jewish Community Center Library, W. Bloomfield

Las Vegas-Clark County Library

Columbia University Library
Hebrew Union College Library — New York City
New York Public Library – 42nd Street, New York City
Mendel Gottesman Library — Yeshiva University — New York City
YIVO Archives Library — New York City

Cleveland Public Library
Hebrew Union College Library — Cincinnati

Philadelphia Free Library
University of Pennsylvania, Jewish Studies Library

Jonsson Central Library — Dallas
University of Texas Library  — Austin

What's Being Said

“This delightful book is a tasty forshpeis (appetizer) to the uniquely expressive world of Yiddish. Packed with subtlety and nuance, Yiddish conveys words pictures unlike any other language.

The Oy Way is a great way for newcomers to Yiddish, as well as those who have spoken it for decades; to enjoy the pleasure of this mama loshen (mother tongue) in a most enjoyable and different way.”

Eugene Driker

Chair, Yiddish Book Center

“I thoroughly enjoyed your very funny and meditative book, The Oy Way.”

Aaron Lansky

President, Yiddish Book Center

“I have used The Oy Way this semester in two of my Yiddish beginners classes, as a segue or a warm-up to the lesson. The students love laughter and the expressions lend themselves to a smile. The "beygn" and "shteyn" stances plus your photos add to the fun of our learning. Thank you for sharing your book.”

Ruthie Solomon

Assistant to the Editor, The Yiddish Forward

“I thought it was very funny.”

Dan Friedman

Managing Editor, The Forward

“We’ve all had a good laugh reading through The Oy Way. It was delightful, and we certainly need to learn to relax.”

Matthew Fishbane

Senior Editor, Tablet magazine

“It works! After reading only a few pages of The Oy Way and following the easy-to-understand instructions, I laughed so hard that I could say “gey avek” to all my mental and physical pain. I love the photos too.”

Judith A. Sokoloff

Editor, Na’Amat USA Women magazine

“Should be more than a hoot and enlightening to many.”

Chungliang Al Huang

Founder-president, Living Tao Foundation; Author or co-author of a dozen books about Tai Ji and Eastern philosophy

“The Oy Way combines some form of physical relaxation therapy with Yiddish vocabulary and phrases. Partly in jest, partly seriously, the author describes movements and exercises that are meant to lead a person down the “path of most resistance.” So if you’re looking for something entertaining, therapeutic, and Yiddish-related, this might be the book for you.”

Shaul Seidler-Feller

Co-creator of Yiddish Word-of-the-Week

““Humor research has concluded that 20 seconds of hearty laughter is equivalent to 20 minutes on a rowing machine. With The Oy Way, you can enjoy both simultaneously.”

Paul Krassner

Author and Satirist

“Sure to be a hit with Judeo-yoginis and spiritual fitness buffs of all faiths and persuasions.”

Stephen Kessler

Author of Tell It to the Rabbis and The Tolstoy of the Zulus

“This is going to be an excellent book to give as a present.”

Jay Coleman

Writer, editor, founder of Coleman Communications

“Lessons from the Oy Way Master himself.”

Dave Mora

Novelist, editor, co-founder of Core Fitness Company

“I love it! Can’t get over the humor!”

Peter Garrone

Artist and writer, New Jersey

“If I never get through the actual gestures . . . I will exercise my stomach muscles through stress-relieving laughter.”

Tim Mitchell

Art director, graphic design lecturer, San Jose State University

The Oy Way great idea. Lets you know how to put your Yiddish into action.”

Katherine Forrest, MD

Co-founder, The Commonweal Institute

“This is fantastic!”

Brian Halprin

Architect, Michigan

“What a “vunderlekh” book it is! I really had a good laugh.”

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe

Author and Yiddishist

On Library Shelves

The Oy Way is now found in more than thirty libraries around the country, and here’s what librarians have said about the book:

“A sheynen dank for the gift of The Oy Way. I’m impressed by the good work that went into it.”

Howard Freeman

Director, BJE Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

“Thanks for the smile – I enjoyed reading your book!”

Teresa Handleman

Collection Development Librarian, Las Vegas Library

“Thank you for very much for donating this delightful volume, I know it will be enjoyed. I couldn’t phrase it any better than p. 82 (of The Oy Way): Zolst leben un zayn gezunt!

Jason Honig

Collection Development Office, San Francisco Public Library

On Your Book Shelf

The Oy Way is available on line at, and

Who Is Who?

Harvey Gotliffe Author, Educator and Oy Way master; see here, here, here and here

Carmen Sarah Santos Ballesteros Gotliffe Movement testing and evaluation

Amy Gotliffe Photographer

Stephen Pollard Design and syntactical enhancement

Philip “Fishl” Kutner Yiddish usage advisor

Dr. Stanley Halprin Medical advisor — movement suitability; Marketing Manager, Eastern Region

The Oy Way offers a philosophy that combines meditation, exercise, and humor, set forth in easy-to-learn Yiddish. It will be a great pleasure to read and follow — even if it’s just a bit at a time.

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