Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, a poet and songwriter, died in November. Her chair remains empty at the Monday Yiddish conversation group she led as the group continues to meet. Credit Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, a poet and songwriter, died in November. Her chair remains empty at the Monday Yiddish conversation group she led as the group continues to meet. Credit Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

An accomplished Yiddish poet and songwriter, she always sat in the same turquoise-upholstered chair by the window, ready to jump in with a Yiddish word or two when her friends struggled to finish their sentences. If they resorted to English, she would say: “Do redt men Yiddish” (Here we speak Yiddish).

That was so important to Ms. Schaechter-Gottesman that after she became ill last year, she exacted promises from her friends to carry on the Yiddish conversation group without her. She died at age 93 on Thanksgiving, and her friends have kept their word.

Read the full story