top of page

Herman "Hy" Yellin

Herman "Hy" Yellin was born and raised in Brownsville, NYC, into a family that only spoke Yiddish at home.  He learned English when he entered grammar school in the NYC public school system.  He lived to the age of 99 1/2, but retained the "old World" accent that has disappeared from the old ethnic neighborhoods of NYC.  Hy was a trained draftsman, airplane mechanic, and foreman/Master Sergeant who oversaw the P-47 fleet in the European and African theater during WWII.  "Hy" was always a leader, and the "go to" person everyone could count on; everything he did, he did with integrity and great care.  He is decorated hero, recipient of numerous medals including the Distinguished Service medal for his invention of the "Yellin Peace Bomb," which spread leaflets for safe passage across the countryside and  undoubtedly spared many lives. When he returned home, he was unable to get a job as a draftsman due to strong antisemitism in the engineering field.  Hy read a Yiddish newspaper everyday and worked on many collaborative efforts to help preserve his beloved mameloshn (Mother tongue)  - Yiddish language, in print and spoken.  Hy was equally dismayed by the disappearance of so many endangered languages worldwide - "a language is central to a culture.  Translation diminishes cultural aspects that are embedded in the language."

The loss of a language, and with it, cultural identity, saddened Hy greatly. 

Herman "Hy" Yellin was the much loved husband of Gloria Yellin, father of Linda & Bob, grandfather and great-grandfather, uncle, son, brother, and great friend to so many. 

Endangered Languages Map.png
Hy laughing-B&W.jpg
Hy_military pic.png

"Translation diminishes cultural aspects that are embedded in a language. So much history is lost when a language is lost."

bottom of page