Dr Barnett Zumoff was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York to Ukranian immigrants. Yiddish was his first language and he attended Yiddish schools in New York throughout his school career. Zumoff served as Major General in the United States Air Force.
Dr Zumoff is a reknowned endocronologist and has conducted major research in this area. He is a Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine.
In 1983, he began translating works from Yiddish to English, with co-translation of a play by Sholom Aleichem. For 13 years, Barnett was President of the Forward Association, which publishes the Yiddish Forvent and the English Forward.He is also the long time President of the Congress for Jewish Culture, the umbrella organization for almost all Yiddish associations in America. He is current vice president of the Board of Directors of Folksbiene, the oldest Yiddish theater in the world as well as Atran foundation, that raises funds for Yiddish cultural organizations. Zumoff was also President of the Workmen's Circle, a major supporter of Yiddish culture and schools in the US, for many years.
Dr Zumoff has translated 21 volumes from Yiddish over the years.