|Brainin family (as "Brennan"), 1575 Madison Avenue, 1920 census|
Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) told me she spoke Yiddish as her first language and that she didn't learn English until she began school. I have her Hebrew primer. I don't think she had a bat mitzvah, and she didn't really remember or use Hebrew later in life.
She did continue to speak Yiddish. The only time I heard her speak Yiddish, however, other than some random words, was when she turned 80. She had flown out to California for her birthday and was staying at my uncle's home. Her best friend (my godmother) had come up from Southern California to help celebrate. I was listening to them talking, and then their voices got louder, and it sounded like an argument — and suddenly I couldn't understand anything they were saying. I was mesmerized — they were arguing in Yiddish! It's still the only time in my life I've heard the language used in a conversation, albeit a loud one. I wish I had been able to record it.