Yiddish Intensive Summer Programs

Yiddish Intensive Summer Programs

By Alan Scheer

With the advent of spring, I thought it would be a good idea to begin this first blog writing about upcoming Yiddish Summer Intensive Programs locally and abroad.

TORONTO: For Torontonians, the first place to begin is the very fine selection of courses offered by Toronto’s Committee for Yiddish this spring. Since the pandemic, the Committee’s teachers and students have had to adapt to working with a different kind of classroom. Surprisingly, the benefit of this is that the enrollment in all the classes has increased, and now there are students from the United States, Canada and the wide world.  The Committee offers four levels of Yiddish instruction, as well as a Yiddish theatre workshop, a monthly Leyenkrayz (Yiddish Reading Circle).  

An Intermediate class called, Learning Yiddish through Folktales and Children’s Books is also being offered by the Miles Nadal JCC.

More information can be found on the Committee for Yiddish website:  https://www.committeeforyiddish.com/

 NEW YORK CITY:     The oldest summer program is the Uriel Weinrich Yiddish Summer Program held at YIVO in New York City. Before the Weinrich program begins, there is a refresher course that is held five mornings a week. The study program itself runs from June 21st-July 29, 2022. For the first half of August there is a very advanced one-week class that runs from August 1-12, 2022. The New York program is very intense – classes run all day and one can expect a significant amount of homework.  Along with language lessons every day, there are literature classes, conversation classes and two sets of courses in English that  students can enroll in. The program this year will be held both in-person and online.  It should also be noted that for the New York City program, financial accommodation is available to all students regardless of income. The program offers university credits for those students enrolled at other universities. 

For more information, please visit: https://summerprogram.yivo.org/.

TEL AVIV:   The Naomi Prawer Kader International Yiddish Program in Tel Aviv is the second oldest and one of the most popular summer Yiddish language programs in the world. It runs for the whole month of July. There are many levels of language study, lectures on topics such as the history of Yiddish literature (in English), conversation classes at different levels.  Like the New York program at the YIVO institute, it offers full credits to students currently pursuing university degrees. Also, like the YIVO summer program, the courses will be offered either in person or via zoom with a schedule to accommodate people in North America.

For more information, please visit: https://international.tau.ac.il/Yiddish_Summer_Program

WARSAW:  The city of Warsaw has had a summer intensive Yiddish program for twenty years. This summer the program will be running from the 27th of June until July 15, 2022.  Unlike the past, the program is only offered via Zoom and there are two schedules of classes to accommodate participants from around the world.  There are four levels of study in the Warsaw Program.

For more information, please visit http://jidyszland.pl/en/yiddish-seminar/ or contact zumerkurs@shalom.org.pl 

WEIMER GERMANY: Finally, there is the Yiddish Summer Weimer Workshops and Festival. The festival runs from July19-August 20, 2022. Language classes run from July 31st to August 13, 2022, and there are many workshops that take place throughout the month of July. 

For further information, please visit https://yiddishsummer.eu/ or contact info@yiddishsummer.edu

What a wonderful way to learn Yiddish this summer! You can take a vacation to Israel or New York for one month and study five days a week in an intensive setting. People of all ages and from all around the world attend these classes, and, except for the very advanced class, all classes are held in English and Yiddish depending on the level. After taking one of these intensive programs, you will feel confident to move up a level in the Committee for Yiddish’s fall offerings of classes.