Invitation to Participate: Teaching Yiddish Outside the University Classroom

Marianne Tatom


In an effort to pool the wis­dom and expe­ri­ence acquired by our con­trib­u­tors’ work in the class­room, In geveb reg­u­lar­ly polls Yid­dish instruc­tors on top­ics relat­ed to Yid­dish ped­a­gogy. In our Loyt Di Lerers series, we com­pile ideas and best prac­tices for teach­ers who teach Yid­dish, teach about Yid­dish, and teach with texts from Yid­dish sources. The respons­es to these polls offer a cross-sec­tion of the opin­ions, approach­es, and expe­ri­ences of Yid­dish instruc­tors from Los Ange­les to Tel Aviv, from children’s pro­grams to uni­ver­si­ty class­es to con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es, from new teach­ers to those with a life­time of experience.

In our Loyt di Lerers series, we have previously gathered teachers’ thoughts about Yiddish textbooks, Yiddish clubs and reading groups, the Holocaust in Yiddish classrooms, Yiddish in Holocaust education, and more. Given that many of us are now sheltering in place and limiting our face-to-face interactions, this opportunity to share our ideas and experiences with Yiddish pedagogy has become even more important.

With a resurgence in Yiddish interest coinciding with declining institutional support for language instruction, a number of teachers are now conducting classes through alternative means, such as community organizations, synagogues, and even privately, both in person and online via Skype, Zoom, or other platforms. We are interested in learning about the strategies instructors employ, and the challenges they face, when teaching Yiddish language in multiple formats and contexts. We therefore invite you to share with us how you adjust and modify your teaching depending on the setting. The questions in this survey have become more immediately pressing as many of us who have not previously taught online unexpectedly modify our courses due to the global coronavirus pandemic. We encourage thoughts from those who are newly adapting to new pedagogical needs as well as those with earlier experience in multiple settings.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with the In geveb teaching community. Please note that you don’t have to answer every question in order to participate! Feel free to choose the questions you find most relevant. We expect that many of the questions below will not apply to all respondents, and we appreciate any thoughts, ideas, or information you are willing to share.

Tatom, Marianne. “Invitation to Participate: Teaching Yiddish Outside the University Classroom.” In geveb, April 2020:לויט-די-לערערס-teachers-weigh-in-teaching-yiddish-outside-the-university-classroom.
Tatom, Marianne. “Invitation to Participate: Teaching Yiddish Outside the University Classroom.” In geveb (April 2020): Accessed Aug 02, 2021.


Marianne Tatom

Marianne Tatom (Mirl) is a freelance copyeditor, Yiddish instructor, and klezmer musician in Seattle, WA.