Pedagogy

Roundup of Universities Teaching Yiddish Across the World

Sarah Biskowitz and Hannah Mills

This winter, a high school senior asked me where she could study Yiddish in college. I knew of a handful of places, but did not find a readily available and up to date list to direct her to. I realized that a list of higher education institutions with Yiddish instruction would be a practical resource for students, and also serve as a survey of the state of Yiddish studies around the world.

Together with Hannah Mills I compiled the list below over the course of a few months. We were able to gather information on 24 American, 5 Canadian, 17 European, 1 South American, 3 Israeli, 1 Asian, and 1 Australian university — a total of 50 universities, the vast majority of which currently teach Yiddish, as well as some who used to teach Yiddish, and/or offer classes on Yiddish culture.

While the list is certainly incomplete, it nonetheless demonstrates that Yiddish is taught at a wide variety of global universities, each with their own unique Yiddish studies histories. The list also serves as a snapshot of the state of Yiddish studies at a point in time when we are uncertain about the pandemic’s long-term effects on higher education and Yiddish studies.

As indicated by expansions of the Yiddish language instruction programs at Cornell and Yale, online programs from the University of Maryland at College Park open to all Big Ten schools, and (as of this year) the University of Michigan, Yiddish programs are growing at some colleges and universities.

Still, Meyer Weinshel, Yiddish instructor at the Ohio State University, reminded us of the challenges Yiddish faces within academia, including “the lack of stable positions (and institutional memory) for those maintaining Yiddish studies at the 21st-century university. Academia has drastically changed since the 2008 recession… And now: with COVID-19 causing additional financial crises, enrollment declines, and austerity measures, I am of the opinion that many Yiddish studies programs face considerable obstacles.”

We hope this list will illuminate the diversity of the Yiddish studies landscape at higher education institutions, connect students to relevant resources, and highlight the important work of instructors that build and sustain programs. Yiddish programs and instructors need meaningful support from their institutions to satisfy Yiddish students’ thirst for learning.

Did we skip your university? If you represent a college or university that is interested in being included in this list, please email us [email protected] or [email protected].

Editor’s Note: The information presented here was collected via a questionnaire sent to higher education institutions who offer Yiddish courses. The self-reported data has been edited lightly for clarity.

Updated on 06/28 with additional entries.

NORTH AMERICA-USA

NORTH AMERICA-CANADA

SOUTH AMERICA

ISRAEL

EUROPE

ASIA AND OCEANIA

---

NORTH AMERICA-USA


Los Angeles, California, USA

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning Yiddish (101A and 101B) - 2 quarters - Fall and Winter.

Dates of Instruction: For over 50 years.

Department: Germanic Languages.

Instructors: Miri Koral, Continuing Lecturer in Yiddish.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Sheva Zucker’s Yiddish Vol. I, but with lots of personally created handouts.At one time (1970s-80s) personally created handouts.

Typical number of students per year: 10-12.

Other courses offered: A general education course in Yiddish Film, taught in English by Miri Koral.

Additional Notes: Max Weinreich held one of the first university-level Yiddish classes in the United States at UCLA in the summer of 1948. Notable teachers of Yiddish and Yiddish literature at UCLA: Professors Arnold Band and Janet Hadda, as well as visiting professor Justin Cammy and others.

---

Berkeley, California, USA

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY

Yiddish classes offered: Elementary, Intermediate, and Reading Yiddish texts. Elementary and advanced language courses are taught by Dr. Yael Chaver and graduate students; graduate seminars are taught by Prof. Chana Kronfeld.

Dates of Instruction: Off and on since the 1970s, and consistently, 1993-present.

Department: German and Near Eastern Studies.

Instructors: Dr. Yael Chaver and Prof. Chana Kronfeld; graduate students

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Weinreich's College Yiddish, supplemented by other materials like modern Yiddish poetry.

Typical number of students per year: Between 3 and 10.

Other courses offered: Hebrew language.

Additional Notes: Past instructors include Eli Katz who taught, circa from 1993 to 2004.

---

Santa Cruz, California, USA

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

Yiddish classes offered: Yiddish courses are offered at UCSC every year - most often Year One, quarters one and two, sometimes quarter three as well. The course offered is Year One, quarters one through three.

Dates of Instruction: Yiddish has been offered almost every year since 2011, although there have been a couple of gap years.

Department: Languages and Applied Linguistics in coordination with Jewish Studies

Instructors: Jon Levitow, Ph.D.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Instructor’s own materials.

Typical number of students per year: 5-15. As many as 30 for the quarter one class.

Other courses offered: UCSC offers a range of courses in Jewish literature and history as well as modern and Biblical Hebrew.

Additional Notes: Prof. Nathaniel Deutsch, director of Jewish Studies of the Humanities Institute at UCSC is the person responsible for making the Yiddish language courses happen. He hired Dr. Levitow to teach Yiddish at UCSC in 2011.

---

Stanford, California, USA

STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Stanford offers Yiddish courses every year, at least year One and sometimes year Two. Year One (quarters one through three) and Year Two (quarters one through three) are offered every year, dependent on student interest. Year Three, quarters one and two has been offered occasionally.

Dates of Instruction: According to Jon Levitow, “Yiddish language courses were being offered at Stanford when I arrived 15 years ago. I've been doing them since - no gaps with regard to year One, year Two depending on student interest.”

Department: Language Center in coordination with Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Jon Levitow, Ph.D.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Instructor’s own materials.

Typical number of students per year: 2-5.

Other courses offered: Stanford offers a range of Jewish literature and history courses and classes in modern and Biblical Hebrew. Ladino has been taught but not recently.

Additional Notes: According to Jon Levitow,“Prof. Gabriella Safran, professor in Jewish Studies and director of the Dept. of Slavic Studies, is most responsible for keeping the Yiddish language program going. Prior to my arrival in 2006, language courses were most often taught by graduate students, as far as I know.”

---

New Haven, Connecticut, USA

YALE UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Two levels of "Reading Yiddish" (combining the grammar-translation method with an introduction to Yiddish literature and culture). Taught by Josh Price.

Dates of Instruction: Regularly since Fall 2015 (prior to that, some non-credit options and a handful of sporadic for-credit courses since the 1990s).

Department: Judaic Studies; Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Instructors: Josh Price.

Languages of instruction: Apart from some conversational basics taught in Yiddish, English is the main language of instruction.

Texts: College Yiddish; instructor's own materials; readings in Yiddish literature.

Typical number of students per year: 5 per semester.

Other courses offered: Regular offerings in modern Jewish history and Hebrew literature (often but not exclusively in translation). Comparative literature courses occasionally make use of Yiddish sources in translation. Robust Hebrew language program.

Additional Notes: According to “Yale to offer L1 Yiddish class that fulfills language requirement,” by Madison Haham for the Yale Daily News in April, “[Price] plans to teach L1 Yiddish in the fall and ideally an L2 option in the spring. Beyond that, he says, faculty and administrators have not finalized plans, but Price hopes to ultimately offer an L3 and L4 option and even more upper-level courses beyond that.”

---

Waltham, Massachusetts

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: YDSH 10a Beginning Yiddish, YDSH 20b Continuing Yiddish, YDSH 30b Intermediate Yiddish, YDSH 40b Advanced Intermediate Yiddish, NEJS 98b Independent Study, NEJS 221a Reading Yiddish Literary and Historical Texts.

Dates of Instruction: Offered since 1960s, with few gaps.

Department: Near Eastern & Judaic Studies. A minor is offered in Yiddish and East European Jewish Culture.

Instructors: Michael Astour, Sylvia Fuks Fried, Daniella Harpaz, Ellen Kellman

Languages of instruction: Yiddish and English

Texts: Ellen Kellman uses her own materials.

Typical number of students per year: 15.

Other courses offered: Ellen Kellman teaches courses in Yiddish literature and culture using texts in English translation: NEJS 158b Yiddish Literature and the Modern Jewish Revolution; NEJS 159b Classic Yiddish Fiction; NEJS 134b Yiddish Culture in the Modern World.

---

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

EMORY UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning Yiddish sometimes, Yiddish for Reading Knowledge, and several Yiddish culture courses.

Dates of Instruction: Not currently, have been offered in the past and plan to be offered in future. Previously in the 1980's and then started up again in 2005.

Department: German Studies and Jewish Studies (cross-listed).

Instructors: Miriam Udel currently. Ken Frieden in the 1980s, Marc Miller in 2005-07.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: Sheva Zucker's Yiddish. Possibly In eynem in the future.

Typical number of students per year: 6-14.

Other courses offered: Several Yiddish culture courses, history courses that incorporate Yiddish. Strong Hebrew program as well.

---

Caldwell, Idaho, USA

THE COLLEGE OF IDAHO

Yiddish classes offered: No language courses are taught at this time, but several courses taught include Yiddish cultural materials. There are also significant cultural offerings.

Dates of Instruction: Fall, January Term, and Spring

Department: History

Instructors: Nick Underwood

Language of instruction: English.

Typical number of students per year: 100.

Other courses offered: The following courses include Yiddish cultural content: Jewish History, European Jewish History, Jewish History and Culture in the Americas, and History of Zionism and Modern Israel.

Additional Notes: The College of Idaho has a minor in Judaic studies, to which all of the courses contribute.

---

Chicago, Illinois, USA

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Yiddish classes offered: Currently Jessica Kirzane offers Beginner's Yiddish I-II-III, Intermediate Yiddish I-II and Advanced Yiddish I. The exact levels offered each year depends on demand.

Dates of Instruction: Yiddish courses have been offered here for many years. When Jessica Kirzane arrived in 2018, there had been a two year gap between when Sunny Yudkoff left and when Jessica Kirzane was hired.

Department: Germanic studies.

Instructors: Currently, Jessica Kirzane. Past: Sunny Yudkoff and Jan Schwartz, among others.

Languages of instruction: Some English for additional explanation but the class is conducted almost entirely in Yiddish.

Texts: In eynem for beginners, Schaechter’s Yiddish II with the advanced course (alongside literature), Kirzane has used the Yiddish Lige's Motl Peyse for intermediate independent study, and a variety of literary and historical texts.

Typical number of students per year: 2-10.

Other courses offered: Hebrew; Yiddish literature classes with Anna Torres, and a variety of related classes in history and comparative literature.

Additional notes: Yiddish counts towards majors in Jewish Studies and Comparative Germanics.

---

Bloomington, Indiana, USA

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced/Readings.

Dates of Instruction: 1990s-present.

Department: Department of Germanic Studies, Jewish Studies Program.

Instructors: Dr. Dov-Ber Kerler since 2001, formerly Dr. Nina Warnke.

Languages of instruction: English and Yiddish.

Texts: College Yiddish, along with materials the instructor has prepared.

Typical number of students per year: 4-5.

Other courses offered: Yiddish literature and Yiddish culture.

Additional Notes: The Chair in Yiddish studies is funded by Alice Ginott Cohn, a fund that also provides support for Yiddish study over the summer and for Yiddish research. Previous instructors include Asya Vaisman-Schulman, now at the Yiddish Book Center/UMass (or Five Colleges Consortium).

---

Lexington, Kentucky, USA

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners’ Yiddish.

Dates of Instruction: In the fall for the last 5 years, most likely continuing.

Department: Modern and Classical Languages.

Instructors: Raphael Finkel.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: Sheva Zucker's Yiddish.

Typical number of students per year: 3.

Other courses offered: Hebrew, Ladino (on occasion).

Additional Notes: Advanced students sometimes continue with a weekly meeting.

---

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced (depending on demand in any given year).

Dates of Instruction: 2006-present.

Department: Modern Languages and Literatures.

Instructors: Beatrice (Brukhe) Lang.

Languages of instruction: English

Texts: In eynem, Zucker’s Yiddish, Yiddish II, and instructor’s own materials.

Typical number of students per year: 2-10

Other courses offered: Sam Spinner offers courses related to Yiddish literature and cultural history. Hebrew language is offered.

Additional Notes: It is now possible to pursue a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Yiddish. See information below:

“The Hebrew and Yiddish subdivision of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins offers a fully-funded PhD program in Jewish Languages and Literatures. Our course of study offers training in Hebrew and Yiddish language, literature, and culture in its many transnational iterations and focuses on the modern period while attending to the long history of the literary traditions in these languages. The PhD program is complemented by the reach of our department’s faculty across languages (German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, in addition to Hebrew and Yiddish), periods (medieval to the present), and media (especially literature and film). Students in our program can also expect to enrich their studies by drawing on the faculty of the Stulman Program in Jewish Studies which is particularly strong in Jewish history and philosophy.”

---

College Park, Maryland, USA

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK

Yiddish classes offered: Yiddish Beginners I and Yiddish Beginners II.

Dates of Instruction: Adi Mahalel has been teaching Yiddish at University of Maryland, College Park since Fall 2013.

Department: Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Adi Mahalel.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Lily Kahn’s Colloquial Yiddish and miscellaneous.

Typical number of students per year: 7-10.

Other courses offered: Each semester there are at least one (often more) courses that teach Yiddish material in translation. Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew courses are also offered.

Additional Notes: Previous Yiddish professors were Miriam Isaacs and Agnieszka Legutko.

The Yiddish courses have been offered online to the Big Ten universities for a few years.

---

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT AMHERST

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner.

Dates of Instruction: Offered either at UMass or through Five College Consortium (at Hampshire College) from 2012-2018. Yiddish will be offered again in fall 2021.

Department: Judaic Studies.

Instructors: Asya Vaisman Schulman.

Languages of instruction: Yiddish (primarily), and English.

Texts: In eynem (written by said instructor).

Typical number of students per year: Vaisman Schulman says, “At Hampshire, it was typically 18 first semester, 5 second semester. At UMass it was pretty consistently around 5.”

Other courses offered: At various member institutions of the Five College Consortium (which includes Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Hampshire College in addition to UMass) Jewish history courses, Hebrew language, and Yiddish literature in translation are taught.

Additional Notes: Robert Rothstein has also taught Yiddish (song).

---

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Three years of Yiddish taught by the Yiddish Preceptor.

Dates of Instruction: 1993-present.

Department: Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the Center for Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Currently, Sara Feldman. The Yiddish program began with the arrival of Ruth Wisse. Previous Preceptors include Mindl Cohen, Eitan Kensky, Yuri Vedenyapin, Brukhe Lang, Dovid Braun, and Marion Aptroot.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: In eynem for lower levels, but no single textbook for upper levels.

Typical number of students per year: 9.

Other courses offered: Yiddish literature, culture, film, and politics courses are taught in translation. Hebrew is taught and students have asked for Ladino.

---

Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

SMITH COLLEGE

Yiddish classes offered: No language courses are taught at this time, but there are significant cultural offerings.

Department: Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Justin Cammy.

Languages of instruction: English.

Other courses offered: Yiddish Literature and Culture; Yiddishlands; Eastern European Jewish History; American Jewish Literature (with significant Yiddish).

Additional Notes: Smith students are able to register for Yiddish classes offered at Hampshire College and University of Massachusetts through the Five College Consortium.

---

Waltham, Massachusetts

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: YDSH 10a Beginning Yiddish, YDSH 20b Continuing Yiddish, YDSH 98b Independent Study, NEJS 221a Reading Yiddish Literary and Historical Texts.

Dates of Instruction:

Department: A minor is offered in Yiddish and East European Jewish Culture, but the host department is Near Eastern & Judaic Studies.

Instructors: Ellen Kellman

Languages of instruction: English

---

Ann Arbor, Michigan

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced (there has been a gap for Advanced courses). The courses are taught by a full-time lecturer.

Dates of Instruction: Decades.

Department: Judaic Studies/German.

Instructors: Currently, Elena Luchina.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: In eynem.

Typical number of students per year: 5 for beginners, 3 for intermediate, but numbers are increasing now that they offer the course on CourseShare - students from other Big Ten universities can take it.

Other courses offered: A Ladino course and courses on Ashkenazi Jewish topics.

Additional Notes: The university received the archives and library of Bina Weinreich which are used in teaching. Previous Yiddish instructors include Anita Norich, Vera Szabo, Sasha Hoffman, and Mikhl Yashinsky.

---

Brooklyn, New York, USA

CUNY BROOKLYN COLLEGE

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced

Dates of Instruction: Since before 1970, with gaps due to limited availability of faculty

Department: Judaic Studies

Instructors: Robert Shapiro

Languages of instruction: English and Hebrew

Texts: College Yiddish, Key to Yiddish, In Eynem

Typical number of students per year: 5-15

Other courses offered: Yiddish Literature in Translation. East European Jewry. Holocaust Literature. Hebrew language

Additional Notes: According to Robert Shapiro, “At one time (1970s-80s) there were up to 5 instructors teaching both Yiddish and Hebrew). Since before 2000, no full time Yiddish instructors and currently I occasionally teach Yiddish language as a historian of Holocaust and Polish Jewry. In general, funding restrictions have prevented replacement of retired Yiddish faculty.”

---

Ithaca, New York, USA

CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Currently, Elementary Yiddish I and II. The two-credit class meets once a week. As of Fall 2021, Cornell will offer 3 semesters of Yiddish.

Dates of Instruction: For several years, through 2020-21, Cornell offered a 2-credit, 2-semester sequence of Yiddish. Starting in Fall 2021, Cornell will be offering a 4-credit, 3-semester sequence so Yiddish can fulfill the undergraduate language requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Department: “Near Eastern Studies, cross-listed in Jewish Studies Program and German Studies.”

Instructors: Dovid Forman

Languages of instruction: English

Texts: Sheva Zucker's 2 vols Yiddish and some samples from other sources. This may change when the course format changes.

Typical number of students per year: 5-10

Other courses offered: According to Dr. Dovid Forman, “There is a Yiddish linguistics class. There is a full Hebrew language and literature curriculum. There are classes about the Holocaust and occasionally-held classes about Jewish history, life, and/or identity in the diaspora that include Ashkenazi Jewish history as a component.” According to Dr. Deborah Starr, “Modern Hebrew is taught through the advanced level. There are regular reading courses in Hebrew Bible. There is an occasional course in Judeo-Arabic. There are courses on Ashkenazi history, geography, anthropology and literature.”

Additional Notes: According to “Yiddish to fulfill A&S language requirement” by Ayla Cline for the Cornell Chronicle in April, “Currently, Yiddish classes meet one evening a week. Starting with the Fall 2021 semester, Elementary Yiddish will be offered for four credit hours and held four days per week. As of Fall 2022, with the addition of a redesigned Intermediate Yiddish class, students will be able to fulfill the College of Arts & Sciences’ language requirement by taking Yiddish.”

---

Manhattan, New York, USA

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: All levels, mainly for doctoral students.

Dates of Instruction: 15 years continuously.

Department: Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

Instructors: Prof. Gennady Estraikh.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Various.

Typical number of students per year: 3.

Other courses offered: Yiddish Literature in Translation; Yiddish in America; History of Yiddishism.

Additional Notes: This program was founded by Prof. Gennady Estraikh.

---

New York City, New York, USA

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: From Elementary to Advanced, for academic purposes, literature in Yiddish and in translation, Yiddish translation classes - taught by a full- time lecturer and doctoral students.

Dates of Instruction: Since the beginning of the 20th century. The Atran Chair in Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture was established in 1952.

Department: Germanic Languages Department

Instructors: Agnieszka Legutko; Jeremy Dauber; graduate students

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Since fall 2020, Asya Schulman's In eynem. Since 2013, Lily Kahn's Colloquial Yiddish, with a custom made course packet, including newly designed exercises and activities, alongside exercises from other textbooks, Weinreich, Aptroot, Estraikh, Hoffman, etc.

Typical number of students per year: 25-30 across levels.

Other courses offered: Classes in Yiddish literature and culture (in translation) are offered on a regular basis by two full-time faculty members. Hebrew language and literature and Hebrew literature in translation are taught on a regular basis, through the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies Department. Additionally: Life Writing Yiddish Literature; Readings in Jewish Literature; Jewish Music in New York; Do You Read Jewish? From Yiddish, to Yinglish, to Yiddler in the US; Gender and Sexuality in Yiddish Literature.

Additional Notes: Columbia University scholars such as Uriel Weinreich, Mordkhe Schaechter, and Marvin Herzog were essential in establishing Yiddish studies in the USA.

---

Columbus, Ohio, USA

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner Yiddish.

Dates of Instruction: Yiddish courses were offered in the past, starting in 1978, and as recently as the late 2000s (with pauses since, and the courses were taught by different people - both tenured and contingent faculty, as well as graduate students). Yiddish language courses were reintroduced in Fall 2020 with plans to offer them in the future as well. There were recent instructional gaps in the past decade or so.

Department: Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures / Melton Center for Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Current: Meyer Weinshel. Past: Sonia Gollance.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: In eynem.

Typical number of students per year: 2-3.

Other courses offered: Before Spring 2021, courses offered in English included Yiddish literature in translation, Intro to Yiddish culture, Yiddish and the Holocaust, Yiddish Literature and Culture in America, etc. Hebrew is also offered in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Additional Notes: Meyer Weinshel says, “Yiddish became a part of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in the late nineties. Professor Dovid Miller z"l and Emeritus Professor Neil Jacobs led the program for years. Both had tenure, and represented the breadth and depth of Yiddish studies in their research and teaching (from linguistics and language pedagogy to literature). A Yiddish undergraduate minor was added by Professor Miller z"l in 1984, followed a few years later with an MA program, and then a PhD program in 1996… OSU's program has a long and vibrant history for US Yiddish studies -- located at a public institution in the Midwest that trained both undergraduate and graduate students.”

---

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

GRATZ COLLEGE

Yiddish classes offered: 1st and 2nd year Yiddish, Yiddish Reading for Researchers.

Dates of Instruction: 2019-present.

Department: Hebrew and Yiddish.

Instructors: Dr. Nina Warnke.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: In eynem and other materials.

Typical number of students per year: 5-6.

Other courses offered: Hebrew; some Jewish history & Holocaust related courses.

Additional Notes: The program was conceptualized as an online program prior to COVID. It is taught synchronously and is open to anyone interested in taking a college-level class.

---

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning Yiddish I; Beginning Yiddish II; Intermediate Yiddish I; Intermediate Yiddish II; Readings in Modern Yiddish Literature; Yiddish Literature and Culture in Eastern Europe

Dates of Instruction: 1993-Present.

Department: Jewish Studies

Instructors: Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein and Alexander Botwinik

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, Vol. 1 by Sheva Zucker

Typical number of students per year:

Other courses offered: Various literature and Jewish culture courses, Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Ladino.

Additional Notes: Available to students in the Quaker Consortium (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore.

---

Austin, Texas, USA

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

Yiddish classes offered: One year intensive Yiddish course. Two semesters, 6 hours a week.

Dates of Instruction: Offered since the 1980s; there have been gaps.

Department: Germanic studies.

Instructors: Itsik Gottesman taught 1991-2000, then others taught for a few years. Itsik Gottesman returned to UT in 2014. Previous teachers include Chris Hutton, Karen King, Nina Warnke among others. The Yiddish language program was started by Prof. Robert King and Prof. Stanley Werbow in the 1980s.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: Itsik Gottesman uses his own materials.

Typical number of students per year: 10.

Other courses offered: Itsik Gottesman teaches a Jewish immigration course, about the Lower East Side and a Jewish Folklore course. Hebrew is also taught.

---

Seattle, Washington, USA

SEATTLE CENTRAL COLLEGE

Yiddish classes offered: Currently: Yiddish 1, 3, and 4.

Dates of Instruction: 2019-present.

Department: Continuing Education.

Instructors: Sasha Berenstein and Marianne Tatom.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: In eynem.

Typical number of students per year: 4-5.

---

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

Yiddish classes offered: No.

Instructors: Yiddish scholars at UW-Madison include Professors Tony Michels and Sunny Yudkoff.

Additional Notes: UW–Madison offers a wide range of courses that engage with Yiddish literature, culture, and history, including such courses as: “Yiddish Literature and Culture in America”; “Jewish Literatures in Diaspora"; “The American Jewish Experience: From Shtetl to Suburb”; “Jewish Humor”; “Yiddish Song and the Jewish Experience”; and “Russia and the Jews: Literature, Culture, and Religion.”

NORTH AMERICA-CANADA


Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA

Yiddish classes offered: Level 1 every other year; Level 2 more irregularly. Level 2 offered in the coming academic year.

Dates of Instruction: 2011-present.

Department: Judaic Studies Program.

Instructors: Dr. Itay Zutra.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Sheva Zucker’s Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature, and Culture - A Textbook for Beginners, Vol. 1; Uriel Weinreich’s Modern English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary; and additional reading materials provided by the instructor.

Typical number of students per year: 12 during the 2020-2021 school year.

Other courses offered: Yiddish themed or topical courses offered every year. Movies, Music and Laughter: Yiddish Culture in North America; Love, Death and Afterlives: Yiddish Culture in pre-War II Eastern Europe; Tradition! Tradition! Yiddish Culture in North America; and Holocaust Literature; and Contemporary Israeli Culture. Hebrew is also offered.

---

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner 1 and 2.

Dates of Instruction: YDD 1901 and 1902 were offered from 2007-2017 in semester and intensive summer program formats.

Department: Modern Languages and Literatures.

Instructors: The instructor was Rebecca (Rivka) Margolis.

Languages of instruction: English and French.

Texts: Materials created by the instructor.

Typical number of students per year: 10-15.

Other courses offered: Yiddish literature and film.

Additional Notes: Rebecca Margolis founded the program when she arrived in 2006.

---

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners Yiddish and Intermediate Yiddish are offered every year, and every other year, there is third year Yiddish. There is also an advanced graduate seminar in Yiddish, offered every year for the past few years.

Dates of instruction: Yiddish courses have been consistently offered for the past 22 years, maybe longer.

Department: Germanic Languages and Literatures, cross-listed with Jewish studies.

Instructors: There is a named chair in Yiddish, who teaches a graduate seminar, contract faculty and Yiddish PhD students alternate teaching beginners and intermediate Yiddish. Director of Jewish studies: Dr. Anna Shternis.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: Since 2019, In eynem by Asya Shulman; before that, College Yiddish.

Typical number of students per year: Between 7-10 for beginners, 3-5 for intermediate, 3-8 for post-graduate.

Other courses offered: Modern Jewish History, Holocaust History, Holocaust in Literature (significant Yiddish component), Modern Jewish literature, Diaspora Studies, Hebrew. There are plans to launch Ladino classes.

---

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

YORK UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Elementary and once intermediate; occasionally; no plans to offer now but that can always change.

Dates of Instruction: 2004-16 with gaps.

Department: Department of Languages and Literatures

Instructors: Kalman Weiser, and occasionally contract faculty.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: U. Weinreich’s College Yiddish and S. Zucker’s Yiddish.

Typical number of students per year: 12-15.

Other courses offered: Kalman Weiser’s courses about Jewish history and antisemitism emphasize Eastern Europe. Weiser used to teach a course about Yiddish culture. York also offers biblical and modern Hebrew.

---

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

MCGILL UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.

Dates of Instruction: At least since the 1980s - maybe earlier.

Department: Department of Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Dr. Yuri Vedenyapin.

Languages of instruction: English and Hebrew.

Texts: Materials created by the instructor based on grammar, literature, music and dramatic performance.

Typical number of students per year: Approximately 30.

Other courses offered: Please see: https://www.mcgill.ca/jewishst...

Additional Notes: Ruth Wisse founded our department. Eugene Orenstein and Anna Gonshor taught Yiddish language and literature from the 1980s until the turn of the millennium.

SOUTH AMERICA


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF RIO DE JANEIRO

Yiddish classes offered: According to instructor Sonia Kramer,“We offer two levels Beginner 1 and Beginner 2 (Aprender Yiddish 1: língua, música, literatura; Aprender Yiddish 2: língua, música, literatura). Beginner 3 will be offered 2021-2022 and we hope to continue with other levels.”

Dates of Instruction: Yiddish language has been offered since March 2019.

Department: Department of Education in partnership with Institute of Languages Teaching.

Instructors: The courses are taught by Sonia Kramer (a PUC-Rio professor), Eliane Pszczol, and Gustavo Emos (invited for the Yiddish language courses). Yiddish teachers Léa Tabak and Mirian Garfinkel are invited to leyenkrayz, lectures, and performances.

Languages of instruction: English, French, German, Chinese, Spanish, and Italian.

Texts: Kramer explains, “We have been using Sheva Zucker´s textbook Yiddish: an introduction to the language, literature and culture (that has been translated into Portuguese in 2008, “Ídiche: uma introdução ao idioma, literatura e cultura”); and we have just bought Yiddish Book Center textbook In eynem. And we also use songs, videos etc.”

Typical number of students per year: Typically 15 to 20 students per course.

Other courses offered: Courses about Yiddish language history and culture were offered from 2017 to 2019. Now, “Conversação/Roda de Leitura (Shmues/Leyenkrayz) began in March.

Additional Notes: Kramer explains, “Sonia Kramer (that is me!) founded the Yiddish language program. My father had survived Auschwitz, and Yiddish was spoken by my parents and grandparents at home. Is has been my intention for many years to bring Yiddish to my academic professional life, which I could do in 2016 when we created Viver com Yiddish Group (Lebn far Yiddish) at PUC-Rio, where - besides the Yiddish language courses - we develop Yiddish workshops with children in a Jewish school, we have a research project and a musical group (named Viver com Yiddish). Now, these projects are institutionalized at PUC-Rio as Núcleo Viver com Yiddish, that is part of Instituto de Estudos Avançados em Humanidades/Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities.”

ISRAEL


Jerusalem, Israel

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

Yiddish classes offered: The Hebrew University offers an M.A. in Yiddish Studies, in cooperation with Tel-Aviv University. Student usually specialize in one of the following tracks:

Jewish Literature, Jewish History, Jewish Theater, Folklore. Yiddish language instruction is offered at three levels.

Department: The Yiddish Program is affiliated both with the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry as well as with the School of Literatures

Instructors: Ofer Dynes (Head of the Academic Program), Miriam Trinh, Diego Rotman, David Roskies , Chava Turnianski, Aya Elyada, Eli Lederhendler, Michael Lukin, Zehavit Shtern, Yaakov Hershkovits. Visiting Professors: Marcin Wódziński, Shachar Pinsker, Wojchiec Tworek.

Languages of instruction: Hebrew, Yiddish, English.

Other courses offered: In addition to the classes in Yiddish Literature, Eastern European Jewish History, and the Religious Experience in Yiddish offered through the Yiddish Program, the following classes are cross-listed with Yiddish Studies: Folklore: Eastern European Jewish Folklore. Musicology: Yiddish Folksongs from Eastern Europe, Hasidism and music. History: German and Yiddish, Yiddish in the German Lands, German-Hebrew-Yiddish, Theater: Yiddish Theater in Israel, Jewish Theater. Linguistics: Yiddish and Ladino: Comparative aspects, Introduction to Jewish Languages. Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry: Hasidism and Yiddish, Russian-Jewish History. Hebrew Literature: New Directions in the Study of Hebrew Literature.

The Yiddish Program collaborates with the following research centers: Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European History, The Center for Research on the History and Culture of Polish Jews, Jewish Music Research Center, The Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies.

---

Ramat Gan, Israel

BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Four levels.

Dates of Instruction: 35+ years.

Department: Department of Literature of the Jewish People.

Instructors: Vered Kopel.

Languages of instruction: Hebrew.

Texts: Different textbooks: College Yiddish, Yiddish with a Smile, and more.

Typical number of students per year: 100s.

Other courses offered: Many, including Ladino. BIU offers a number of Yiddish culture courses IN Yiddish. This year: Ber Kotlerman’s “Rare Midrash in Tsene-Rene,” and “Hasidism in Modern Yiddish Literature.”

---

Tel Aviv, Israel

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Tel Aviv University offers an M.A. in Yiddish Literature as a track within the Literature Department, and in cooperation with Hebrew University. Yiddish language instruction is offered at three levels (beginners, intermediate and advanced) throughout the academic year and during the summer.

Dates of Instruction: over 15 years

Department: The Goldreich Family Institute for Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture together with the Literature Department and Language Department

Instructors: Hannah Pollin-Galay, Academic Director; Daniel Birnbaum; VeraSzabo; Oren Roman; Zehavit Stern; Miriam Trinh; David Roskies; EliezerNiborski; Alexandra Polyan; Ya’ad Biran

Languages of instruction: Hebrew, Yiddish, occasionally English

Other courses offered: The Goldreich Institute is a hub of Yiddish studies, fostering advanced learning in different avenues: An MA Program in Yiddish literature, BA classes in Yiddish literature, courses in the film department, year-long language classes and an international summer program. Course topics span all periods of literary history and a variety of theoretical approaches. Beyond classroom learning, the Institute supports conferences and lectures throughout the year, as well as student-led creative writing and translation initiatives.

EUROPE


Vienna, Austria

UNIVERSITÄT WIEN (UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA)

Yiddish classes offered: Sub-department is new. From now on we will offer Yiddish courses each semester. Will eventually offer Yiddish I, II, and III.

Dates of Instruction: Started in October 2020.

Department: The Department of European and Comparative Literature and Language Studies (EVSL).

Instructors: Andrea Fiedermutz.

Languages of instruction: German and English.

Texts: Weinreich and others.

Typical number of students per year: Last semester: 45-50

Other courses offered: Astrid Lembke teaches 4 courses each semester on Yiddish literature and culture. One of our neighbouring departments is the Department of Jewish Studies.

Additional Notes: We are the first sub-department to ever teach Yiddish literature, language, and culture at the University of Vienna.

---

Antwerp, Belgium

UNIVERSITY OF ANTWERP

Yiddish classes offered: Yiddish language level 1 (beginners level) and Yiddish language level 2 (advanced level).

Dates of Instruction: Continuously since the academic year 2001-2002.

Department: Institute of Jewish Studies, Linguistics and Literature Department.

Instructors: Ir. Paul Gybels.

Languages of instruction: Dutch.

Texts: Kahn, Lily; Gybels, Paul: “Shmuesdik Yidish. Der fulshtendiker kurs far onheybers. Baarbet far Niderlendish-redndike studentn”, Antwerp, Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Antwerp, 2019.

Typical number of students per year: 10.

Other courses offered: Modern Hebrew, Introduction to Jewish Culture, and Judaism and Philosophy.

Additional Notes: Paul Gybels describes Yiddish Level 1: “Because the Yiddish language is written in the Hebrew alphabet, which is being taught and practiced at the beginning of the course, the first semester is dedicated to reading proficiency, using simple texts and short fragments from Yiddish literature (mainly poetry).

Gybels describes Yiddish Level 2: “At the second level, the students further expand their knowledge of Yiddish grammar, vocabulary and the characteristic way of expressing oneself in Yiddish (idioms), by reading literary texts, plain newspaper articles and through specific exercises. Every effort is made to provide the students with the necessary skills so that they are able to read, write and speak Yiddish fluently.”

---

Brussels, Belgium

UNIVERSITÉ LIBRE DE BRUXELLES (FREE UNIVERSITY OF BRUSSELS)

Yiddish classes offered: 4 levels, from beginners to advanced (Yiddish Literature).

Dates of Instruction: Continuously since 1974.

Department: Institute for Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Prof. Sonia Dratwa-Pinkusowitz instructs all the courses and is programme director of the summer seminars. Prof. Yitskhok Niborski taught fortnightly until Prof. Dratwa-PInkusowitz’s arrival in Brussels in 1988.

Languages of instruction: French.

Texts: Weinreich’s College Yiddish; Zucker’s Yiddish Vol. I and II; various textbooks compiled by the Maison de la culture Yiddish; and Yiddish literature from a variety of sources, depending on the topic to be discussed.

Other courses offered: Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, and Aramaic.

Additional Notes: Intensive summer program is held every 3 years rotating with the centers in Paris and Berlin.

---

Paris, France

INALCO PARIS

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner to Intermediate level (2-years curriculum).

Dates of Instruction: 1974-present.

Department: Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Arnaud Bikard is the associate professor of Yiddish language and culture. Yitskhok Niborski taught at Inalco for more than 20 years.

Language of instruction: French.

Texts: Yitskhok Niborski’s textbook designed for French students (24 lessons). Never published.

Typical number of students per year: 10-20.

Other courses offered: INALCO offers several courses of Ashkenazi Jewish History, courses of Judeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic, and many courses of Hebrew.

---

Paris, France

SORBONNE PARIS IV

Yiddish classes offered: 3, each with two hours of class per week

Dates of instruction: Since 1998

Department: Department of German and Scandinavian languages

Instructors: Delphine Bechtel and Valentina Fedchenko (previously Natalia Krynicka).

Languages of instruction: French, some English

Texts: College Yiddish, Manuel du Yiddish de Yitskhok Niborski.

Typical number of students per year: Twenty

Other courses offered: Yiddish culture and literature is taught as a part of the language course. There is a department of Hebrew language where Hebrew is taught, but the two departments are not connected to each other.

---

Berlin, Germany

TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners courses and conversation classes.

Dates of Instruction: Since 1997 each semester with no gaps. 1990-2000, Arnold Groh gave beginners’ courses at community colleges.

Department: Allgemeine Linguistik.

Instructors: Arnold Groh.

Languages of instruction: German.

Texts: Groh writes, “We read Manger and Peretz; students are recommended to read Jiddisch Wort für Wort beforehand, to use Birnbaum’s Grammatik der Jiddischen Sprache, as well as various dictionaries.”

Typical number of students per year: Groh explains, “During the current online classes between 10 and 20; before it was less. In the 1990s, we had many native speakers from the former USSR in the conversation classes, more than actual students.”

Other courses offered: Not at TU Berlin, but some at other institutions in and near Berlin.

Additional Notes: Groh describes the beginnings of the Yiddish class: “A colleague from the Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung and I started the Jiddischkreis with Holocaust survivors in 1997. After one semester, she did not want to continue because the participants laughed and sang too much. I said, this is part of the culture, and continued. Please also see <https://s-a-c-s.net/yiddish/>.”

---

Düsseldorf, Germany

HEINRICH HEINE UNIVERSITY DÜSSELDORF

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners’ Yiddish, Intermediate Yiddish, Advanced Yiddish, seminars using Yiddish sources building on the knowledge acquired in the language classes.

Dates of Instruction: They have been offered continuously since October 1996 and will be offered in the future.

Department: Department of Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Courses are taught by Marion Aptroot, Jasmina Huber and others.

Languages of instruction: German, occasionally English.

Texts: Marion Aptroot/Holger Nath, Einführung in die jiddische Sprache und Kultur and additional primary texts.

Typical number of students per year: Beginners:15-20, Intermediate/Advanced: 5.

Other courses offered: Lectures and seminars on different aspects of Yiddish language, culture and literature are offered. In the MA in Yiddish Studies, one of the three modules, which each consist of three seminars, is devoted to Yiddish Linguistics. In the MA reading Older Yiddish (Old and especially Middle Yiddish) is taught. Hebrew is taught in the department (Biblical, Rabbinic, Modern Hebrew).

Additional Notes: The Yiddish language program was founded in 1996 when a Chair in Yiddish studies was created by the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. Marion Aptroot was appointed professor of Yiddish Studies and has been teaching there since. 1996–2001 Holger Nath (now University of Regensburg), 2001–2010 Roland Gruschka (now Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg), 2010– Efrat Gal-Ed have held the second faculty position in Yiddish Studies. Jasmina Huber has regularly taught courses since 2008.

---

Heidelberg, Germany

HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning Yiddish, Intermediate Yiddish, and Yiddish III.

Dates of Instruction: At least 1960s-1970s, with gaps, and 2010-present.

Department: Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Prof. Dr. Roland Gruschka.

Languages of instruction: German (English upon request).

Texts: College Yiddish and Sheva Zucker’s Yiddish volumes.

Other courses offered: The Department of Jewish Studies offers classes in Jewish history and culture, as well as Hebrew classes. Recent offerings in Yiddish culture include: “Introduction to Yiddish Language and Culture,” “Yiddish Newspapers and Journals: a Reading Course,” “Yiddishism and Yiddish Culture,” “Modern Yiddish Plays,” “Yiddish Literature and Culture in the Soviet Union,” and many courses focusing on specific writers, such as Sholem Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, and Dovid Bergelson. Related topics are sometimes covered in classes in the Slavic Institute and the Department of History.

Additional Notes: In the 1960s and 1970s, students in the Department of Theology could take Yiddish courses with Max Meyer Sprecher.

---

Potsdam, Germany

UNIVERSITY OF POTSDAM

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners and Intermediate.

Dates of Instruction: At least 10 years so far, with no gaps.

Department: Department of Jewish Studies and Religion Studies.

Instructors: Liya Martyn, PhD.

Language of instruction: German.

Other courses offered: Hebrew, Polish, and Russian.

---

Regensburg, Germany

THE UNIVERSITY OF REGENSBURG

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Dates of Instruction: 2005-present.

Department: Slavic Department.

Instructors: Hanan-Michael Bordin and Holger Nath.

Languages of instruction: Yiddish, English, German, and Russian.

Texts: Uriel Weinreich’s College Yiddish; Hanan Bordin’s ‘Vort ba vort’ and ‘Mit vort un maysim;’ and Holger Nath’s and Marion Aptroot’s “Einführung in die jiddische Sprache und Kultur.”

Typical number of students per year: 5-12 students.

Other courses offered: Hebrew for Beginners and Intermediate, Yiddish Literature in translation.

Additional Notes: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Gelhard founded Yiddish language program in 2005. Prof. Dr. Sabine Koller has supported the Yiddish language and culture program since 2015; she founded Hebrew language program in 2018.

---

Trier, Germany

UNIVERSITY OF TRIER

Yiddish classes offered: Yiddish I / II, Yiddish III / IV, Aspects of the Yiddish language history: Yiddish prose around 1600 - all about the Maisse book, Introduction to Yiddish in contrast to German, Older Yiddish translations, Modern Yiddish

Dates of Instruction:

Department: German studies

Instructors: Simon Neuberg; Suse Bauschmid

Languages of instruction: German

---

Budapest, Hungary

CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Yiddish Beginner I, Yiddish Beginner II, Yiddish Intermediate II

Department: Jewish Studies

Instructors: Szonja Komoróczy

---

Bari, Italy

UNIVERSITY OF BARI

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning. The instructor explains, “It is a course of history, culture and traditions of the Yiddish speaking people held in Italian. Yiddish is taught at an absolute beginners level.”

Dates of Instruction: 13 years, no gaps.

Department: Foreign Languages and Humanistic History.

Instructors: Marisa Ines Romano.

Languages of instruction: English, German, and various Eastern European languages.

Texts: Romano says, “The Italian translation (I’m the translator and editor of the Italian edition) of Sheva Zucker’s “Yiddish” (book 1).”

Typical number of students per year: Between 50 and 100.

Other courses offered: None.

Additional Notes: The Yiddish course at Bari University is the oldest and only existing Yiddish course in southern Italy and was founded by Marisa Ines Romano.

---

Kraków, Poland

JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: According to Marek Tuszewicki, “We teach Yiddish on every level, starting with the very beginners and finishing with translation groups for the students of the 4th year. Our teachers received their Yiddish knowledge mostly in the Institute itself, as well as during intensive summer courses around the world.”

Dates of Instruction: 2000-present, but before 2000 Yiddish language courses were also provided on a limited basis.

Department: Institute of Jewish Studies, Faculty of History.

Instructors: Prof. Magdalena Ruta, Dr Anna Jakimyszyn-Gadocha, Dr Marek Tuszewicki, Karolina Koprowska, and Krzysztof Niweliński.

Languages of instruction: Polish. English is sometimes used to help international students (such as Erasmus and program visitors).

Texts: Tuszewicki uses a variety of books during the first four semesters, including Intensive Yiddish, Colloquial Yiddish, and the Polish language textbook prepared by Prof. Magdalena Sitarz. Later, more advanced textbooks or Yiddish literature are utilized, particularly for translation.

Typical number of students per year: About 80 students in the Institute, but groups vary from 5 to 20.

Other courses offered: “The program in Jewish Studies (judaistyka) is focused on the history and culture of the Ashkenazi diaspora, esp. in Eastern Europe,” explains Marek Tuszewicki.

Additional Notes: Further, “The program in Kraków was founded by the renowned Yiddish scholar, Prof. Chone Shmeruk, who personally encouraged the Jagiellonian University to create a research center - and later a program - devoted to the Jewish part of Polish heritage.”

---

Warsaw, Poland

UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW

Yiddish classes offered: Elementary, Advanced, and Translation of Historical Sources.

Dates of Instruction: 1990s-present.

Department: Department of History.

Instructors: Dr. Magdalena Kozłowska and Dr. Monika Polit.

Languages of instruction: Polish.

Texts: College Yiddish for lower levels; for higher levels: historical sources, poetry, short stories, archival and handwritten materials (letters, testimonies, diaries).

Typical number of students per year: 5-15.

Other courses offered: Courses on Jewish history and literature; Hebrew; on Yiddish literature and culture, Yiddish geography, and literary translation.

Additional Notes: Professor Jerzy Tomaszewski founded the program in the 1990s. Professor Ewa Geller and Dr. Jacob Weitzner previously taught Yiddish.

---

Wrocław, Poland

UNIVERSITY OF WROCŁAW

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners to advanced.

Dates of Instruction: For the past 18 years, with no gaps.

Department: Taube Department of Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Karolina Szymaniak and others.

Languages of instruction: The main language of instruction is Polish. Some courses are taught in English. There are occasional lectures in Hebrew.

Texts: Depends on the teacher (Sheva Zucker, Hanan Bordin, Gennady Estraikh, Leye Skiba, Dvoyre Kosman, Uriel Weinreich, Mordkhe Schaechter, etc.); on more advanced levels teachers work with their own materials, press texts, literary texts, archival materials that correspond to students’ needs, research topics and future plans.

Typical number of students per year: Undergraduate beginners, 20-25, and later about 15. MA level, about 5.

Other courses offered: According to Karolina Szymaniak, “The core curriculum contains many courses in Jewish history and culture (including several courses on Jewish history in East Central Europe, Jewish diasporas, theory and practice of translation, etc.) Those more specifically related to Yiddish include: Introduction to Yiddish literature, Modern Yiddish literature, Yiddish-Polish translation, Jewish languages, documents and literatures in education; BA and MA seminars in Yiddish literature and culture.”

Additional Notes: The history of the program is described on the website: http://judaistyka.en.uni.wroc.pl/department-of-jewish-studies/history/ Szymaniak writes, “Initially, all Yiddish-related course were taught by Prof. Joanna Lisek who co-founded the program. Now, there is a whole team of teachers managed currently by Karolina Szymaniak. Besides Yiddish, we teach Hebrew (both biblical and contemporary) and Ladino. In the nearest future, we are planning to open a program in English, that will also include, as the Polish one does, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino.”

---

Lund, Sweden

LUND UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: From beginners to advanced and courses on Yiddish literature and culture.

Dates of Instruction: 2008-present.

Department: Centre of Languages and Literatures.

Instructors: Jan Schwarz since 2011. Dr. Salomon Schulman taught Yiddish 2008-2012.

Languages of instruction: English and Swedish.

Texts: Sheva Zucker’s Yiddish and In eynem.

Typical number of students per year: 20-25.

Other courses offered: Modern and biblical Hebrew are taught as well as courses in Jewish history and literature in translation.

---

Kyiv, Ukraine

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF KYIV-MOHYLA ACADEMY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginner and intermediate.

Dates of Instruction: 2012-present.

Department: The History Department, the Master Program in Jewish Studies, the Certificate Program in Jewish Studies.

Instructors: Asia Fruman teaches in the Certificate Program, and Sophia Korn teaches in the Master Program.

Languages of instruction: Ukrainian and English.

Texts: Yiddish: Introduction to Language, Literature, and Culture by Sheva Zucker; College Yiddish by Uriel Weinreich; Intensive Yiddish by Gennady Estraykh; and Colloquial Yiddish by Lily Kahn.

Typical number of students per year: 4-5 groups of 5-12 students.

Other courses offered: There are several Hebrew and history courses taught. Some guest instructors teach courses in Yiddish literature.

Additional Notes: Previously, the courses in the Certificate Program were taught by Oleksandra Uralova, and the courses in the Master Program were taught by Tetiana Batanova.

---

Lviv, Ukraine

UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: Beginners and Intermediate.

Dates of Instruction: 2015-present.

Department: Humanitarian department - History specialization - Jewish Studies program.

Instructors: Oksana Sikorska.

Languages of instruction: Intermediate - only Yiddish, Beginners - Ukrainian and Yiddish.

Texts: A self-made curriculum based on different Yiddish textbooks.

Typical number of students per year: Beginners, 8-10. Intermediate, 3-4.

Other courses offered: At the Jewish Studies Program, there is also a course on Modern Hebrew. There are also courses on Jewish history in East-Central Europe each semester.

Additional Notes: Oksana Sikorska explains, “The need to study Yiddish at the Faculty of History has been around for a long time, but there were no teachers in Lviv. In 2015 the university invited a Yiddish teacher from Kharkiv. The teacher taught here until 2018.”

---

London, England, United Kingdom

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Yiddish classes offered: Elementary, Lower Intermediate, Higher Intermediate, Advanced); each is a year-long course.

Dates of instruction: Since the 1960s/1970s, every year.

Department: Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies.

Instructors: The courses are taught by a full-time Yiddish lecturer and a part-time Teaching Fellow. Beginners - Dr Sima Beeri, Intermediate - Dr Simo Muir. Previous Yiddish lecturers at UCL include Hugh Denman and Helen (Khayele) Beer. In February, Sonia Gollance was appointed Lecturer in Yiddish.

Language of instruction: English.

Texts: Colloquial Yiddish and Sheva Zucker’s Yiddish I and II.

Typical number of students per year: Around 5-10 per level; approximately 15 in total.

Other courses offered: Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Akkadian, and Syriac, Sumerian, Ugaritic; there are also courses on aspects of Ashkenazi history, such as Yiddish literature and culture. Ladino used to be offered.

---

Oxford, England, United Kingdom

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Yiddish classes offered: Beruriah Wiegand explains, “I am teaching intensive Yiddish courses on the M.St. (Master of Studies) in Jewish Studies on all levels (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced), if required. I typically teach one level per academic year - 5 hours a week, 8 weeks a term, 3 terms a year. Very occasionally, I have to teach two levels in one academic year. I also teach public Yiddish classes, which are open to all Oxford University students and members of the public, for the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (OCHJS). These classes are offered once a week on two levels, Beginners and Intermediate / Advanced. In addition to this, I also teach tutorial courses on Modern Yiddish Literature for the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, if required. Students on the M.St. in Yiddish at Modern Languages have to take my course on Modern Yiddish Literature for one term, and undergraduate students in Modern Languages have the option to do a similar tutorial course on Modern Yiddish Literature with me for one term as their special subject. All Yiddish language and literature courses at Oxford are taught by myself, Dr. Beruriah Wiegand, Woolf Corob Lector in Yiddish, University of Oxford. But there is also Dr. Kerstin Hoge at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, who coordinates the M.St. in Yiddish and teaches tutorial courses on Yiddish Linguistics, if required.”

Dates of Instruction: Beruriah Wiegand has been the Lector in Yiddish at Oxford since October 2007, but there has been Yiddish at Oxford for many years before that.

Department: Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Oriental Studies; Medieval and Modern Languages.

Instructors: Beruriah Wiegand.

Languages of instruction: English.

Texts: Zucker’s Yiddish Vol. I and II; select intermediate and advanced Yiddish literary texts.

Typical number of students per year: According to Wiegand, “This varies greatly from year to year. Usually, I teach one or two students on the M.St. in Jewish Studies. Currently, I also have one student on the M.St. in Yiddish. I also have 7 regular students in my public Yiddish beginners’ class and 8 regular students in my public Yiddish advanced class.”

Other courses offered: Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, Modern Jewish History, Holocaust Studies, Modern Hebrew Literature and Jewish Literature in Translation.

Additional Notes: “Yiddish has been taught at Oxford for many years. Previous lecturers in Yiddish have included Prof. Dovid Katz, who also founded the (now defunct) Oxford Institute of Yiddish Studies, Prof. Dov-Ber Kerler, Dr. Gennady Estraikh, Dr. Mikhail Krutikov and Dr. Joseph Sherman z”l. My predecessor as Lector in Yiddish at the OCHJS was Dr. Kerstin Hoge,” writes Wiegand.

ASIA AND OCEANIA


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

MONASH UNIVERSITY

Yiddish classes offered: According to Hinde Burstin,“the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation will run a monthly series of intensive Yiddish research seminars in 2021. These will be targeted to students pursuing studies related to Yiddish, and will also be open to Yiddish teachers and to the broader community. Topics covered will range from Yiddish research skills, pedagogical approaches and methods for teaching Yiddish, and queer Yidishkayt.”

Dates of Instruction: For-credit, 2003-2019. Since minimum class sizes were introduced, classes are offered but not for credit.

Department: The Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

Instructors: Currently, Rivka Margolis. The courses were first taught by Danielle Charak, and then by Bobbi Zylberman and Hinde Ena Burstin.

Languages of instruction: Mostly in Yiddish, with minimal use of English.

Texts: According to Hinde Burstin,“Instructors mostly created their own curricula and teaching materials, focusing on Yiddish as a living language and culture, within a city where Yiddish is still a vernacular. Sheva Zucker’s Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture, books 1 and 2, Lily Kahn’s Colloquial Yiddish: The Complete Course for Beginners, and parts of Dovid Katz, Grammar of the Yiddish Language, as well as many excerpts of published Yiddish literature were used to supplement the instructors’ materials.. From 2011, we ran monthly Yiddish research seminars, open to the broader community and presented and conducted entirely in Yiddish.”

Typical number of students per year: “We used to have 2-3, but now have bigger groups for non-credit activities, rather than [being limited by] quantity [of students]. The intimate nature of some of our classes accelerated students’ learning.

Additional Notes: The Yiddish language program was founded and supported by a committee of Yiddishists in Melbourne… The quality of their teaching and contribution to university education was recognised when Hinde Ena Burstin was awarded a Faculty Citation for outstanding contribution to student learning. Additionally, according to Hinde Burstin, “Today, our graduates hold leading positions in many of Yiddish organisations, including Director of Jewish Studies and LOTE at Sholem Aleichem College, Melbourne; Director of Informal Jewish Education at Sholem Aleichem College, Melbourne; Director of Studies, Sholem Aleichem College Community Education Centre, Melbourne; Yiddish coordinator at Sholem Aleichem College Pre-school; Yiddish Language Coordinator, Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre, Melbourne; Artistic Director of Kadimah Yiddish Theatre (co-director); Program (me) Director, Yiddishkayt (LA); producer of video series Half-Baked Bund History, and many teachers, actors, activists, chorists and committee members of Yiddish organisations. Yiddish life in Melbourne and beyond is greatly enhanced by the contribution and commitment of our graduates.”

---

Tokyo, Japan

TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN STUDIES

Yiddish classes offered: Beginning Yiddish.

Dates of Instruction: Spring 2016-present.

Department: School of Language and Culture Studies and School of International and Area Studies.

Instructors: Satoko Kamoshida.

Languages of instruction: Mainly in Japanese, but sometimes the instructor also reads and refers to English and sometimes German because many students are from German studies.

Texts: Some teaching materials made by the instructor, who also uses College Yiddish and Colloquial Yiddish.

Typical number of students per year: 20-30.

Other courses offered: Hebrew.

MLA STYLE
Biskowitz, Sarah, and Hannah Mills. “Roundup of Universities Teaching Yiddish Across the World.” In geveb, June 2021: https://ingeveb.org/pedagogy/roundup-of-universities-teaching-yiddish-across-the-world.
CHICAGO STYLE
Biskowitz, Sarah, and Hannah Mills. “Roundup of Universities Teaching Yiddish Across the World.” In geveb (June 2021): Accessed Sep 28, 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sarah Biskowitz

Sarah Biskowitz is the 2021-2022 Richard S. Herman fellow at the Yiddish Book Center.

Hannah Mills

Hannah Mills is currently writing a thesis in the Indiana University Jewish Studies Master’s Program.