Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2017

Jessica Kirzane

Are you thinking about studying Yiddish this summer? We’ve gathered information about the best summer Yiddish programs around the globe to help you decide where to go.


Ottawa Yiddish Summer Institute

Dates: May 1 - June 16
Application Deadline: There are no applications required, registration is first come, first served.
Cost: Canadian residents/citizens: 1318.81 USD (1,770.88 CAD, 933.55 EUR), non-Canadian residents/citizens: 4614.79 USD (6,197.20 CAD, 3266.70 EUR) includes six college credits. Students may choose to register for only half the program, which costs 659.35 USD (885.44 CAD, 466.74 EUR) for Canadian students, and 2307.39 USD (3098.60 CAD, 1633.34) for international students.
Housing: Students must make their own housing arrangements. Student housing is available at the University of Ottawa campus at additional cost.
Levels: One level, Introduction to Yiddish Language and Culture. The six-week course covers a full year of introductory Yiddish.
Cultural Component: Once-a-week afternoon culture class includes study of film, theater, literature, guest speakers and performers, field trips.



International Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture (Warsaw, Poland)

Dates: July 3-21.
Application Deadline: TBD.
Cost: Three-week program: 800 USD (1074.32 CAD, 680 EUR); for students 500 USD (671.45 CAD, 440 EUR); cultural program only 500 USD (671.45 CAD, 440 EUR). Two-week program: 550 USD (738.59 CAD, 480 EUR); for students 350 USD (470.01 CAD, 300 EUR); cultural program only 350 USD (470.01 CAD, 300 EUR). Scholarships available.
Housing: Not included, dorm accommodations possible.
Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: Lectures, film evenings, and some workshops, as well as guided tours of Jewish sites in Warsaw and visits to the Jewish Historical Institute, other venues and museums, Shabbat dinners.


Program in Yiddish Language and Literature, Vilnius Yiddish Institute (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Dates: July 17-August 11.
Application Deadline: rolling; scholarship deadline TBD.
Cost: 1372.09 USD (1842.58 CAD, 1310 EUR) (limited scholarship aid available).
Housing: Not included, the program assists with finding housing through a rental agent or through the dormitory.
Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural component: Film screenings, tours, and concerts.


Yiddish Summer Weimar (Weimar, Germany)

Dates: July 15-August 12 (three one-week courses). Courses of particular Yiddish language interest include a workshop on badkhones with Mendy Cahan from July 30 - Aug 1 and afive day Yiddish Storytelling Workshop with Yuri Vedenyapin from Aug 7 to Aug 11.
Application Deadline: no deadline, but workshops fill quickly. Scholarship deadline is April 1.
Cost: 75/60 euros 78.55 USD (105.48 CAD, 75 EUR) per day ; reduced rate of 62.84 USD (84.39 CAD, 60 EUR) per day; after the fourth day rate declines to 62.84 USD (84.39 CAD, 60 EUR) per day; after the seventh day rate further declines to 58.19 USD (81.63 CAD, 55 EUR);reduced rate of 47.13 USD (63.29 CAD, 45 EUR). Scholarships available. Early bird deadline of April 1 gives a reduction of 21.6 USD (28.06 CAD, 20 EUR).
Housing: Not included, registrants receive 10% off at a local hostel.
Levels: Three levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: Part of a larger cultural program including music and dance workshops, with frequent evening jam sessions.


Summer Yiddish Seminar (Brussels, Belgium)

Dates: July 17-28.
Application Deadline: June 15, scholarship deadline February 28.
Cost: 502.75 USD (675.14 CAD, 480 EUR); 366.59 USD (492.29 CAD, 350EUR) for students.
Housing: Not included, a list of hotels/apartments will be sent on request.
Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: Singing and recitation workshops, lectures, films, visits to Jewish sites.


Ot Azoy Yiddish Crash Course, London

Dates: August 6-11
Application Deadline: No deadline. Early bird discount ends June 1.
Cost: Full rate 307.29 USD (412.66 CAD, 293.38 EUR, 250 GBP); early bird rate 288.85 USD (387.90 CAD, 275.78 EUR, 235 GBP), returnees get an additional discount of 12.29 USD (16.50 CAD, 11.73 EUR, 10 GBP); Student/senior rate 215.10 USD (288.86 CAD, 205.37 EUR, 175 GBP); early bird student/senior rate 184.37 USD (247.59 CAD, 176.03 EUR, 150 GBP).
Housing: Not included, but the program will help students find accommodation.
Levels: Five levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: Part of a larger program with courses on Yiddish song, culture and dance that run simultaneously.


Summer Program in Yiddish Language and Literature in Berlin

Dates: August 14 - September 1
Application Deadline: TBD
Cost: Full rate 721.94 USD (948.86 CAD, 680 EUR); student rate 509.61 USD (669.78 CAD, 480 EUR); scholarships available.
Housing: Not included.
Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: afternoon program includes music, theater, and cooking workshops, guided tours, and films.



Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Dates: July 2-27
Application Deadline: May 1; March 1 for scholarships.
Cost: 1450 USD (1947.20 CAD, 1384.38 EUR), scholarship aid available; registration fee 60 USD (80.57 CAD, 57.28 EUR).
Housing: 800 dollars for double occupancy (optional).
Levels: Five levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: Lectures, workshops, and conversation classes in the afternoons.


United States

Helix Project program for artists and cultural producers (online; Los Angeles, California, USA; and Eastern Europe)

Dates: July 7-25
Application Deadline: February 28, anyone working at the professional level in any creative medium (including literature and translation) is welcome to apply.
Cost: This is a pay-what-you-can program. There is a minimum 2000 USD (2685.80 CAD, 1909.49 EUR) contribution toward programmatic expenses, but participants usually contribute more than this depending on their school, institutional, and communal support. Financial aid is negotiated after acceptance.
Housing: Housing and board, European ground travel, and flights in and out of Europe are included.
Levels: A beginner digital course and an intermediate conversation/literature analysis discussion group. While traveling all content is available in English translation and participants will work with Yiddish texts as much as possible. Helix also offers basics in Slavic languages as part of the travel preparation.
Cultural Component: The Helix Project is less a language program than a cultural program; participants learn about the history, literature, and folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe in situ. This year the group travels to Belarus and northeastern Poland.


Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

Dates: June 4-July 21
Application Deadline: February 6
Cost: 1,400 USD (1880.06 CAD, 1336.64 EUR); Intermediate students may do an internship and have this waived, as well as receive a stipend; cost includes college credit. Financial aid is available.
Housing: Included.
Levels: Introductory and intermediate.
Cultural component: A field trip to New York City and Yidstock, the Yiddish Book Center’s annual Yiddish cultural festival.
Other: Open to ages 18-28, college and graduate students.


Uriel Weinreich Summer Program (New York, New York, USA)

Dates: June 26-August 4.
Application Deadline: April 3, financial aid and international student deadline is February 24.
Cost: 6,000 USD (8057.40 CAD, 5728.47 EUR); scholarships are available; cost includes college credit.
Housing: Not included.
Levels: Four levels, elementary-advanced.
Cultural Component: Conversation and culture classes in the afternoons, and a zingeray.

The Workmen’s Circle Trip to Yiddishland (Hopewell Junction, NY, USA)

Dates: August 14-20
Application Deadline: Rolling.
Cost: ranges from 300 USD to 1,300 USD, depending on room selection; cost includes meals.
Housing: Included (pricing variation reflects the variety of rooming options, from dormitories to private lakefront residences).
Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.
Cultural Component: daily dance and klezmer instruction, theater and music workshops, lectures in English about Yiddish literature and culture, evening concerts and entertainment, children’s program.


Yiddish Farm (Goshen, New York, USA)

Dates: Yiddish Farm Summer Program June 12-July 23; Yiddish II (Intermediate/Advanced Level) July 10-23; Master’s Yiddish (Yiddish III) July 24- 31.
Application Deadline: Rolling.
Cost: 3,999 USD (5370.26 CAD, 3818.03 EUR); financial aid available; cost includes meals.
Housing: Included.
Levels: Beginning and upwards (intensive program).
Cultural Component: Students also work on the farm. All food is kosher and shabes is observed; davening is Orthodox.

Kirzane, Jessica. “Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2017.” In geveb, January 2017:
Kirzane, Jessica. “Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2017.” In geveb (January 2017): Accessed May 09, 2021.


Jessica Kirzane

Jessica Kirzane is a Lecturer in Yiddish at the University of Chicago. She holds a PhD in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University. Jessica is the Editor-in-Chief for In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.