Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2019

Miranda Cooper


Look­ing to improve your Yid­dish this sum­mer? There are options all over the world, from tra­di­tion­al class­room-based pro­grams to music fes­ti­vals, and every­thing in between – and we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. If you’d like to sug­gest an addi­tion or cor­rec­tion to this list, please con­tact us.




Unit­ed States

Infor­mal Learn­ing Opportunities/​Retreats

Music and Cul­ture Fes­ti­vals and Learn­ing Opportunities



Jacob Kronhill Program in Yiddish Language and Culture Yiddish Winter Intensive at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)

[email protected], [email protected]

Dates: July 8-26 (exact dates TBD, depending on Yiddish level)

Application Deadline: July 1, June 1 for international and cross-institutional students

Cost: Australian citizens/residents: 3062 AUD; International Students: 3937.50 AUD (2830 USD, 2475 EUR)

Housing: Not included; dorm accommodations possible.

Levels: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced

Cultural Component: Intensive exploration of Yiddish literature (in Yiddish and in translation); study of Yiddish culture, theater and film; Yiddish theater workshops; participation in Yiddish community events and activities in Melbourne’s vibrant, unique Yiddish community.


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

Dates: July 1-19

Application Deadline: May 31

Cost: Three-week program: 800 USD (1037.63 CAD, 680 EUR); for students 500 USD (665 CAD, 440 EUR); cultural program only 500 USD (665 CAD, 440 EUR). Two-week program: 550 USD (730 CAD, 480 EUR); for students 350 USD (460 CAD, 300 EUR); cultural program only 350 USD (460 CAD, 300 EUR). Scholarships available. (Canadian costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: Not included; dorm accommodations possible.

Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced

Cultural Component: Lectures, film evenings, workshops, guided tours of Jewish sites in Warsaw and visits to the Jewish Historical Institute and other venues and museums, Shabbat dinners.

Read More About It: Katarzyna Markusz, “Yiddish comes alive in Warsaw every summer,” JTA (July 14, 2017); Kendra Berry, “Using Yiddish to fight the ‘othering’ of Jews in Poland,” University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, 2018.

Yiddish Summer Weimar (Weimar, Germany)

Dates: July 11-August 18 (four one-week courses).

Application Deadline: TBD

Cost: 87 USD (115 CAD, 75 EUR) per day ; reduced rate (for those who cannot afford the standard rate) of 69 USD (91.50 CAD, 60 EUR) per day; after the fourth day rate declines to 69 USD (91.50 CAD, 60 EUR) per day; reduced rate of 52 USD (69 CAD, 45 EUR). Scholarships available. (US and Canadian costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: Not included. Registrants receive 10% off at a local hostel.

Levels: Four levels, beginning to advanced.

Cultural Component: Part of a larger cultural program including music and dance workshops, with frequent evening jam sessions.

Read More About It: Itzik Gottesman, “Ten Years of Yiddish Summer Weimar,” Forward, August 18, 2010; Henry Bernhard, “”Yiddish Summer” in Weimar: Klezmer und jiddische Kultur,” Deutschlandfunk, 2016; Yael Breuer, “Leading Yiddish festival reveals ‘unseen diasporas.’Jewish News Online, July 13, 2017.

Summer Program for Yiddish Language and Literature in Berlin (Berlin, Germany)

Dates: August 12-30

Application Deadline: TBD

Cost: 680 EUR (775.45 USD, 1,027.05 CAD), 480 EUR (547.37 USD, 724.98 CAD) for students. Scholarships available, priority given to students under 30. (US and Canadian costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: Not included. A list of hotels/apartments will be sent on request.

Levels: Five levels, beginner to high advanced, as well as a pedagogical seminar for Yiddish teachers.

Cultural Component: Singing, theater, conversation, and cooking workshops; guided tours; lectures; film screenings.

Read More About It: Read Ekaterina Kuznetsova’s reflections in In geveb here.

Ot Azoy (London, UK)

Dates: August 18-23

Application Deadline: No deadline. Early bird discount ends June 1

Cost: Full rate 320 USD (422.89 CAD, 277.18 EUR, 250 GBP); early bird rate 287.93 USD (380.63 CAD, 249.46 EUR, 225 GBP); Student/senior rate 223.91 USD (296.03 CAD, 194.03 EUR, 175 GBP); early bird student/senior rate 191.92 USD (253.74 CAD, 166.23 EUR, 150 GBP). (US, European, and Canadian costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: Not included. Discounted housing offered at the University of London.

Levels: Five levels, beginning to advanced.

Cultural Component: Part of a larger program with courses on Yiddish song, culture, and dance that run simultaneously.


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

Dates: June 30-July 25

Application Deadline: May 1

Cost: 1450 USD (1916.61 CAD, 1256.06 EUR), scholarship aid available to all full time students (500 USD to B.A. students, 700 USD to M.A. students, 900 USD to PhD candidates); registration fee 60 USD (79.31 CAD, 51.97 EUR). (Canadian and European costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: 800 USD for double occupancy (optional).

Levels: Five levels, beginning to advanced, and an advanced research seminar.

Cultural Component: The 2019 afternoon culture program includes a lectures on Yiddish literature and culture with leading scholars from around the world (Justin Cammy, Smith College; Anna Shternshis, UToronto; Dovid Roskies, JTS and the Hebrew University; Eddy Portnoy, YIVO; Rebecca Margolis UOttawa; Yitskhok Niborski, Medem Institute Paris); a literatour to the Yiddish collection of the Israel National Library with Dr. Claudia Rosensweig; a screening with the director of a new film on Yiddish poet Sutzkever; Yiddish yoga; Yiddish immersion excursions into Tel Aviv; shmues (conversation ) classes; Yiddish concerts and theater performances

Read More About It: Justin Cammy, “Inhabiting Multiple Homelands: Teaching Yiddish in a Summer Yiddish Program,” In geveb, November 13, 2017.

United States

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

Dates: June 2-July 19

Application Deadline: February 11

Cost: Tuition-free. All students are responsible for their housing and food costs. Intermediate students are eligible to participate in an internship in exchange for subsidized housing as well as a 1,000 USD stipend for living expenses.

Housing: 1400 USD (1850.50 CAD, 1212.74 EUR); Intermediate students may do an internship and have this waived, as well as receive a stipend. Limited need-based subsidies are also available. (Canadian and European costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Levels: Two levels, introductory and intermediate.

Cultural Component: Beginner students take a for-credit culture course while intermediate students have the option to participate in a paid internship, as well as occasional culture and literature seminars with scholars. For all students, the program also includes a four-day field trip to New York City and tickets to Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music, as well as a plethora of Yiddish cultural activities, excursions to local attractions, and extracurricular activities like film screenings and student-led workshops.

Other: Students can receive up to 6 college credits. Open to college students and recent graduates ages 18-26.

Noam Green and Tova Benjamin, “Seeking and Queering Utopia: A Chat About the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program.” In geveb, November 2017.

YIVO-Bard Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture (New York, New York, USA)

Dates: June 24-August 2, with an optional refresher course June 17-21 and an optional pedagogy workshop for Yiddish teachers August 5-9

Application Deadline: general deadline April 2, financial aid and international student deadline February 28

Cost: 2000 USD (2643.57 CAD, 1732.29 EUR); financial aid available. Students are eligible to obtain college credit through Bard College. (Canadian and European costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Housing: Not included; housing available at extra cost at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

Levels: Five levels, beginning-advanced.

Cultural Component: Conversation, literature, and culture classes in the afternoons, lectures on Yiddish civilization (in both English and Yiddish) by leading scholars, translation, theater, and singing workshops, tours of the Lower East Side and Borough Park.

Read More About It: Leana Katz, “By Learning Yiddish, I Can Access a Part of My Heritage,” The Globe and Mail, November 9, 2016.

Yiddish Farm (Goshen, New York, USA)

Dates: June 23-July 10

Application Deadline: Rolling

Cost: 2950 USD (3907.91 CAD, 2587.06 EUR); cost includes meals; limited scholarships available.

Housing: Included

Levels: Beginning and upwards (intensive program). Advanced students may visit for the two shabosim.

Cultural Component: Students also work on the farm. All food is kosher and shabes is observed; davening is Orthodox.

Read More About It: Sam Frizell, “Inside A Unique Yiddish Farm Thriving 50 Miles From Manhattan,” The Gothamist, August 8, 2013.

Informal Learning Opportunities/Retreats

Yiddish Vokh (Copake, New York, USA)

Dates: August 20-26

Cost: TBA, some student scholarships are available

Description: Yiddish Vokh is a language immersion retreat. Volunteers lead art activities, lectures, discussions, workshops, and sports. Participants swim, attend campfires, concerts, talent shows, and dancing, all in Yiddish.

Read More About It: Sandra Fox, “Recreation as Education: Yiddish Vokh 2017.” In geveb, October 31, 2017.

Trip to Yiddishland (Dutchess County, New York, USA)

Dates: August 19-25, 2019

Cost: from 350 USD-1400 USD per person (307-1229 EUR, 464-1858 CAD), depending on housing choice (many options available from dormitory to private lakefront and lawn rooms). University students may register with shared accomodations for 325 USD (286 EUR, 431 CAD). Cost includes meals, programs, and entertainment. (Canadian and European costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Description: Four levels of Yiddish classes, dance & klezmer instruction, theater & music workshops, concerts & entertainment, children’s program, retreat activities.

Read More About It: Andrew Brownstein, “Yiddishland Brings Diverse Group Together for Language and Culture.” Forward, June 27, 2014.

Music and Culture Festivals and Learning Opportunities

Golden Peacock Yiddish Song School (London, UK)

Dates: August 18- August 23

Cost: Full rate 250 GBP (320 USD, 277 EUR, 423 CAD) (225 GBP if booked before 1st June 2019); Student / Senior rate 175 GBP (224 USD, 194 EUR, 296 CAD) (150 GBP if booked before 1st June 2019) (Canadian and European costs are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.)

Description: Classes in music theory, repertoire, roots and traditions of Yiddish Song, modes and melodies, master-classes and a Yiddish Choir.

Learn More About It: Listen to a podcast about the event here.

Klezfest (London, UK)

Dates: August 18-August 23

Cost: 150 GBP-225 GBP (191.92-287.93 USD, 166.23-249.46 EUR, 253.74-380.63 CAD)

Description: Classes in traditional klezmer; history, melodies, ornamentation, dance and accompaniment.

Jewish Culture Festival (Krakow, Poland)

Dates: June 21-June 30

Description: Almost 300 events including workshops, lectures, discussions, guided tours, concerts, and jam sessions.

Read More About It: Annette Insdorf, “The Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow: A Celebration,” Huffington Post, December 6, 2017.

Yidstock (Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

Dates: July 11-14

Description: A festival of musicians who weave elements from traditional Jewish music, jazz, Americana, and other styles to take klezmer in new directions.

KlezKanada Laurentian Retreat (Camp B’nai Brith, Lantier, Quebec (outside Montreal)

Dates: August 19-25

Application Deadline: The deadline for general registration is July 1st. The deadline for scholarship applications is May 1st.

Cost: Depending on type of accommodation, costs range from 900 USD/CAD for off-site registrants, 1050 USD/CAD for tents, 1,100 USD/CAD for space in a shared cabin, or 1,650 USD/CAD for a hotel style room in the Retreat Centre. Special rates also available for families with children. Scholarships are available for emerging artists and scholars ages 16-35; reduced tuition for scholarship recipients is set at 375 USD/CAD. Tuition includes housing (except for off-site registrants), meals, and the full artistic program.

Housing: See above.

Levels: Introductory, intermediate, advanced, as well as other classes, lectures, and other activities conducted in Yiddish.

Cultural Component: KlezKanada’s Laurentian Retreat is a week-long immersion in Yiddish culture, arts, and music attended by an international and intergenerational community every year. In addition to Yiddish language programming, KlezKanada is centered around intensive instrumental and vocal workshops in klezmer and Yiddish music, as well as classes in Yiddish dance, theater, and visual arts, and lectures and film screenings in topics related to Jewish history, literature, and culture. In the evenings, there are concerts featuring some of the world’s best klezmer bands, dance parties, and a late night cabaret. All this and more in an idyllic setting by a lake in the Laurentian Mountains.


Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization (Evanston, Illinois, USA)

Dates: June 23-July 5

Application Deadline: February 15. Qualified applicants are graduate students and faculty planning to teach Holocaust-related courses at institutions of higher education.

Description: topics include: the religious history of European Jewry; the history of the Holocaust; the Holocaust in art, film and literature; gender during and after the Holocaust; Jewish responses to persecution; recent methodological and historiographical approaches to the Holocaust; and Holocaust pedagogy.

Cooper, Miranda. “Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2019.” In geveb, January 2019:
Cooper, Miranda. “Yiddish in ale lender! Yiddish Summer Programs Roundup 2019.” In geveb (January 2019): Accessed Jun 16, 2024.


Miranda Cooper

Miranda is the Cultural Reviews Editor for In geveb.