"Judaism has never been solely a religion to me. It’s a people, a culture, and a religion, kind of like a state of being. It helps me locate myself in the world."
Yiddish and Hebrew in the Shule
The Workmen’s Circle, founded by Eastern European immigrants in 1900, has a treasured history of preserving Yiddish language and culture. We honor that history in the Shule curriculum. At the same time, we recognize that there are many cultural identities within the Jewish world and within each of our individual families. The curriculum celebrates Yiddishkayt and its influence on American Jewish culture and politics, while introducing children to the varied histories, traditions, sounds, and tastes of Jewish cultures from around the world.
The Shule curriculum gives children a “taste” of Yiddish and Hebrew, especially through the music classes, and the children learn the Hebrew alphabet in Grade 3. Our schedule does not allow for a more comprehensive Hebrew or Yiddish language program. By providing exposure to the two languages, it is our hope that students who are motivated to learn more will seek out other opportunities for further study. It is also possible that, with enough interest, the Shule will elect to provide supplemental language instruction at some time in the future.