Yiddish Classes

If you're looking for Yiddish language classes in Boston, you've come to the right place. Our instructors are passionate about Yiddish and are experienced educators. Whether you are a complete beginner or grew up speaking the language, we have a class that will accommodate you. Students cover a wide age range, from young adults to seniors. We offer classes in the fall and spring at four levels -- Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students in doubt about their course level may contact an instructor to discuss.

FALL 2014 YIDDISH LANGUAGE COURSES

10 evenings, starting September 30 (Tuesday classes), 7:30-9pm

Tuition Rates

  • Member: $165
  • Non-member: $220
  • Special Young adult rates (under 30 yr old): Member $99 / Non-member $150

3 WAYS TO REGISTER:

►ON-LINE: Click here.

►BY CREDIT CARD: Call the Workmen's Circle office at 617.566.6281.

►BY CHECK: Mail your check, made payable to "Boston Workmen’s Circle," to 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445. Please be sure to indicate which class you’re interested in and include your address, phone, and email.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

Beginner (Tues nights): Learn Yiddish reading, conversation skills and elementary grammar. This course will suit you whether you’re totally new to Yiddish or if you already know a few basics. Students who don't yet know the alphabet will be asked to come to class a half hour early for the first few sessions. A textbook, songs, games, films and other multi-media materials will be used.  Instructor: Max Edwards.

Advanced Beginner (Tues nights): Designed for students from our Beginner class last year and for new students who already know some Yiddish reading, writing and speaking, this course will help you build conversational vocabulary, strengthen your grammar and develop reading skills. In addition to use of a textbook, students will also read simple short stories and poems, practice speaking, play games, and sing Yiddish songs. Instructor: David Schlitt.

Intermediate (Tues nights):  Students will read short stories, in Yiddish, by a variety of Yiddish authors.  English translations and/or glossaries will be available.  Students should be somewhat proficient in reading, and comfortable learning to use Yiddish dictionaries.  Grammatical constructions and idiomatic expressions will be explored as they occur in readings.  Instructor: Jordan Schuster.

Advanced Reading and Writing Group (Tues nights): This is a course for those with Yiddish reading fluency who want to enhance their writing and speaking abilities. Using selected pieces of Yiddish literature, the curriculum will start with simple factual discussions, and evolve to conceptual, nuanced writing and conversation. Authors to be considered include: Elie Wiesel, Avraham Reisen, I.B. Singer, and Avraham Karpanovitch.  Instructor: Lillian Leavitt.

OUR INSTRUCTORS:

Max Edwards is an MTS candidate at Harvard Divinity School in Jewish Studies. Max began studying Yiddish at the YIVO Uriel Weinreich Sumer Program in New York City. Since then, he has spent time studying Yiddish language and culture at Yiddish Farm, at the Boston Workmen's Circle, and most recently at Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius, Lithuania.

Lillian Shporer Leavitt, a daughter of Shoah survivors, grew up speaking Yiddish and was graduated from the Boston Workmen's Circle Yiddish shule. A former computer software trainer, she is an experienced Yiddish teacher and translator, having taught at the Workmen's Circle, Gann Academy of Greater Boston, Boston University, and Brandeis University, as well as subtitled Yiddish films restored by the National Center for Jewish Film.

David Schlitt is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan and is in the rabbinical training program at Hebrew College in Newton. He served as a Graduate Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center in 2010-2011, and majored in Yiddish Studies as an undergraduate at Columbia University. 

Jordan Schuster is a first year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College in Newton. While previously working on a PhD in Yiddish and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, Jordan taught classes in Elementary Yiddish Language and Biblical Hebrew Grammar. As a research assistant, Jordan we also responsible for translating a slew of Yiddish primers published by the Arbeterring from the 1920s and 1930s.