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 up to four levels -- Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students in doubt about their course level may contact an instructor to discuss. All fall classes are online over Zoom.

FALL 2020 YIDDISH LANGUAGE COURSES

Online Classes for Beginner Semester 1 and 2; Advanced Beginner; Intermediate; Advanced: Language Through Literature

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

Level 1:  Beginner 1st Semester | 9 weeks | Working on creating another Beginner class. Check back soon for updates.

 

Tuesday evening, 7:30pm - 9:00pm (Class Full. To join the waitlist, fill out this form)

or

Wednesday afternoon, 4:30pm - 6:00pm (Class Full. To join the waitlist, fill out this form)

 

Learn conversation skills, how to read Yiddish, and elementary grammar. Students who don't yet know the Hebrew alphabet will be asked to join the class a half hour early for the first few sessions. The class will be interactive and lively, using a textbook, songs, games, films and other multi-media materials. 

 

Target Level: This course will suit you whether you’re totally new to Yiddish or already know a few basics.

Class size: 5 – 10 students

Instructor: Chloe Piazza (Tues.) or Jonah Sidman (Wed.)

 

 

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Level 1:  Beginner 2nd Semester | 9 weeks | Starts Oct. 14

Choose one:

Wednesday morning, 11:00am - 12:30pm

or

Wednesday evening, 7:30pm - 9:00pm (Class Full. To join the waitlist, fill out this form)

 

Continue to learn conversation skills, how to read Yiddish, and elementary grammar. The class will be interactive and lively, using a textbook, songs, games, films and other multi-media materials.

 

Target level: This course is intended for students who took the fall 2019 or summer 2020 Beginner class at Boston Workers Circle or newcomers who already know the alef-beys and some basic Yiddish grammar and vocabulary.

Class Size:  5 – 10 students

Instructor:  Jonah Sidman

 

 

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Level 2:  Advanced Beginner | 9 weeks | Starts Oct. 13

Tuesday evenings, 7:30pm - 9:00pm 

 

Focus on increasing your comfort with Yiddish grammar and with fluency speaking & reading and writing, through use of a textbook, conversation, reading, games, and music. Teachings will also include information about the culture and history of the Ashkenazi Jewish people and how to get connected with the contemporary world of Yiddish speakers.

 

 

Target level: Students should already be able to read, write and speak simple sentences in Yiddish and be willing to stretch to learn to read & write short texts in Yiddish and to do short oral presentations in class. 

Class Size: 5-12 students

Instructor:  Jonah Sidman

 

 

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Level 3:  Intermediate | 9 weeks | Starts Oct. 13

Tuesday evenings, 7:30pm - 9:00pm

 

Students will build on their knowledge of Yiddish through conversation, reading annotated prose and poetry, further exploring Yiddish grammar (including more advanced verb forms and sentence structures), and diving into the wide world of Yiddish music and culture, integrating both modern day and historical content.

 

Target level: Participants should be motivated to read Yiddish beyond basic texts with the help of a dictionary and have some experience speaking Yiddish within or outside of a classroom setting. 

Class Size: 5-12 students

Instructor:  Abby Howell

 

 

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Level 4:  Advanced: Language through Literature | 9 weeks | Starts Oct. 12

Monday evenings, 7:30pm - 9:00pm

 

This course is for students with several years of Yiddish learning and is inteded to strengthen reading, writing, and speaking skills. To that end we will read humorous short stories, sketches and satires by Hersh Shisler, internationally published Yiddih writer and Polish emigrant to South Africa. Students will have opportunities to present synopses of readings in class, as well as discuss characters and themes. Conversations will be primarily in Yiddish, using English occassionally as necessary. We will review grammatical constructions, idioms, and vocabulary within each reading. Shishler's writings include satires about his struggles as a Yiddish writer, parodies about the South African communities, and a view of mid-20th century life on yet another continent.

 

Class Size: 5-12 students

Instructor:  Lillian Leavitt

 

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Tuition Rates For All Classes
Member: $150 /Non-Member: $200
 
Young Adults & Low Income 
Member: $99 /Non-Member: $150
 
*No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact Sandy if you need financial assistance.
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Interested in a class that's full or not being offered at a time you're available?
Fill out this form to let us know.
 
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OUR INSTRUCTORS

Abby Howell learned to speak Yiddish while she was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, and continued her study at the National Yiddish Book Center's summer internship program, at YIVO's intensive Weinreich Summer Program in New York, and at the Boston Workers Circle. Abby has a M.Ed. in Education of the Deaf from Boston University, and is currently a software engineer at Wistia. This is her fifth year teaching Yiddish at the Boston Workers Circle.

Lillian Shporer Leavitt, a daughter of Shoah survivors, grew up speaking Yiddish and graduated from the Boston Workmen's Circle Yiddish shule. A former computer business analyst and software trainer, she is an experienced Yiddish teacher and translator, having taught at the Worker's Circle, Gann Academy of Greater Boston, Boston University Hillel, and Brandeis University; subtitled Yiddish films for the National Center for Jewish Film; and translated Yiskor books for Jewish Genealogy.

Jonah Sidman is native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Oberlin College. He is an educator at the Museum of Science and at Boston Workers Circle's children's Shule. He can often be found fiddling for American or Irish folk dances all over the East Coast, and speaking/singing in Yiddish locally. Having studied Yiddish at Boston Workers Circle, he's pleased to now share his knowledge with new students. 

Chloe (זיסל) Piazza (they/them) is a PhD student in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley with Designated Emphases in Jewish Studies and Gender and Women's Studies. Before moving to Berkeley, they taught the Alef class at BWC children's Shule. They were a Yiddish Pedagogy fellow at the Yiddish Book Center and are currently a Teaching Fellow at SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. Their translation of Di Ague, an early Yiddish play by Maria Lerner, is forthcoming in a volume on women on the Yiddish stage from Syracuse University Press. When not in academic drag, they write and perform queer Jewish theatre.

 

REGISTER:

►ONLINE: Click here to register.

*No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact Sandy, sandy@circleboston.org, if you need financial assistance.