Yiddish Courses

Yiddish Language and Culture Courses 

YIDD 101 - Yiddish I - FL1, G, O
Yiddish 101 is the first semester of the Yiddish language course sequence and is intended for beginners. It introduces students to the Yiddish language and its culture. It emphasizes all facets of the language – comprehension, speech, reading, grammar and writing. The focus of instruction is on enabling students to develop basic skills.

YIDD 102 - Yiddish II - FL2
Follows on from Yiddish 101 as students sharpen their linguistic skills with more complex sentence structure, a deeper knowledge of tenses and cases, and a broader vocabulary. In addition, we explore Yiddish culture through film, stories, folk sayings and the occasional joke! As always lyrics from Yiddish popular song provide the backbone of the class, and individual attention is a feature of the instruction. Note: interested students can join 102 directly without having taken 101. (Instructor permission needed.)

YIDD 203 - Yiddish III - FL3
An intermediate level language class. Students will build upon the foundation of introductory Yiddish (101-102) to deepen their understanding of conversational and literary Yiddish. Idiomatic speech and Yiddish syntax will provide a particular focus of class. Song, poetry and prose will again supplement our study, as students continue to enrich their knowledge of Yiddish language and culture. Yiddish 102 is required or with permission from the instructor.

YIDD 100 mini course - A Fast Track to Basic Yiddish
A mini ‐course that provides a rapid‐fire immersion in the basics of conversational Yiddish through "shmoozing" and song.

YIDD 351 - Jewish New York- H, J, P
From Pogroms to the Promised City - An exploration of why Eastern European Jews came to New York in the era of mass migration and what they made of city life once they arrived. Jewish New York is a study in both urban and immigrant history, examining how a newly arrived society responded to America’s signature metropolis in an urban moment of extraordinary dynamism.

YIDD 354 - Modern Yiddish Culture - H, J
In the half century before the Second World War, a Yiddish ­speaking "Jewish Street" stretched from Buenos Aires to Boston, from London to Lodz, with many cities in between. What characterized the culture of this mostly urban and modernizing society is the subject of this class. Cinema and short stories, poetry and politics provide our vehicle to explore the world of Eastern European Jewry in a time of radical transformation and approaching catastrophe (all material is in English). Note: If a student has already taken a 200-level version of Modern Yiddish Culture they will not receive credit for this course.

YIDD 371 - The Ghetto, The Jews, & the City​​ - A, C
European Jewry has often been a quintessentially urban society and culture, both by way of reputation, and as a matter of fact. Our class will explore this urban personality across time and space, beginning with the mandated pre-modern ghettos of central and southern Europe and ending with the ethnically rooted neighbourhoods of Vienna and Paris, Berlin and London in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Along the way, we will consider related themes, including civic & minority identity, the nature of toleration, and the place of the city within broader society. When possible, we will ground our conversation in contemporary material culture, including urban landmarks, post-cards and various kinds of visual media.