Spring 2022 Yiddish Classes

Yiddish Chicago, a joint effort of Chicago YIVO Society and the Chicago Workers Circle, is excited to offer two Yiddish classes online starting in February. Class descriptions can be found below, and you can register here.

These classes will be held online via Zoom.


Beginners Yiddish II

6:30pm - 8:00pm CST


12 sessions

February 1st to May 3rd

Beginners Yiddish II is a continuation of Beginners Yiddish I taught in the fall. This class will focus on basic Yiddish conversation, grammar, and vocabulary.

If you did not take Beginners Yiddish I in the fall but think this course might be a fit for you, please email yiddishchicago@gmail.com

Teacher: Annie Kaufman

Intermediate Yiddish II


6:30pm - 8:00pm CST

12 sessions

February 2nd to May 4th

This class is open to students who completed Intermediate Yiddish I in the fall. This class is taught almost entirely in Yiddish, and will build on conversational Yiddish, grammar, and vocabulary taught in the summer using the book Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature, and Culture (Volume 2) by Sheva Zucker.

If you did not attend Intermediate Yiddish I in the fall but think this course might be a fit for you, please email yiddishchicago@gmail.com 

Teacher: Benna Kessler


Tuition rates for all courses are below. You will receive a link to make a payment at the time you complete registration, or you can pay here.

  • $200 full tuition

  • $135 reduced tuition, for those who do not have personal income or family / community support to pay full tuition.

We also offer the Khane-Faygl Turtletaub Memorial Scholarship to cover full tuition for one student in need every semester. To apply for the scholarship, please email yiddishchicago@gmail.com

No student is turned away for inability to pay, to arrange an alternative payment plan please write to us separately at yiddishchicago@gmail.com

Course Materials

After you've registered for class, you'll receive information from the instructors a couple weeks before your first class regarding any needed materials. An English-Yiddish dictionary is always recommended, but not required. A great option is the Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary edited by Gitl Schaechter-Vishwanath and Paul Glaser.

Meet The Teachers

headshot copy shifra.jpg

Shifra Whiteman

Shifra was raised in a Yiddish speaking family in New York, but now calls Chicago home. She has been an educator for children and adults for the last 15 years, performed with the Yiddish Children's chorus Di Pripetshik Zingers for 4 years, attended Yugntruf's Yiddish-Vokh almost every year since birth, and now speaks Yiddish with her young child. She is passionate about Yiddish music and folk arts as a way to learn the language and culture. 


Benna Kessler

Benna grew up speaking Yiddish at home with her mother. She has studied Yiddish at the YIVO Intensive Yiddish Summer Program and, most recently, at the Maison de la Culture Yiddish in Paris. She has attended the annual Yugntruf Yidish Vokh every year since she was two (this year sadly via Zoom), and has taught beginner Yiddish for Yiddish Chicago twice. 


Annie began formal Yiddish studies 20 years ago at the Uriel Weinreich YIVO Summer Program where she learned under Naomi Kadar z''l and Rivke Margolis. She spent a year in Chisinau, Moldova as Yechiel Shraybman's z''l last private Yiddish student. Through Yugntruf, she studied with Yankl Peretz Blum and then served as the coordinator of Yiddish Vokh for 5 years. 

Annie Kaufman (Anye Koyfmentsh)