FALL 2021 Yiddish Classes

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

These classes will be held online via Zoom, however the plan is for the second session of the classes in 2022 to be held in person.

 

Students from outside Chicago are welcome to register for fall classes with the caveat that the continuation may no longer be held online next year.
 

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yiddish Chicago has moved classes to an online platform (Zoom) until further notice.

Beginners Yiddish I

Tuesdays
6:30pm - 8:00pm CST

 

12 sessions

October 5th - December 28th

(No class November 23rd)

Beginners Yiddish I requires no background in Yiddish. This class will focus on basic Yiddish conversation, grammar, and vocabulary.

Teacher: Shifra Whiteman

Advanced Beginners Yiddish I

Thursdays
6:30pm - 8:00pm CST

12 sessions
October 7th - December 29th
(No class November 25th)

This class is open to students who completed Beginners III with Noah in the summer or by Annie's permission. This class will continue on conversational Yiddish, grammar, and vocabulary taught in the summer. Students will also learn Yiddish songs and poems. 

If you did not attend Beginners III in the summer but think this course might be a fit for you, please email yiddishchicago@gmail.com 

Teacher: Annie (Anye) Kaufman (Koyfmentsh)

Intermediate Yiddish I

Wednesdays

6:30pm - 8:00pm CST


12 sessions

October 6th to December 28th
(No class November 24th)

This class is open to students who completed Advanced Beginners III with Benna in the summer or by Benna's permission. 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 Advanced Beginners III in the summer but think this course might be a fit for you, please email yiddishchicago@gmail.com 

Teacher: Benna Kessler

Tuition

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.

  • $180 full tuition

  • $120 reduced tuition (guideline is $40k or less in household income.)

In fall 2021, we are also offering the Khane-Faygl Turtletaub Memorial Scholarship to cover full tuition for one student. 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

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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. 

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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. 

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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)