Yiddish is an inseparable part of Jewish culture and literature, spoken by European Jew for over 600 years. Connect with your Jewish roots, and learn Yiddish with our teachers in Israel.

Course Description

Learn grammatical rules, sentence structures, and a rich vocabulary while discovering Yiddish literature and humor with your classmates. You'll quickly be able to hold your own in basic Yiddish conversations!

Course Main Takeaways

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    Level beginner
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    Weekly Hours 2 hrs
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    Duration 9 Months
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    Accreditation This course is worth 3 credits at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Course Developer

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Daniel Birnbaum, M.A.

Daniel Birnbaum is passionate about Jewish languages. He is an expert in the field of the Yiddish language, literature and culture. His master’s thesis deals…

Syllabus Summary

  • Welcome to Yiddish

    Welcome! In the first unit we familiarize ourselves with the phonetic system of writing and reading in Yiddish using the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew-Aramaic (loshn-koydesh) element in Yiddish is discussed. We begin constructing simple questions using the word וואָס . We read and analyze a short text, "Doved un Sore". Finally, we learn our first Yiddish proverb.

  • Where do you live?

    In this unit we will learn the personal pronouns and the conjugation of the present tense of the regular verb; the new question words who and where (וווּ, ווער) are introduced. In this unit students learn to introduce themselves with the phrase (איך הייס...) "my name is". We complete our survey of the Yiddish alphabet with the complex vowel sounds and complex consonant sounds.

  • Are you a student?

    In this unit, students learn the present tense of the irregular verb “to be” (זײַן). The use of the pronoun מען is discussed, as well as the use of the pronoun איר for polite address. The unit teaches the basic rule of word order in Yiddish. Students learn the new question word וואָסער . Finally, the unit introduces some new vocabulary with words from loshn-koydesh.

  • Is that a dog?

    In this unit we learn the basic colors in Yiddish as well as some new adjectives. We meet “Rabtshik” in a new text, and learn to construct “yes” or “no” questions with the question word “tsi”. We learn about the noun in Yiddish, definite and indefinite articles and the gender of nouns. Finally, we learn to negate simple sentences.

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A weekly Q&A session in addition to the regular lesson