(cross-listed as 01:470:388:01)
Did you know
• There were once 11 million Yiddish speakers worldwide?
• There are neighborhoods in Brooklyn where the ATMs offer a Yiddish option?
• There are 300-year-old alternate prayers especially for women written in Yiddish?
• There was a Jewish Autonomous Region, with Yiddish as its official language, established in the Soviet Union
in the 1930s?
• There are more than a dozen different words for “Christmas” in Yiddish?
• You can visit an organic farm in upstate New York where only Yiddish is spoken?
• You can watch online videos in Yiddish produced in New York, Montreal, and Stockholm?
Explore the thousand-year history of Yiddish, key to centuries of Jewish folklore and politics, great works of modern literature and traditional spirituality. Learn how a language thrives in diaspora and endures a genocide, and how it has enriched the lives of fundamentalists, revolutionaries, avant-garde performers, and others—including many people who aren’t Jewish—around the world.
This course fulfills Core Learning Goal Q: Understand the nature of human languages and their speakers. No prerequisites. All readings are in English.
No prior knowledge of Yiddish or other languages required.