OBS! All information from the folkhögskola will be sent in Swedish.
Yiddish for Beginners
This is a course designed for students with no prior knowledge of Yiddish, although knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet would be highly desirable.
We are going to use the following textbook for our classes : Sheva Zucker, Yiddish, Volume 1 (New York : Workmen’s Circle, 1994). This textbook is suitable both for students who know the Hebrew alphabet already and students who don’t. Each unit will introduce a certain number of letters and give words and short sentences with these letters, until students will have all the letters used in Yiddish. Students who don’t know the alphabet as yet will have to work at home every week to learn to read and write words and sentences with the new letters introduced in each unit. Students who know Hebrew will learn all the differences in writing and reading between Hebrew and Yiddish. Students will be expected to spend some time every week to work on their reading and writing, to learn the vocabulary and to revise the grammar covered in each class.
We will start each session with some Yiddish conversation, which will build up more and more as we go along. Then we will revise some of the grammar and vocabulary learned in the previous lesson. After that, we will work with our Yiddish textbook, read the reading material, the dialogues and the jokes there, learn new vocabulary and grammar and do some of the exercises in the book. And we will conclude every lesson with a Yiddish song.
Learning Yiddish is an opportunity to connect with this rich Eastern European Jewish language and culture with its beautiful music and literature. This is a treasure trove that is just waiting to be discovered!
The course is organized in collaboration with International Yiddish Center and Jiddischsällskapet i Stockholm.
This course is for those who have no prior Yiddish experience. It’s good if you have prior knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet.
To apply for this course, you need basic computer skills and knowledge of how to use the digital platform Zoom. The school offers Zoom manuals and a training opportunity before the start of the course.
All course literature is not included in the fee for this course. You will receive information about the course book, that you need to purchase yourself, if you get accepted to the course.
About the teacher
Dr. Beruriah Wiegand is the Woolf Corob Lector in Yiddish at the University of Oxford. She holds a BA and MA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from Leo Baeck College, London, and a Ph.D. from University College London, with a thesis on Jewish mystical motifs in the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer. She has lectured on Bashevis’s works and on Yiddish poetry at conferences in London, Oxford, Paris, Düsseldorf, Stockholm, Ravenna, Warsaw, Moscow, Czernowitz, Vienna, Tel Aviv, New York, Boston and Ottawa.
She is also a Yiddish poet, who has published two bilingual collections with the H. Leyvik-farlag in Tel Aviv under the titles Tsi hot ir gezen mayn tsig? un andere lider – Have You Seen My Goat? And Other Poems (2012) and Kales-Breyshis – Kalat Bereshit and Other Poems (2018). As a translator from Yiddish she has published a bilingual edition of A.N. Stencl’s early verse, co-translated with Stephen Watts (Five Leaves, 2007), as well as a translation of a book of memoirs by the Grodno writer Leib Reizer (Yad Vashem, 2009).