Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, USA

Publish Date: Nov 09, 2015

Deadline: Feb 08, 2016

Event Dates: from Jun 05, 2016 12:00 to Jul 22, 2016 12:00

Steiner Summer Yiddish Program

The 2016 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program runs from June 5-July 22. All students must participate fully for seven weeks (barring emergencies). Attendance at all classes and many extracurricular activities is required. While most Saturdays and Sundays are free, a required field trip to New York City will take place the weekend of July 7-10.


All students enroll in either Intensive Yiddish 1 or Intensive Yiddish 2 and can earn four credits (equivalent to a full year’s work) through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Language classes meet for three hours every morning, Monday to Friday. Homework assignments for language classes average two hours a night. 


Beginner students take a two-hour Introduction to Yiddish Culture course every afternoon, Monday to Friday. Taught by leading Jewish studies scholars, the course introduces students to Yiddish history, literature, song, and film over time and across regions. Participants also take part in student-run clubs on topics such as music, dance, poetry, translation, comedy, or cooking.


Intermediate students have the option to enroll in the Introduction to Yiddish Culture course or spend two hours each weekday working as interns on major Center projects, such as oral history or collections curation.
Once a week, all intermediate students attend an hour-long seminar, conducted in Yiddish, taught by a visiting scholar in the field of Yiddish studies.


In addition to classroom work, the program also features a full schedule of social events including hikes, workshops, and potluck dinners. Students attend Yidstock, the Center’s annual festival of new Yiddish music. While the program is not fully immersive (some program activities take place in English, especially those for beginners), students are encouraged to speak Yiddish outside of class as much as possible, and many of the extracurricular activities are designated Yiddish-only events.


The Steiner Summer Yiddish Program takes place at the Yiddish Book Center, adjacent to the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. 

The Center is home to innovative education programs for all ages; an extensive collection of Yiddish books, recordings, and artifacts; permanent and visiting exhibits; an oral history project; translation initiatives; and a year-round schedule of public programs.


Students are housed in a Hampshire College dormitory, within walking distance of the Yiddish Book Center, in suites with single bedrooms, shared bathrooms, a kitchen, and a sitting room. Basic furniture and kitchen equipment are provided. Students can do their own cooking or purchase a meal plan for the Hampshire College dining commons. 


There is limited local bus service during the summer. We recommend bringing a car or a bicycle if you have one. Bicycle rentals are available.


The program covers tuition, required textbooks, and the cost of activities. Some additional books may be required at a small fee.

Beginner students are responsible for the costs of their housing (approximately $1,400), food, and transportation. Intermediate students who work as interns receive a subsidy to cover their housing cost, plus $1,000 for living expenses. Intermediate students who choose to enroll in the culture course rather than in an internship position will not receive a housing subsidy or stipend and will be responsible for the cost of their housing (approximately $1,400).

Limited housing subsidies are available based on financial need.

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Foreign Languages and Literature


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States