Yiddish Book Center Fellowship Program, USA

Publish Date: Nov 03, 2015

Deadline: Jan 04, 2016

The Yiddish Book Center Fellowship Program offers recent college graduates a yearlong professional experience in Yiddish language and Jewish cultural work. Fellows spend a year as full-time staff members, learning valuable professional skills and contributing to the Center’s major projects, working closely with colleagues and supervisors.

Working in one or two main project areas, each fellow brings his or her insight, ingenuity, and energy to help us carry out both established projects and new initiatives. These include:

  • DIGITAL COLLECTIONS: Fellows support efforts to digitize and catalogue Yiddish language resources from across the Center’s collections. Fellows may help develop new technology or work on multimedia projects designed to make the rich holdings accessible to scholars and those with an interest in Yiddish culture.
  • ORAL HISTORY: Fellows are trained to conduct and record oral history interviews as part of the Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project (led by Project Director Christa Whitney, herself a former fellow). They also identify and translate excerpts from interviews conducted in Yiddish for inclusion in the Center's growing online digital oral history collection.
  • YIDDISH EDUCATION: Fellows assist the director of the Center’s Yiddish Language Institute as teaching assistants for on-site college-level Yiddish courses and work on the development of the Center’s multimedia Yiddish textbook.
  • TRANSLATION: Fellows help recruit candidates for the Center’s Translation Fellowship and match fellows with mentors, organize workshops for translation fellows at the Center, and work on the annual digital translation issue of Pakn Treger, the magazine of the Yiddish Book Center.
  • EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS: Fellows help organize and coordinate on-site and online courses on topics related to Yiddish and Jewish history and culture for adult learners. They also create and lead field trip activities and tours for middle and high school classes. 

Applicants should have strong backgrounds in Jewish studies or related disciplines, a working knowledge of Yiddish, a commitment to Yiddish language and culture, and a demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Each fellow receives a stipend of $30,000 plus health insurance.

After participating in the program, fellows go on to make their own contributions to the field of Yiddish and Jewish cultural production. Jessica Antoline, who curated our permanent exhibition on Yiddish literature, is now education and program manager for the Vilna Shul in Boston. Jordan Kutzik is now a staff writer for The Jewish Daily Forward. Malena Chinski is doing doctoral research about the Jewish community in her native Argentina. David Schlitt is attending rabbinical school. Anita Christensen received a master’s degree in the study of Jewish-Christian relations at Cambridge and is now the cultural programming officer at the Oslo Jewish Museum. Christa Whitney is director of the Wexler Oral History Project here at the Center. Others are pursuing further study in Yiddish literature, Jewish history, and related fields.

Apply for the Fellowship Program

The deadline for the 2016-17 Fellowship Program is January 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. To apply, please send:

  • Completed application form (submit below)
  • Resume or C.V.
  • Official academic transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work, sent directly by the college or university. (Note: if the university is unable to send by email, we will accept by fax to 413-256-4700, or mail to Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002, USA, attention: Fellowship Program.)
  • Three reference letters (including at least one from an academic instructor and at least one from a professional supervisor), sent directly by the recommenders. (Note: if the recommender is unable to send by email, we will accept by fax to 413-256-4700, or mail to Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002, USA, attention: Fellowship Program.)

Resume, transcripts, and three letters of reference should be sent electronically to: Megan Kroll, education program assistant, at mkroll@yiddishbookcenter.org.

Telephone interviews with finalists will be conducted in January and February, and applicants will be notified of our decisions by early March.

QUESTIONS? Contact Gretchen Fiordalice, director of education administration, atgfiordalice@yiddishbookcenter.org or 413-256-4900, ext. 103.

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