A survey of Yiddish literature in English translation, including poetry,
prose, drama, and folksong, from the very
beginnings (c. 1382) to the present. Readings from Yiddish medieval romance, through Middle Yiddish and the
"classical" period (Mendele, Sholem Aleikhem, Peretz), ending with the moderns. The literature to be viewed
against its social and ideological background; e.g., early shtetl and later, big city life; Khasidism; Haskalah;
Bundism; Zionism; etc. To include an analysis of the origin and development of the Yiddish language and its
This beginning course in the Yiddish language teaches basic reading
and writing; it also provides an introduction
to the history of Yiddish as a mirror of the last 1,000 years of Ashkenazic Jewish life. Folklore, folksongs,
literature and conversational Yiddish supplement the basic course materials.
Attention to grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and conversational skills
is given in addition to attainment of greater
proficiency in reading and writing. Many opportunities are provided for reading and studying Yiddish poetry and
prose in the original, e.g., Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, Asch, Leyvik, Manger, and many others.