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jewish identity

Want to Learn a Bit of Yiddish or Ladino? Join Us!

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While I generally reject anything that frames the pandemic as a positive thing, I am nonetheless truly grateful that, in the pivot to living out our lives in a virtual fashion, celebrating Jewishness and Jewish diversity has become far more accessible than ever before.

From the popularity of Zoom synagogue services to the explosion of Jewish programming online, engaging with Jewish history, religion, and culture is now easier than ever before. That’s a good thing, and we want to keep making that a reality.

Jewish language classes — especially Ladino and Yiddish classes — are thriving during the pandemic, as these recent pieces from Tablet and the New York Jewish Week explore.

Not being ones to miss out on a big Jewish trend, Kveller is excited to offer free Yiddish and Ladino workshops — designed for all ages! — that will introduce you and your family to these beautiful languages. We’ve recruited two amazing authors to help us do just that.

The first is Miriam Udel, an incredible Yiddish scholar and writer who recently released Honey On the Page a treasure of Yiddish folktales that she translated. Udel, a professor at Emory University, is not only a Yiddish whiz, she’s also deeply in tune with the breadth and wealth of Yiddish culture. In her first class for us, she will teach you and yours new Yiddish words while exploring a wonderful Yiddish folktale.

Join us on Wednesday, April 21, at 4 PM Eastern on Zoom for what is sure to be an engaging and wondrous class on Yiddish. Sign up here to get an e-mail reminder and a Zoom link for this event.

But, of course, the Jewish language fun doesn’t stop there! While Yiddish is alive and well, and spoken by many Jewish communities across the world — and even earning itself a brand-new, designated Duolingo course —  another Jewish language, Ladino (also known as Judeo-Spanish), a language spoken by Jews expelled from Spain, doesn’t have quite that same popularity or brand recognition.

One person working hard to joyfully and passionately revitalize this gorgeous language is songwriter, author, and activist Sarah Aroeste. In recent years, Aroeste has released full albums with original songs in Ladino and she has also written a delightful children’s book in the language. She’s also hosted a lot of great programming for us here at Kveller, and has agreed to teach an all-ages Ladino 101 class for us.

Join us on Tuesday, April 27, at 4:30 PM Eastern on Zoom for some Ladino learning and music. Sign up here to get an e-mail reminder and a Zoom link for this event.

We hope to see you there!

Header image via sv_sunny/Getty Images

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