Yiddish Language and Literature Courses

LANGUAGE COURSES: First-Year Sequence

The goal of this sequence is to develop proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking for use in everyday communication.

Elementary Yiddish for Beginners- I
YDDH 10100

In this course, students will develop basic speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Yiddish.  By the end of the course, students should be able to understand and participate in a conversation on a variety of everyday topics, read simple texts, be prepared to tackle more complex texts with the aid of a dictionary, and write short compositions on a variety of everyday topics.  The course will also introduce students to the history of the Yiddish language and culture.
Autumn

Elementary Yiddish for Beginners- II
YDDH 10200

In this course, students will extend basic Yiddish speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.  By the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of regional Yiddish variations in pronunciation and spelling, be able to understand and participate in a conversation in an increasingly comfortable and complex way, read simple texts with ease, have experience tackling more complex texts with the aid of a dictionary, and write short compositions with grammatical complexity.  In the course of language study, students will also be exposed to key topics in the history of the Yiddish language and culture.
PQ for YDDH 10200: placement or consent of language coordinator.
Winter

Elementary Yiddish for Beginners- III
YDDH 10300

In this course, students will acquire intermediate Yiddish speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.   By the end of the course, students should be able to conduct a conversation on a wide range of topics, be comfortable tackling complex texts with the aid of a dictionary, and write short compositions with grammatical complexity.  In the course of language study, students will also be exposed to key topics in the history of the Yiddish language and culture.  Students will also be introduced to basic Yiddish research skills.
PQ for 10300: 10200 or placement or consent of language coordinator.
Spring

Yiddish Literature in America
YDDH 22000/32000 

This course examines a wide range of Yiddish literary production in America.  We will read poetry and prose from authors such as Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yenta Serdatsky, Morris Rosenfeld, I. J. Schwartz, Moyshe Leyb Halpern, Celia Dropkin, Lamed Shapiro, Joseph Opatoshu, Fradl Shtok, Jacob Glatstein, and Blume Lempel.  We will explore themes of displacement, intergenerational conflict, race, and gender.  Readings are in English translation.
Winter

For more information about Yiddish at University of Chicago, please read the article "Yiddish Renaissance at Chicago" by graduate student Andrew Sloin, which appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of the Newsletter of the Committee on Jewish Studies, and refer to our list of Yiddish resources.