Yiddish at Berkeley

Yiddish Courses

Yiddish language courses have been offered through the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley since the 1960s. Today, Dr Yael Chaver teaches Yiddish 101 and 103. The credits earned in Yiddish 101, 102, and 103 can be applied to the undergraduate major in German. Berkeley also offers a course in Yiddish literature in translation. Due to rapidly increasing enrollments in Yiddish language courses, we are currently developing a minor in Yiddish Studies!

Elementary Yiddish
Yiddish 101. Chaver. (5 units)
This introductory course focuses on the development of communication skills in reading, writing and speaking. The linguistic material is presented in the context of Yiddish culture.

Intermediate Yiddish
Yiddish 102. Staff. (5 units)
Prerequisites: Yiddish I, Yiddish 101, or equivalent. This course builds on the foundation established in Yiddish I, further developing communication skills in reading, writing, and speaking. More advanced linguistic material is presented in the context of Yiddish culture.

Readings in Yiddish
Yiddish 103. Chaver. (3 units)
Prerequisites: Yiddish II, Yiddish 102, or equivalent. Study of selected Yiddish texts including prose, poetry, and drama, from various periods and geographic areas, in the context of time and place. Review of relevant grammatical topics. Increased attention to the Hebrew/Aramaic component. Selections may vary from semester to semester.

Yiddish Literature and Culture
German 168. Staff (3 units)
Through the evaluation of a variety of nineteenth and twentieth-century Yiddish texts written in Eastern Europe and America, this course will focus on 1) the culture of the Eastern European shtetl (small town) as represented in literary texts, film, and the fine arts; 2) a new cultural life and literature which develops in the latter part of the nineteenth century, with migration to the cosmopolitan areas where other modes of life and other cultures predominate; and 3) transformations that took place when Yiddish-speaking Jews emigrated to the "new world" and, while assimilating, attempted to continue their cultural pursuits.