JERUSALEM & TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and eTeacher Group today announced that it is adding Yiddish to its growing curriculum of languages for students around the world.
Yiddish, a rich language saturated with Jewish culture, was the spoken language of Ashkenazi Jews around the world since the 10th century, inspiring a vibrant literary legacy over the centuries of its development. In the post-holocaust era, and during the establishment of the state of Israel, the use of the Yiddish language declined, although it is still used by some orthodox communities worldwide.
“Today, the Yiddish language is enjoying a well-deserved resurrection with cultural centers worldwide seeking to preserve the Yiddish language,” said Dr. Ohad Cohen, director of the online program at the Hebrew University and eTeacher. “Yiddish language course allows students from all over the world to get closely acquainted with the culture, history and literature embedded in this unique language,” he said.
The virtual classes in Yiddish language are conducted online in small groups (6 – 8 students) via live video conferencing technology. Students can see the teacher through a web cam and can talk with the teacher and other class members using a complimentary headset and microphone provided by eTeacher upon registration. Lesson material is presented via a multimedia application on each student’s computer screen.
The first series of Yiddish courses begins on June 26, 2011, and extends through October 7, 2011.
The beginners’ Yiddish course provides basic communication, comprehension and conversational skills while the advanced Yiddish course expands students’ command of the language through experiencing Yiddish texts.
An understanding of the Hebrew alphabet is a prerequisite for the course.
Hebrew University, in collaboration with eTeacher, is offering these courses for academic credit points. In accordance with the University’s academic requirements, the program includes obligatory attendance, paper submissions and examinations.
“Today’s students [of Yiddish] span all ages but the majority are interested in learning Yiddish to preserve the Jewish culture, to experience the writings of famous Yiddish authors and theatre in the original language, and to connect on a deeper and more personal level with older Yiddish-speaking family members,” said Daniel Birnbaum, faculty member for eTeacher and a teacher of the first two courses. Although Hebrew remains the official language of Israel, colloquial derivatives of Yiddish abound in contemporary Hebrew, Birnbaum, a native New Yorker notes. “For example, the Yiddish verb “schlep” which roughly translates to “pull” or “drag” has morphed into the 21st century colloquial reference to a mobile laptop computer as a “schlep-top”, showing that Yiddish continues to move with the culture and the times.”
About Hebrew University
The Hebrew University is a well known world center for the study of the Bible, Semitic linguistics and Yiddish. In the last two generations this center has formulated new methods for the research and teaching of these languages. The Hebrew University attracts researchers all over the world interested in these fields. Its new program is based on this long history of research of these fields and the methods produced to investigate and teach them.
eTeacher, the world's foremost online language academy, was established in 2000. The hallmarks of its language courses are live online instruction, flexible hours, and the convenience of learning from home or office. Since 2001, thousands of eTeacher graduates, from over a hundred countries, have acquired a new language. eTeacher is a portfolio company of Pamoja Capital, a Swiss private investment firm that believes in creating value through long-term, socially responsible global investments in various fields, including education.
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