A Hub of Activity: Al and Malka Green Yiddish Studies Program

Anna Shternshis, Associate Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies / Al and Malka Green Associate Professor in Yiddish

Our program continues to offer three levels of language instruction from Introductory to Advanced level Yiddish. Advanced Yiddish student Vitaly Mucher even wrote a guest Yiddish-language column for Canadian Jewish News. We also offered exciting new courses such as Knights and Dibbuks: Yiddish and German Storytelling before 1700s (co-taught with Markus Stock) and Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Culture in the Soviet Union, 1917-41.

During Fall 2012, Professor Kalman Weiser replaced Professor Anna Shternshis during her leave. Weiser is Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at York University, co-editor of Czernowitz at 100: The First Yiddish Language Conference in Historical Perspective (2010), and author of Jewish People, Yiddish Nation: Noah Prylucki and the Folkists in Poland, which was awarded the 2012 Canadian Jewish Book Award. Professor Weiser has taught Jewish history and Yiddish language and culture in New York, Moscow, Seattle and Toronto; our program is extremely fortunate to benefit from his expertise.

Last year, the Program collaborated with the Centre for Jewish Studies in sponsoring lectures by Jeremy Dauber (Columbia), Ken Moss (John Hopkins), and Barbara Harshav (Yale), as well as co-sponsoring Freydi Mrochi (University of Melbourne) at the Ashkenaz Festival of New Jewish Culture in Toronto. We also look forward in January 2013 to hosting David Fishman from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Ray D. Wolfe Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies, Rachel Seelig, is teaching courses through the Department of German Languages and Literatures that bring together her interests in German-Jewish, Hebrew, and Yiddish Literatures. “Where is Yiddishland?,” for example, is dedicated to extraterritorial literature, a topic also congruent with her Spring course on quintessentially transnational German-Jewish-Czech writer, Franz Kafka.

Seelig also is organizing a one-day symposium, “Jewish Literature Beyond Borders,” co-sponsored with the Centre for Jewish Studies, and taking place Thursday, October 18, 2012, 9 am - 6 pm in the Hart House Debate Room at the University of Toronto. The event brings together ten speakers from across North America, including a keynote by Dan Miron (Hebrew University), scholar of modern Jewish literature and Israel Prize recipient. This interdisciplinary event is supported by Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, and the Posen Foundation.

The schedule is available here

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Page updated on November 12, 2012

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