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How to Build a Yiddish Social Club
“A language doesn’t die because those who don’t know it don’t learn it, but because those who know it don’t speak it.” –Basque proverb
Yiddish is a living language and Yiddish education is thriving, especially since the rise of Zoom made it accessible worldwide. But outside of Hasidic communities, speakers have few opportunities for a face-to-face conversation these days.
One exception is Shmues un Vayn, a Yiddish social club affiliated with the Yiddish.Berlin collective. The grassroots group meets two nights a month at Berlin bars, galleries, and parks over a glass of wine or beer. The only rule at these informal gatherings is to speak only Yiddish. In less than two years, the group has met more than forty times so far, attracted 89 members, and even organized satellite meetups in Kraków, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, and New York.
This online presentation and workshop, in English, with the club’s gabay Jake Schneider will delve into the practical details of starting and maintaining a sustainable ponim-al-ponim Yiddish social club and share lessons that you can adapt to your own local context. Using the Berlin group as a case study, we will talk about formats, outreach, promotion, roles, sustainability, and issues around language skills—with plenty of time for questions. The goal is to give you the tools you need to cultivate an active Yiddish-speaking community wherever you live.
This event is online at: 11:00am California | 2:00pm New York | 7:00pm London | 8:00pm Berlin | 9:00pm Tel Aviv | Other timezones
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KlezCalifornia relies on donations from participants to cover the costs of online lectures, workshops, kumzitsn, play readings, and more. Donations of $108, $36, $18 (or whatever you can afford) are greatly appreciated to enable us to continue to connect you with Yiddish culture.