Wed Jan 10 2024


Pacific Time
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Co-presented by KlezCalifornia

Jewish Languages Today, with Sara Benor

Sarah Benor (Hebrew Union College) will highlight the current statuses of Jewish vernacular languages such as Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Malayalam.

Over the past two centuries, migrations and other historical events have led to major changes in the linguistic profile of Jewish communities around the world. Yiddish is thriving in Hasidic communities, even as its use is diminishing elsewhere. Several longstanding Jewish language varieties have become endangered, as they are spoken primarily by older people, including Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic (Iraq-Iran), and Judeo-Malayalam (Southern India). At the same time, Jews are engaging with these languages in postvernacular ways, such as through song and food, and new Jewish language varieties are developing, including Jewish English, Jewish Latin American Spanish, and Jewish Russian. This talk explains these developments and makes the case for the urgent need for documentation and reclamation.

Presented by Jewish Community Library. No charge.

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