The Survival of Yiddish beneath Israeli

Phenicuckoo Cross Zuckermann

Today it is Hebrew Language Day. It is each year on 21 tevet, which is Eliezer Ben Yehuda‘s birthday. For that occasion, Ghil’ad Zuckermann displays his view on the underlying roots of the Israeli language.
First, a little background information:

Background on the Hebrew language

Hebrew was spoken after the so-called conquest of Canaan (c. thirteenth century BC). Following a gradual decline (even Jesus, ‘King of the Jews’, was a native speaker of Aramaic rather than Hebrew), it ceased to be spoken by the second century AD. The Bar-Kokhba Revolt against the Romans in Judaea in AD 132-5 marks the symbolic end of the period of spoken Hebrew. For more than 1700 years thereafter, Hebrew was comatose, …

Revolution in Yiddish teaching: The New Yiddish Textbook In eynem

InEynemCover copy jpeg

It was nothing less than a revolution that hit the world of Yiddish teaching this summer, when the multimedia Yiddish textbook In eynem (White Goat Press, 2020) was published. For many years, Yiddish students have been studying the language with Uriel Weinreich’s College Yiddish from 1949, or with Selva Zucker’s Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture from 1995.

Now, Yiddish students and teachers have a more up-to-date alternative. In eynem is a monumental textbook, counting 800 pages (split up in two volumes), with beautifully illustrated dialogues, word explanations, exercises and texts about Jewish culture. It features a goldmine of material for the first two years of Yiddish studies. A dedicated website offers even more teaching material, e.g. …