The Popular Language that Few Bother to Learn

Will Yiddish scholarship, the eternal victim, fall prey to lackluster language learning?

Twenty years ago there were four American universities with Yiddish programs: the Jewish Theological Seminary, Harvard, Columbia, and UCLA. Now there are more than a dozen. From Michigan to Maryland, from Chicago to Santa Cruz, students are learning about Yiddish literature and culture. Interest in Yiddish is growing even as its speakers (outside Charedi enclaves) continue to decline in numbers. But interest in the topic of Yiddish does not translate into a stable foundation for teaching the language, which makes some scholars nervous about the future of Yiddish scholarship.

More here.

After the article's publication, a number of comments were published in another issue of Mendele.

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