The Yiddish Farm exists thanks to the generous support afforded to us by donors like you and the continued support of the following foundations:
The Atran Foundation
The Opaline Fund of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
The Omega Foundation
The Benyumen Shekhter Foundation
The Naomi Kadar Foundation
Without our dedicated staff and volunteers nothing would be possible:
Yisroel Bass, Co-founder and Farm Director
Before helping to found Yiddish Farm, Yisroel served as an executive board member and the secretary of Yugntruf – Youth for Yiddish and as the president of the Jewish student union at Whittier College. In order to become more active in Yiddish-speaking circles, Yisroel moved to New York and transferred to City College. During the summer of 2010 Yisroel participated in the Adamah Jewish Environmental Fellowship in order to pick up the skills necessary to launch Yiddish Farm. Yisroel graduated Summa Cum Laude from City College in December 2011, having majored in Philosophy and Jewish Studies. Since 2011, he has been living full time at Yiddish Farm. When not on the farm, Yisroel visits the Jirka Rebbe shlit”a in Brooklyn for yontef and shabbosim. In 2014, Yisroel married Yonit Leah of Queens; they live together on the farm year round with their newborn son, Yossl Leib.
Alyssa Masor, Yiddish Professor
Alyssa Masor received her PhD in Yiddish studies from Columbia University. Her dissertation was entitled “The Evolution of Literary Neo-Hasidism.” She has taught Yiddish language and literature at Columbia, YIVO, Yeshiva University, and Yiddish Farm. She has published poetry and prose in Yiddish in Forverts Penshaft and Afn Shvel, as well as scholarly articles on Yiddish literature. She gives tours of Hasidic Boro Park and lectures on contemporary Hasidic culture.
Yankl-Peretz Blum, Yiddish teacher
Yankl-Peretz began teaching himself Yiddish while a college student in California. He’s been on the board of Yugntruf — Youth for Yiddish since 2006 (for several years serving as its chair), and has been involved with the Yiddish Farm since the beginning. He began teaching Yiddish in 2007. In addition to the Yiddish Farm, he has taught classes at YIVO, Workmen’s Circle, and Yugntruf. He has an MA in Linguistics from CUNY Graduate Center, and works as Project Manager at YiddishPOP. Four of his younger brothers are now conversant in Yiddish, although none grew up speaking the language. (Two of them learned Yiddish at the Farm as teenagers.) He lives with one of his brothers in Brooklyn in an apartment they call “Yiddish Hoyz”, and spends his free time learning languages.
Yonit Leah Bass, Executive Administrator
Before joining the Yiddish Farm, Yonit was Program Associate at the JCC Association. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, and she earned a BFA from SUNY-Purchase. She was a Adamah Farm Fellow during the Fall of 2012. Additionally, Yonit attended the Shaarim College for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in 2013, and attended Yiddish Farm immersion courses in 2014. Yonit splits her time between office work, gardening, and being a full time mommy. She and Yisroel married in December of 2014, and they live together on the farm with their son.
Naftali Schaechter Ejdelman, Co-founder and President Emeritus
A grandson of the late Yiddish professor Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, Naftali has been teaching Yiddish in a variety of formal and informal contexts since he was in high school. He received a Masters Degree in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and is a licensed teacher in New York and Massachusetts. Naftali helped found Yiddish Farm in 2010 and was selected to participate in the ROI Global Community of Jewish Innovators in 2011 and the PresenTense Community Entrepeneur Partnership in 2012. Before founding Yiddish Farm, Naftali worked as a schoolteacher teacher at Beit Rabban and as an environmental educator at the Teva Learning Center and at the Kayam Farm. He was named one of the Jewish Week 36 Under 36 in 2013. Naftali has contributed countless hours to ensuring Yiddish Farm’s establishment and growth.