Yiddish Farm Summer Program
Dates: Jun 16 - Aug 8 | Price: $4,000 (Scholarships available)
The best way to learn a language is to use it. Students on the Yiddish Farm Summer Program experience hundreds of hours of sustained language immersion among native speakers throughout the summer. They split their time between learning Yiddish language and literature in the classroom and using the language in daily life on the farm, in the kitchen, and around the campfire. By the end of the program, students will be able to communicate fluently in Yiddish as well as understand Yiddish newspapers, plays and novels.
1. What kind of accommodations are available?
Yiddish Farm students will live on-site in bungalows with bathrooms and showers.
2. How does a typical day look?
|6:30 - 7:00||Breakfast/animal chores|
|7:00 - 7:30||Yiddish singing|
|7:30 - 11:00||Farm/household chores/lunch preparation|
|11:00 - 12:00||Lunch/discussion|
|12:00 - 1:30||Naptime|
|1:30 - 3:00||Grammar Class|
|3:00 - 4:00||Writing|
|4:00 - 5:30||Literature/theater|
|5:30 - 6:15||Food prep/animals|
|6:15 - 7:15||Music|
|7:15 - 8:15||Dinner|
|8:15 - 9:45||Evening activity|
3. What kind of food do we eat?
All Yiddish farm meals are prepared on-site and follow three principles:
A. We try to eat as much from the farm as possible.
B. Although we eat meat, there are always multiple options for vegetarians.
C. Everything is strictly kosher (we follow all hashgachos except Triangle K, Tablet K, and K).
4. Do I have to work outside?
We believe that working on the farm is an important part of the Yiddish Farm experience as well as critical to the cultivation of community. On the farm, participants put their Yiddish to use and learn about organic agriculture. That said, there are chores and projects that do not require a person to work outside, such as making signs, canning/pickling, and cooking. People who don't wish to work outside will be assigned different jobs. If you are interested in learning Yiddish, but not in farming, please indicate this before the beginning of the program so that we can plan properly.
5. Is this a religious program?
People of all religious backgrounds are welcome at Yiddish Farm programs, and we do not have any underlying religious agenda. However, we do believe that a traditional Jewish lifestyle is an important part of the Yiddish-immersion experience. Between Friday night and Saturday, we eat, pray and sing joyously, and we create a peaceful atmosphere by refraining from using electronics, writing implements and other activities that symbolize work. Shabbos rituals are formally taught and then experienced.
We are committed to maintaining a difficult balance: We would like our program to follow Jewish tradition without excluding women from public Jewish ritual. Since Orthodox services must be led by men with 10 men in attendance, they can be challenging for people used to egalitarian services. To counterbalance this, we assign equal importance to services led by women- At the candle-lighting ceremonies held at the beginning and end of shabbos (licht-bentshn and havdoloh), women will lead tkhines, Yiddish prayers that have largely fallen out of practice as Jews abandoned Yiddish. By reclaiming tkhines, we hope to reintroduce Yiddish into Jewish ritual, find a greater role for women and still stick to the letter of the law.
We cater to a wide range of people, including people who identify as Secular, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Chabad, Hasidic, Egalitarian etc.
6. Must I speak Yiddish the entire time?
Before coming, students should complete the 10 lessons on www.yiddishpop.com. These free interactive lessons will give students the necessary tools to communicate in Yiddish from the first day of the program.