Most American Jews know some words in Yiddish. Even someone who isn’t Jewish may speak about shlepping boxes out of the garage; finding time to shmooze with a friend; and praising someone as being a real mensch.
But beyond colorful and evocative vocabulary, Yiddish is a full-fledged language. It is neither a jargon nor a bastardized form of German. Yiddish developed in the 13th century in the Rhineland and migrated to Eastern Europe a few centuries later. It was the mama-loshen, the mother tongue of millions of Jews who lived in Poland, Galicia, and Russia.
Since 2009, Herman Rosenbaum has been teaching Yiddish in our community. His approach is wonderfully ambitious. He carefully prepares lesson plans that serve as a bridge to the language and culture of Eastern European Jewry. His intent is to “make the class varied and interesting with stories, songs, poems (and even a few jokes).”
In the past, Yidish un Yidishkeit, was offered on a weeknight. Beginning this Sunday, Herman will be teaching from 9:30-11:00am in classroom 2. Hopefully this new time will not only be convenient for long-time students, but also will attract first-timers who want to participate in this monthly course.
Herman is a devoted, learned teacher who shares his love of Yiddish with his students. He has remarked, Yidish iz a takke oytzer, Yiddish is indeed a treasure. I think the same can be said about Herman. He is a treasure for our community. I hope you will come learn with him this Sunday.