University of Florida to Teach Yiddish
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University of Florida to Teach Yiddish

The University of Florida at Gainesville will be the first academic institution to teach Yiddish in the state of Florida, starting in the coming spring 2014 semester. Dr. Dror Abend-David, who already teaches Hebrew Language and Literature at the University, will teach an introductory course on Yiddish Language and Literature that will include language and grammar as well as a cultural background addressing issues such as Yiddish History, Society and Literature. Dr. Abend-David has won a course development grant from the UF Center for European Studies for this course, which will be taught at CES while cross listed with the department of Languages, Literatures and Culture and the Center for Jewish Studies.

Over the past two decades, Yiddish, the language of European Jews, has regained popularity and interest in institutions such as Columbia, Harvard, Penn State, and Ohio State, and overseas at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Oxford, Trier, Düsseldorf, and Bar Ilan University in Israel. Among other venues, Yiddish has been introduced as a vital means for studying and revaluating the life of European Jews in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust, and a vital – sometime radical – means for studying Jewish secular culture, literature, music, theater, drama and even a vibrant Jewish film industry in the beginning of the twentieth-century. For American Jewry, Yiddish is very often the language of parents and grandparents who emigrated from Europe before and after the Second World War, and serves as an important means for studying and revaluating Jewish immigration and history in the United States.

The course is intended for beginners and beginning intermediate students of Yiddish. It is hoped that in following years, intermediate and advanced classes will be created as well.

For further details contact:

Dr. Dror Abend-David
Lecturer, Dept. of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of Florida
377 Pugh Hall, PO Box 115565
Gainesville, Fl. 32611-5565

Office 1-352-846-3845
Cell 1-352-222-1349

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