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September 25, 1992 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

`Yiddish on an educational
level in 50 years.
"There is a strong Yiddish
movement in Russia now.
Unlike anywhere else, it is
being led by young people in
1 their 20s and 30s," Mr.
Winer said. "The older
scholars of Yiddish have
'been suppressed for more
than half a century. So
they're depressed."
Mr. Winer said the group
of supporters is small but is
.comprised of elitists. And
although the students are
interested in Hebrew for
practical reasons, they view
Yiddish as a spiritual
"To a segment of Russians,
Yiddish is a bridge to Yid-
dishkeit — to being Jewish.
Yiddish means roots to
them. It is not just the lang-
uage but the stories, the tra-
ditions, the grandparents.
' Hebrew is about modern
Israel," Mr. Winer said.
The students in the pro-
, gram will study to be
teachers of Yiddish as there

Yiddish education
is no longer seen
as a threat to

are no Russian scholars
competent in Yiddish lang-
uage and literature, Mr.
Winer said.
The courses will be split
into one-month units. Each
unit will be taught by an in-
structor from the United
States or Israel.
The Foundation for the
Advancement of Yiddish
Studies, a three-year-old
organization out of Israel,
- will pay for travel expenses
and housing arrangements.
But the professors will vol-
unteer their time — roughly
30 hours a week.
Milton Arm, rabbi
emeritus of Congregation
Beth Achim, acting as the
American vice chairman of
the foundation, will help
locate scholars for the pro-
gram. He also will teach a
class in Moscow.
The students will study on
scholarship. They also will
spend one month in Israel.
They can remain in Israel to
teach or return to Russia.
"Yiddish has made signifi-
cant progress in Israel. Fifty-
five of the public schools are
teaching it now. It is one of
three foreign language elec-
tives offered in Hebrew col-
leges," Mr. Winer said. "The
antagonism toward Yiddish
which existed 30 or 40 years
ago is gone. It is no longer
seen as a threat to Hebrew
— which is firmly estab-
lished." ❑


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