Yiddish returns to the university after a decade-long absence

Fri, March 28, 2014

After a 10-year hiatus, the University is planning to bring back Yiddish as a language course next year since a professor who teaches the language recently returned to the University.

Starting in fall 2014, beginning Yiddish courses will be offered for students who want to start learning the language. The two-semester intensive sequence will allow students to fulfill the foreign language requirement for most majors in one year.

Kit Belgum, Germanic studies associate professor, said the availability of Yiddish professor Itzik Gottesman, who recently returned to teach at the University, allowed for the return of Yiddish at the University.  

“There is a very long tradition of Yiddish being offered in the department of Germanic studies at UT, until about 10 years ago,” Belgum said. “The idea to revive Yiddish at UT arose precisely because Dr. Gottesman was able to come back to UT. Under his guidance the program thrived in the 1990s and we expect it to be successful again.”

Belgum said Yiddish courses had been taught at the University starting in the 1970s, but after professors from the department left, courses were no longer offered in 2004.

Gottesman, who will also teach Jewish cultural classes, said he looks forward to teaching the language again and expects high levels of enrollment in the new courses. ...

[Read Natalie Sullivan's full article at dailytexanonline]

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