The Yiddish Book Center’s Great Jewish Books Teacher Summer Seminar offers teachers at Jewish middle and high schools the opportunity to enrich their curricula with materials that reflect the breadth and depth of modern Jewish literature. The four-week seminar takes place at the Yiddish Book Center’s Amherst, Massachusetts home, an inspiring environment filled with exhibits on Jewish history and culture and a vast collection of Yiddish books.
While in Amherst, participants survey modern Jewish literature from the Enlightenment to the present day, studying with leading scholars in the field. The survey includes writers from Israel, the United States, and throughout the Diaspora writing in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, English, and other languages. (All non-English texts are provided in English translation.) Along the way, participants read works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by writers such as Sholem Aleichem, Gertrude Stein, Paul Celan, Dvora Baron, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Adrienne Rich, and Cynthia Ozick.
In addition to studying and discussing texts, each participant develops a set of teaching materials to be shared on the Yiddish Book Center’s Teacher Resources website. And as part of the seminar, participants attend a conference on Jewish literature pedagogy, in which they share teaching practices and learn from other experienced teachers.
After the seminar is over, participants stay connected with one another throughout the school year, as they continue to develop new approaches for incorporating modern Jewish literature into their classrooms.
Thank you so much for allowing me the space to grow myself as Jewish educator and giving a whole new canon to pull from while putting together my syllabi.
– Participant in the 2018 Teacher Seminar
Each teacher accepted to the program receives a stipend of $3,000, as well as room and board for the duration of the seminar. The Jim Joseph Foundation is a funder of the Yiddish Book Center.
This article was originally published on the Jim Joseph Foundation’s blog. Click here to view the original.