Yiddish Classes

If you're looking for Yiddish language classes in Boston, you've come to the right place. Our instructors are passionate about Yiddish and are experienced educators. Whether you are a complete beginner or grew up speaking the language, we have a class that will accommodate you. Students cover a wide age range, from young adults to seniors. We offer classes in the fall and spring at four levels -- Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Students in doubt about their course level may contact an instructor to discuss.


12 evenings, starting January 28th (Tuesday classes) or 29th, 7:30-9pm

Tuition Rates: Member$195.  Non-member $265.

Special Young adult rates (under 30 yr old):  Member $120.  Non-member $180.


►ON-LINE: Click here.

►BY CREDIT CARD: Call the Workmens Circle office at 617 566-6281.

►BY CHECK: Send in your check, made payable to Boston Workmen’s Circle and mail to 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA  02445.  Please be sure to indicate which class you’re interested and include your address, phone and email.


Beginner (Wed nights): Learn Yiddish reading, conversation skills and elementary grammar. This course will suit you whether you’re totally new to Yiddish or if you already know a few basics. Familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet recommended; students who don't yet know the alphabet will be asked to come to class a half hour early for the first few sessions. A textbook, songs, games, films and other multi-media materials will be used.  Instructor: David Schlitt.

Advanced Beginner (Tues nights): Designed for students from our fall Advanced Beginner class and for new students who already know some Yiddish reading, writing and speaking, this course will help you build conversational vocabulary, strengthen your grammar and develop reading skills. In addition to use of a textbook, students will also read simple short stories and poems, practice speaking, play games, and sing Yiddish songs. Instructor: Ri J. Turner.

Intermediate Reading Group (Tues nights):  Students will read short stories, in Yiddish, by a variety of Yiddish authors.  English translations and/or glossaries will be available.  Students should be familiar with Yiddish language, somewhat fluent in reading, and comfortable using Yiddish dictionaries.  Grammatical constructions and idiomatic expressions will be explored as they occur in readings.  Instructor: Lillian Leavitt.

Advanced Reading Group (Wed. nights): The group will be reading Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, in its original Yiddish, known as Un Di Velt Hot Geshvign (Buenos Aires Press, 1955.)  A prepared glossary of Hebraic and less familiar Yiddish words and phrases will be used, but readings will require a fair amount of dictionary work and pre-class preparation.  Discussion of material will be in both Yiddish and English.  Fluency in Yiddish reading required.  Instructor: Lillian Leavitt.


Lillian Shporer Leavitt, a daughter of Shoah survivors, grew up speaking Yiddish and was graduated from the Boston Workmen's Circle Yiddish shule. A former computer software trainer, she is an experienced Yiddish teacher and translator, having taught at the Workmen's Circle, Gann Academy of Greater Boston, Boston University, and Brandeis University, as well as subtitled Yiddish films restored by the National Center for Jewish Film.

David Schlitt is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan and is in the rabbinical training program at Hebrew College in Newton. He served as a Graduate Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center in 2010-2011, and majored in Yiddish Studies as an undergraduate at Columbia University.  He has taught at the Midtown- and Upper West Side Workmen's Circle shuln and is excited to teaching in the Boston Arbeter Ring community in which he grew up!

Ri J. Turner is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton. She is a two-time graduate of the advanced track of the YIVO Uriel Weinreich Zumer-Program in New York City; is a regular attendee at Yiddish-Vokh, an annual week-long Yiddish immersion conference; and has taken advanced Yiddish literature classes at Harvard University. Ri took her first-ever Yiddish class right here at the Boston Workmen's Circle, and is thrilled to return as a teacher.