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 up to four levels -- Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students in doubt about their course level may contact an instructor to discuss.


11 evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Starting Monday, February 3 (Intermediate & Language Through Literature classes) 

& Tuesday, February 4 (Beginner 2 & Advanced Beginner classes)



  • Member: $180
  • Non-member: $245
  • Young adult/Low Income rates: Member $125 / Non-member $180

*No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please contact Sandy if you need financial assistance. 

Beginner Part 2 (Tues nights):  Continue to learn conversation skills, how to read Yiddish, and elementary grammar. The class will be interactive and lively, using a textbook, songs, games, films and other multi-media materials.
Level:  This course is intended for students who took the fall Beginner class at Boston Workers Circle or newcomers who have learned some basics in another setting. 
Instructor: Jonah Sidman.

Advanced Beginner (Tues nights): Focus on increasing comfort with the basic grammar of Yiddish and with fluency speaking & reading, through use of a textbook, conversation, reading, games, and music. Teachings will also include information about the culture and history of the Ashkenazi Jewish people and how to get connected with the contemporary world of Yiddish speakers. 
LevelStudents should already be able to read, write, and speak simple sentences in Yiddish and be willing to stretch to learn to read & write short texts in Yiddish and do short oral presentations in class.
Instructor: Abby Howell.

Intermediate (Mon nights):  Students will build on their knowledge of Yiddish through conversation, reading annotated prose and poetry, further exploring Yiddish grammar (including more advanced verb forms and sentence structures), and diving into the wide world of Yiddish music and culture, integrating both modern day and historical content. Our class will also explore the interests of the students (that's you!) and what corners of Yiddish most excite you. 
LevelParticipants should be motivated to read Yiddish beyond basic texts with the help of a dictionary and have some experience speaking Yiddish within or outside of a classroom setting.
Instructor: Max Edwards.

Lanuage through Literature (Mon nights):  Spring semester will be a continuation of readings about the activities of the Vilna Ghetto United Partisan Resistance fighters. We will use Avrom Sutzkever's and Shmerke Katsherginski's diaries as primary sources and include their songs and poetry of this period. The semester's work will include written assignments as well as reading and translating. Grammatical structure, idioms and vocabulary will be highlighted and reviewed in the context of the reading. Class discussions will be primarily in Yiddish with allowances for Yinglish and English as needed. 
Level:This is a course for students who are fairly fluent in Yiddish reading and motivated to improve their speaking abilities.  
Instructor: Lillian Leavitt.


Max Edwards is a Boston transplant from Minnesota, and is currently a rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He has studied Yiddish at YIVO in New York, on Yiddish Farm, and at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute in Vilnius, Lithuania (his favorite city in the world). Max has enjoyed teaching Yiddish at the Boston Workers Circle since 2015. 

Abby Howell learned to speak Yiddish while she was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, and continued her study at the National Yiddish Book Center's summer internship program, at YIVO's intensive Weinreich Summer Program in New York, and at the Boston Workers Circle. Abby has a M.Ed. in Education of the Deaf from Boston University, and is currently a software engineer at Wistia. This is her fifth year teaching Yiddish at the Boston Workers Circle.

Lillian Shporer Leavitt, a daughter of Shoah survivors, grew up speaking Yiddish and graduated from the Boston Workmen's Circle Yiddish shule. A former computer business analyst and software trainer, she is an experienced Yiddish teacher and translator, having taught at the Workmen's Circle, Gann Academy of Greater Boston, Boston University Hillel, and Brandeis University; subtitled Yiddish films for the National Center for Jewish Film; and translated Yiskor books for Jewish Genealogy.

Jonah Sidman is native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Oberlin College. He is an educator at the Museum of Science and at Boston Workmen's Circle's children's shule.  He can often be found fiddling for American or Irish folk dances all over the East Coast, and speaking/singing in Yiddish locally. Having studied Yiddish at Boston Workers Circle, he's pleased to now share his knowledge with new students.  



Classes run for 11 weeks, starting the week of February 3, 2020.



►ONLINE: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/BostonWorkmensCircle/YiddishWinter2020.html

►BY CHECK: You can come in person the first day of classes with your check, or you can mail it. Make it out to "Boston Workmen’s Circle." Our mailing address is 6 Webster Street, Brookline, MA 02446. Please be sure to indicate which class you’re interested in and include your address, phone, and email.