The recognition that Yiddish is an essential, irreplaceable Jewish language forms the cornerstone of a vibrant Yiddish studies program at the University of Michigan.

The Jean & Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies remains an international leader in Yiddish studies because Yiddish continues to play an important role within the modern Jewish experience. The study of Yiddish is critical for comprehending comparative Jewish literature, American Jewish culture, Eastern European Jewish studies, and even Israeli society. Most importantly, Yiddish shapes Jewish identity and consciousness.

The Frankel Center Yiddish Program & Undergraduate Minor

  • combines language instruction with cultural immersion, allowing students to progress to a high level of fluency.
  • focuses on Yiddish literary and historical texts, folklore, films, children’s literature, and music, so that students learn Yiddish in a broad context within the history, sociology, politics, literature, and music it produced.
  • is taught by prestigious scholars who are recognized throughout the academic world.
  • offers courses and study opportunities that demonstrate our commitment to engaging students using the latest methods and technologies in language pedagogy.


With the goal of raising additional support for Yiddish language instruction at the University of Michigan’s Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, the Rita Poretsky Memorial Fund to support Yiddish instruction has committed $150,000 to create a challenge grant. Gifts of any size will be matched dollar for dollar until the goal is reached, or by January 31, 2019.


Click here to see Yiddish studies students singing "Harshl."