Sedona AZ (December 28, 2018) – Remember the musical Fiddler on the Roof? The play was based on stories by Sholom Aleichem that were written in Yiddish, the language spoken by Jewish people living in communities across Europe. But those communities and that language died out in the Holocaust.
It seems, however, that reports of Yiddish’s demise are premature. Remarkably, the language lives on. In fact, it’s thriving. Many newscasters and talk show guests slip Yiddish words into their conversation, like chutzpah, mensch, kibbitz, mishmash, noodge, maven, shtick, schmaltzy, nosh, shlep, shmooze, tchatchke, shpiel, and so on.
Why? Because these (and hundreds of other Yiddish words) express shades of feeling and nuances of meaning that ordinary English can’t deliver. Yiddish offers a treasure house of wonderful terms and phrases that capture the essence of many experiences. Most are warmhearted, and many are quite humorous–and naughty.
Want a fun introduction to what Yiddish has to offer? Want to recall the Yiddishisms you already know? Want to expand your Yiddish vocabulary and thereby your ability to express yourself colorfully? Want to better understand the culture where Yiddish was spoken and why it’s undergoing a worldwide revival?
You’re invited to participate in an informal, enjoyable three-session “Joys of Yiddish” class at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, 100 Meadow Lark Drive on Thursdays, January 10, February 21 and March 21, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. led by Annette Lustgarten and Paul Friedman. They learned as children to love the heart and humor in this earthy language, and they look forward to sharing the Joys of Yiddish with you. No charge, but donations gratefully accepted to help support the educational offerings of the synagogue.