“For me, Yiddish is a link not only to Jewish culture and literature….
“For me, Yiddish is a link not only to Jewish culture and literature….

“For me, Yiddish is a link not only to Jewish culture and literature (that is truly fascinating), but to my own family history that I feel detached from. I do not speak the language that my great-grandparents spoke, so I am losing my roots and my identity. Some people even think that Yiddish is a dead language. It is not entirely true: Yiddish is spoken either in extremely religious communities, or studied by scholars in an academic environment….When Joanna…organized the first YAAANA meeting, she said in her introductory speech that she wants Yiddish to become a language of communication and art again – and I think that she manages to do it. YAAANA meetings are always very inspiring and multigenerational – people of different ages, backgrounds, speaking different languages (including Yiddish!) come to learn more about Yiddish and pass this knowledge on…. I am sure that many, many people would share this dream, and even more sure that the Yiddish classes and meetings will attract a lot of students – not necessarily Jewish, but [also anyone] interested in culture, language, theatre and history.”

Nina Semushina-Leyn

MA alumna and PhD student in Linguistics, UCSD