Between October 15 and December 17, 2019 a Yiddish language course at the lower intermediate level was held in Vilnius Jewish Public Library. It was initiated by the International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress in cooperation with this Library.
The course was conducted by the lecturer Dr. Eglė Bendikaitė - researcher at the Lithuanian Institute of History. It comprised 10 weekly lessons of 2 academic hours each.
20 people of different age and educational background attended the introductory session. The first test of the participants showed that they all had entered the course with different knowledge of elementary Yiddish, but quite enough for starting the lower intermediate level. Strong motivation to continue studies of Yiddish equalized the difference in skills and interests of the audience.
The students were familiarized with various selected excerpts taken from the interwar Yiddish journals, classic novels and nowadays digital newspapers. For better understanding of the language and its expression forms, the participants had to translate texts from Yiddish into Lithuanian, to listen audio records and selected Yiddish folk songs.
Chapters of basic Yiddish grammar were enhanced with new, more advanced grammar constructs, such as comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives, phrasal verbs, ordinal numerals, etc.
Games and work in small groups were conducted in order to improve grammar, vocabulary and communicative skills. For completion of the course, every student got a task to introduce one prominent Jewish personality in Yiddish.Some 10 people took active part in the lectures and graduated the course successfully. University students, employees of museums and libraries, teachers of art and music, and a journalist were among them.