The New School Continuing Education

Yiddish

Yiddish, a language that is over 1,000 years old, is spoken in a variety of its dialects and accents by the Ashkenazic Jewish community in Europe. As a result of assimilation and the Holocaust, the number of Yiddish-speakers, both native ones and those who learned the language, substantially decreased in the 20th century, especially after World War II.

In the mid-1980s, Yiddish revival emerged primarily on the American musical and theater scene, gradually covering other parts of the world.

Currently Yiddish is widely spoken in the religious Jewish (Orthodox/Hassidic) communities throughout the world, as well as by a relatively small amount of cultural activists that call themselves Yiddishists and by an even smaller group of Jewish anarchists in Israel and the US.

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